I've been programming C++ in my spare time for the last year or two. I finished a Psychology degree in May, and since then, I've been spending a good 6 or 7 hours a day, 6 days a week coding. I find it really fulfilling and rewarding.
Leading on from this, I've managed to get accepted onto a Masters course in Computer Science (I showed them some of my programming and that, in combination with my 2:1 in Psychology, was enough). The course is part-time, so I'm looking for work while I do it. I'm wondering: how hard is it to get into entry level programming jobs? Would someone with my level of experience be able to get into something like a trainee position somewhere?
I don't have any formal programming-related qualifications (yet). That said, I do have an understanding of quite a few features of C++. I've finished the book C++ Without Fear twice, and have a pretty good understanding of most of the stuff in it.
I've also been learning to program by creating a modification for the game Half-Life. Essentially, it's a chat bot that is able to react to game events. I've made it so that each bot is basically an object of one of a new class, with a number of member functions for different thought processes. I've tried to make it work like a new data type, with everything encapsulated within the class itself. By doing this, it's made it a lot easier to keep track of how the bots interact with the Half-Life program code.
I've also made use of inheritance. I created an interface class, which has sub-classes; one sub class allows the chat bot to interact with Half-Life. Another sub-class of the interface allows the bot to interact with a console simulation of the game. Other sub-classes could be created as interfaces for other games.
So what do you think? Might I be able to find myself an entry level programming job somewhere?