I keep wondering what it is that makes a good games programer. In truth, I'm not sure. I have my own theorys as to why I think I'm good at it, but much of it is simply experiance, something which the industry simply doesn't have very much of. In more mature companys like B.T. you become a senior after 20-25 years whereas in ours, you seem to become a senior after 3 or 4. This may be part of the reason I'm beginning to question if I should be doing what I'm doing. I love my job, and its a real pleasure to do it every day - that is, when you think your doing it well. But if you suddenly think no one else but the boss thinks you're any good, then is that enough? Theres a lot to be said for getting results when no one else does, but at the same time, I don't think thats enough any more. Games programing has advanced to the point that code must evolve, and if no one else likes your code, then it'll simply be thrown away. Then your left with 2 options:
1) Carry on doing pure research, and accept that your only ever going to figure things out, and let other people actually do the work. I'm actually fairly good at this, and can usually see past abstract problems to simple solutions. But I don't know if I like the idea of people looking down their noses at the code I produce.
2) Accept that I simply can't keep up, and move on. Leave the industry I love, and do something else completly. This is a hard one, because if I leave, I'm fairly sure I'll never manage to get back in.
The problem gets more complicated for me, since I know that if I leave, I'll probably end up doing some drudge job I hate, and come to seriously regret leaving in the first place.
It's the first time I've ever thought about what I'll do after games... and the first time I've ever look at what life would be like doing something I hate. At the end of the day, that may be the thing that keeps me in one more day, until something comes along that gives me a chance to do something else I'll love, why leave?