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A Programmer’s ideal gig…what is it?


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#1 we say so games   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:12 AM

Here’s the 1 million dollar question….if you are a programmer, desire to become a programmer, know of anyone who is a programmer, or just like the topic…what would be the ideal indie:
  • Work atmosphere?
  • Type of game to develop?
  • Programming language to code?
  • Team to work with?
  • Systems/sites to program for?
  • Anything else that I’m leaving out that’s ideal?
  • O yeah…and pay/compensation?
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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22783

Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:33 AM

The ideal is different from person to person.

Many game programmers prefer causal clothes; some people would rather dress up.

I've seen a roughly even mix on people who prefer dimly lit environments (less glare on the screen) to those who prefer more environmental light.

Some people prefer small teams --- such as just one programmer, one modeler, one animator, one sound person working on the feature in concert with a few other small groups on other features. Other people prefer large teams with 10+ other programmers in your local group, and perhaps a few hundred people on the total project across all disciplines.

Some people prefer different kinds of games. I prefer kid-friendly games and invite my kids in to work. One of my co-workers left to another game company after frequently complaining there weren't enough "red pixels" in the games we made --- meaning he wanted to work on more violent titles.

When it comes to languages there are many to choose from, you may work in C++, C#, Java, ActionScript, JavaScript, or many other languages. No reason to limit yourself to just one, and good programmers will pick up many.


As for money, who doesn't want more? Most game programmers earn a respectable living, often double the regional average wage, but also tend to earn less than various other business programmers. When you start discussing salary in terms of what other people make instead of what you need to satisfy your needs and reasonable wants, that is generally a good place. You can certainly get lucky with a small business or team that has a surprising success, but you can also win the lottery or hit the jackpot in a casino; the odds are not in your favor.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#3 KanonBaum   Members   -  Reputation: 277

Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Like Frob said, "ideal programming job" is a relative concept. I'll answer based on my personal tastes:

Currently:
  • Work atmosphere?
Anything at the moment. But I'd like a relaxed atmosphere. Coding can be stressful enough as it is.
  • Type of game to develop?
Anything NOT an MMO. Right now I'd like to develop small unique games that are not complicated for a small team.
  • Programming language to code?
I'm know only C++, Java, and Ruby well enough to make projects with. Any of those are fine, but I can always quickly learn new ones.
  • Team to work with?
People who understand our time constraints and keep things simple when simplicity is best.
  • Systems/sites to program for?
I've never done any web-projects.
  • Anything else that I’m leaving out that’s ideal?
Not sure.
  • O yeah…and pay/compensation
Of course pay is mandatory for me. I have a lot to do on my plate and I cannot sit around and code for free anymore. It'd need to be enough to at least receive profits off of if not initially to do well for at least a month or so.

The "future" dream job:
  • Work atmosphere?
Great, friendly, relaxed, but able to be serious when need be.
  • Type of game to develop?
Something "new" and original game mechanic that no one has done before. (even if it's just a twist)
  • Programming language to code?
I like C++ a lot, but anything that I can apply OOD paradigms to.
  • Team to work with?
Friendly, smart, optimistic, yet logical. Not going to just "quit".
  • Systems/sites to program for?
Same as previous answer to this.
  • Anything else that I’m leaving out that’s ideal?
Same as previous answer to this.
  • O yeah…and pay/compensation?
Payment I can live off of even if it's just barely. I'm not a materialistic person.
I'm that imaginary number in the parabola of life.

#4 slayemin   Members   -  Reputation: 2912

Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:51 AM

Work atmosphere?

No stress, filled with people who work hard, are passionate, are smarter than me, and are visionaries.

Type of game to develop?

Actually, I think a better project to work on would be something thats altruistic and will improve the lives of people all over the world. Something that will lessen suffering.

Programming language to code?

I think this is a bit irrelevant. Whatever helps to achieve the objective the best is the programming language to use.

Team to work with?

Again, a team of impassioned people who are driven to make the world a better place through working hard and smartly.

systems/sites to program for?

This would depend on the project and its requirements.

Anything else that I’m leaving out that’s ideal?

An ability to directly measure the effectiveness and impact of the work and the change it has on the world.

O yeah…and pay/compensation?

As long as I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a comfortable lifelong lifestyle, and the ability to support a family, I don't care about money. My reward would be in the effect my work has on improving the lives of others.

Eric Nevala

Indie Developer | Dev blog


#5 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3261

Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:20 AM

Not on laptops to start...




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