Been getting some lovely emails over the last few days from people who have been reading my books, learning to program, and trying to make it "big in this business". The question seems to be "How do I get into programming/game development?". Here's one of my replies:
"It turns out that the best way to become a Game Developer is develop games.
Just have a simple (and keep it simple) idea for something and try to make it work. Take a look at the games that are in your books and see if you can modify them to behave differently. Change the images, make them do something different and then go from there.
I'd also advise you to get involved in things like Game Jams, where you can team up with other people and get help. That gets you feedback too. Global Gamejam has just been and gone, but anything like that (there might be some locally) are a good idea.
If you can't find a gamejam, hold your own. Get some friends together and try to build a game over a weekend. Start with something simple that works and see where you go. And if you start blogging about what you are doing, helping other people and taking part in forums you'll get to know other developers and also start to make a name for yourself.
It will be a lot of hard work and you will need to be very persistent, but I know it can be done because I've seen people do it. "