3. Hobby vs. Career: Which One ?
Another important consideration is whether you just want to code personal projects in your free time or if you want to enter the programming industry for full-time work. This, too, will have a big impact on what to study, how to study, and your overall path of progression.
Maybe you have an idea for a video game and you think it’d be cool to see if you can make it a reality. You love your day job as an accountant and have no desire to quit, so it would just be a project you work on during the weekends. Feel free to learn whatever languages and engines you want. As long as you have fun, what does it matter?
On the other hand, if you want to make a career out of video game development, then you’ll probably want to learn a serious language and engine, such as C++ and Unreal Engine 4 or Java and LibGDX. If you learn game development using Ruby and Gosu, you’ll never land a job in the industry.
As for formal education, a college degree can help but isn’t entirely necessary. The Internet is home to a lot of great tutorials, free programming books, and free programming courses so you won’t be short on knowledge, but college is useful for networking, which can help you break into the industry.
But whether you pursue programming as a hobby or a career, be prepared to put in a lot of time and practice.