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I've been learning graphics programming for 6 months. I have read lots of books in this field and I understood the techniques and principles quickly. I also read and write lots of source code but I feel like I'm learning nothing and I'm just wasting my time. Please, tell me the right way to do this and suggest me some projects so that I can work at "6 months level".

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4 Answers 4

Get involved in one (or more) open source projects that make use of graphics programming. You'll not only learn more about your particular interest but you'll also learn how to work with other developers, different development methodologies, etc.

Sourceforge and Github are two good places to start.

You could also start your own project - create something you can use yourself in everyday life. If you find it really useful, perhaps you can share it with the world.

You could also try to learn about subjects related to graphics programming. As a programmer myself I found it beneficial to learn about various operating systems and how they work.

You could also have the code you write peer reviewed at Code Review to get helpful feedback.

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Well obviously if you're writing code that you couldn't write before, then you're learning. or couldn't write as easily before, then you're learning. I make notes as I learn, and sometimes I write the date/time. And as soon as i've written a note of something I learnt, or a little program that uses a method I hadn't used before, I know learnt something. The more notes I have, and the more I write notes, the more evidence there is of my understanding improving and me learning(not that I keep them for that, I keep them for reference).

If you can code without noticing you're learning, that sounds like a psychological issue to me!

In programming Sometimes I don't write much notes just the bits of code themselves mainly, but they themselves are evidence that i'm learning. And there are notes in the comments, as the comments are for me not for others.

It's simplistic to say "at 6 months level". Linus Torvalds started programming C rather late, he was first exposed to C and Unix in the early 1990s and wrote a linux kernel! I don't know how the average programmer progresses, maybe it depends what language too. VB or C.

If you have to ask somebody for a project, then maybe you lost some passion and interest.

You should be able to see what projects are within your grasp, and a bit of a challenge. And what projects are beyond you. And how that changes. Maybe you need to see lists of projects that have been done instead of just reading instructions and snips of code in books. Maybe you are beyond your books now but you need to just see what's being done in practice by people.

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Try setting a higher level goal. Ask yourself why you are learning graphics programming? If its to land a job, start applying. Quickly you'll find out what employers expect you to know and you'll have to figure out how to demonstrate that.

Do you want professional recognition? Post examples of graphic design in public forums creativemarket.com and 99designs.com come to mind.

Practice, practice, practice. The point I'm trying to make is that it would help you to find a collective effort that is larger than you. Offer your services. You will find yourself having to put into practice all that you have learned in the last 6 months.

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There is always so much to learn, as you learn new things, you come across new things you don't know and this can make you feel like you are not learning. Start with a project you can't complete, and keep on improving on it. For instance, write a ray tracing engine. Can't? Then study and focus until you can build one. Write a 3D engine, run into problems? Stop, study until you can build one. It's not enough to read, you have to solve problems, problems that you knew at one point you couldn't solve.

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