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Would you call yourself a programmer if all you use is blueprints.

This is something that crossed my mind. If you decide to use blueprint for a game all together and do your best to avoid C++ like the plague, would you just classify yourself as a video game designer and not a programmer. I’m new to the field so I just want to classify what is what for later purposes.

I would say Blueprint Developer, not programmer.

Not knowing how to use C++ is like not knowing to use no programming language, thus not being able to think the way a true programmer does (blueprints lack many features compared to code).

Semantics.

But

If a programmer is one who writes computer software, and If you write computer software which blueprints are, you are a programmer.

Of course you’d be a programmer. The language or method you use is irrelevant if you’re doing the same things as other programmers. The concepts are the same, the logic is the same, the only difference are the tools you use and ultimately that doesn’t matter as long as it gets done.

I feel like calling a blueprint programmer not a “real programmer” is similar to calling a digital artists not “real artists” (compared to traditional artists).

Agreed, its still coding/programming, its a little more limited ‘language’ than others but so is Basic or Python or Lua, amazing things can be done with them regardless.

Nice Click-bait title :stuck_out_tongue: But what’s the context: work interview, rep / self-image, forum rank???

To a purist Blueprints is the same as writing VBA-Office-macros or part-time website-design JavaScript.
If you show up to an interview with those skills pretending to be a real programmer you’ll get ****** out…
A programmer has 3-10 languages, a CS degree / certification… Or no quals but killer code that speaks for itself.

But at the other end of the spectrum a programmer is just someone technical that can get stuff done ‘JFDI’.
So if you’re a game developer might as well use whatever makes the game run acceptably, screw technical purity.
Game dev should be about the game, how it plays, how unique it looks, not how-hard-the-code-was-to-write!

Some argue C++ is about engine-writing, whereas creating games should be about scripting / dragging & dropping.
There’s programmer snobbery everywhere yet the Zeus/SpyEye Bangladesh-Sony hackers would wipe the floor with anyone.
Along with the Unreal guys, writers of compilers, quant trading systems, BitCoin etc. Code by the programmer’s programmer!

Looking at things the other way. What are blueprints to experienced programmers, a step down, a toy?
Well you can color-code your code, which is much faster to the eye when searching, than scanning text.
You can visually layout the code in shapes too, so when zoomed out you can still identify key zones.
Code added last minute can also be specially color coded to help back it out in a hurry if things go south.
Overall BP lets you focus or concentrate on ideas rather than technical syntax or constructs which all helps!

Yeah depends of the context but I would not personally call a blueprint user a programmer in any context. With Unreal I would expect almost everyone (at least artists, designers, etc) in team to able to use em well enough to do trivial things. I would say franktech’s Office-macro example is pretty good comparison. Outside Unreal world blueprint skills have as much of meaning as secretary’s Office for advanced users certification.

Using blueprints is a much programming as using C++. But if you are a programmer or not depends on how much and to what level you do it.

If you only do basic stuff (in Blueprint or C++) scripter might me a better term.

You still have to know how blueprint nodes work, when to use them, and where. So while you’re not traditionally typing out code like a typical programming language, you’re still using logic to make things happen. I’d still call them a programmer, even if blueprint logic is pretty much limited to just UE4. C++ (as well as other languages) can be used universally and would be better for ‘real’ programming as it shows you’re not limited to just one piece of software.

Now if it was a simple click-and-drag editor where you just drag in images and most things are preset for you from a dropdown box, then I’d call them a designer. In the end, it doesn’t really matter (unintended LP reference there) how you define your title, if your game works and it is well optimized, then I say you did your duty.

Classifying one programmer from another based on their method is subjective from one person to the next. Blueprint, in my opinion, is a nice way for people to take a step into the programming world from a visual standpoint before diving into raw code. But of course, people learn in different ways at different paces. Again, arguments can go either way on this, but that’s just my perspective.

There are many different kinds of jobs that are all called “programmer.”
For example, someone who builds forms using visual basic is often also called a “programmer” and that’s very similar to using Blueprint.
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-visual-basic-programmers-laughed-at-by-other-programmers/answer/Jon-Watte

Personally, if all you do is blueprinting, then I’d call it a “scripter.” That’s a thing, in game development.

But Visual Basic includes both visual form design and code writing on it’s own syntax (using .NET framework in latest versions). You app does not magically work by slapping components on a form. A programmer can make and convert same app between C#, VB and in Delphi easily as they can adapt to the syntax and other logic easily.

I agree that blueprint user might be better called as scripter as their knowledge is limited to fixed set of commands and to certain app, just like for example Lego Mindstorms :wink:

If it were in a work context (Applying, interviewing, etc.), personally I would not call myself a programmer, as I would see it as misleading.

It’s not, if you were to call yourself a Computer Scientist that would be misleading.


A programmer is not a title given to someone by someone, a programmer is a self proclaimed title. Unlike a computer scientist which you’re required to have a degree, and to do actual research.


All computer scientists are programmers but not all programmers are computer scientists.

If I were looking for a UE4 programmer and you only knew Blueprints then you wouldn’t be what I was looking for. Blueprints are too specific and if I’m looking for a programmer then I want something more complex than what Blueprints are capable of.

If you only use Blueprint for basic things, you’re a scripter, but Blueprint is so closely bound to discrete math/programming logic and software engineering that if you use Blueprint well, you might as well consider yourself a programmer.

I’ve found, if anything, Blueprint has made me take a more holistic view of how I develop ahead of time both when I do blueprint development and when I do programming.

I would say that technically you are programming in blueprints. Just like any other programmer you have to define data structures and develop subroutines to manipulate that data to achieve a particular end goal. You still have to learn how to properly structure the code, debug and optimise. The fact you do it through a visual medium rather than a traditional IDE like Visual Studio is irrelevant.

Every language has limitations. Java lacks the memory management aspects that C has. C lacks many features compared to C++ such as templates, virtual functions and the like. I wouldn’t recommend a blueprint developer apply for a conventional programming job in the same way I wouldn’t recommend a Java developer apply for a C++ programming job without first learning it, but you would be developing the right mindset and core skills to go on and learn another language.

If you can program in blueprints then you can reasonably call yourself a blueprint programmer.

Blueprints are programming, it’s just programming within the confines of UnrealEngine with a nice context-sensitive visual syntax. All the underlying concepts are the same.

The act of working within Blueprints is fairly similar to programming, however I would refer to someone who works entirely in blueprints as a scripter rather than a programmer. It is semantics, but from an experience and employment perspective there are important and defined differences.

The key difference is that where a scripter is confined to working within the provided walled garden of the application (in this case, blueprints within Unreal), the programmer is not subject to the same limitations, and I’d expect that person to be able to build me a standalone application.

You are programing but you are not a programmer, Use photoshop not convert in artist… or like my case, write english not mind that I know english.

Scripter is a way to say: you will work as progammer with half salary.