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Online courses / material to strengthen CV


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#1 Damir Halilovic   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:59 AM

Heya,

 

I don't to bore anyone with too much text, so here is the basic info - I've got a BA in Computer Science, 2 years of experience as an Android developer, worked as a TA at my university teaching programming and computer graphics, with Unity basics and did freelance web development work before that.

 

I don't have any commercial game dev experience, all I've got are a few POC's / demos done in Unity. Most of my interviews end the same - "It's a highly competitive market and you don't have any experience".

 

I am trying to strengthen my overall profile, so I turned to online universities, courses, that kind of stuff. I know that coursera is a great site for these things and I'll be checking out this: https://www.coursera.org/course/gametheory2

 

But is there more? Is there any online "university" that isn't a scam? 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Best regards,

Damir H.



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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18845

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:22 AM

You write: "2 years of experience as an Android developer".

In the workplace, "experience" means a business paid you for full-time employment doing the task.

If you really do have two years of workplace experience on Android development I would be surprised to hear of a hard time finding a job right now.

Instead, I suspect you are a recent graduate with no work experience looking for a non-entry-level job.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#3 Damir Halilovic   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:49 AM

Yes, I do mean 2 years of experience as an Android developer. I have a full-time job at <snip>. I am writing this from the office. I do not have any issues finding a job - I am having issues finding a job in the gaming industry. And I actually DO want entry level jobs. No game developers worth its salt gives two shits about Java or pure Android development. For all the agencies told me, I might as well be a recent graduate.


Edited by the_Predator, 26 November 2013 - 10:04 AM.


#4 HeroBiX   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 12:58 PM

I think the best way for you to go is to make games, find people on forums to get together to make a game. You have knowledge in both android and unity, come up with an idea or find an artist that have an idea, get together and do something, might be shit, but remember the experience from it, all experience you gain is worth something, even if it's shit experience, take what you learned from it and tell them at the job interview what you did and what you learned from it.

 

Even do your own projects in your free time, set goal when you are going to be done with the game, very imporant and tell a friend that he/she should bug you with questions about the game and what is happening and not letting you off the hook.

Here is something I wrote as an answer on another post:
Something that they tought me at school which is many people have told me is a great way, both in interviews and on resume & coverletters, calling STAR
S - Situation, what situation where you in? What was the problem/oppertunity? (10%)
T - Task, what is your task, where you working as project manager? lead developer? (10%)
A - Action, what did you do to solve the problem or making use of the oppertunity (40%)
R - Result, how did it turn out? (40%)

The procent, meaning what the employer is looking for, the most important is what you did do and what the result is, talk alot about this and make it broad.

example:

S - Situation: Working with a 3D game in unity where there was very long loading times everywhere in the game, I realise that the game testers didn't like waiting this long for the game to load and got fustrated and we had problem in the team to find the time to fix this problem.
T - Task: I was working as a AI programmer
A - Action: I took a few long nights to dig into the code to figure out what the problem was, I saw that the game re-rendered most of the objects and saw flaws in the AI coding that made some heavy prestandad loops that was not nessecery
R - Result: The game was loading 75% faster and the games was starting to run in 60FPS and not 20FPS, the game testers started to love our game, we got an award for best optimized game at school

I'm not a programmer and some of this might not br accurate, I hope you still will get the point I'm trying to get across

This is very usefull to use when they say: this is a very competitive market and you don't have experience, tell them that you are vell aware of it and that you got this knowledge and experience from your project and schools, tell them that you might not have industry experience, but you know what you are doing, it all about how you sell yourself in this industry =)

 

and you are TA at a school? talk to them? that a school FULL of people with talent and people who wants to get experience and try different things, I'm sure you can find a sound person and a artist to get together and make something cool together =)

so... go out and make more GAMES! god damn it! stop reading... make stuff! =)



#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18845

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 01:06 PM

Something of note...

 

In your profile page it says your location is Sarajevo and you also mentioned employment agencies. If you are going through international recruiting agencies you won't have much luck in games on any system. It is uncommon for studios to bring in foreign applicants. They may interview foreign people who are already moved locally, but generally they won't arrange for you to come to them.

 

It looks like there is only one studio in your area, although the list may be wrong. 

 

You generally need to be local to get a game development job. You might need to move to a region with many studios, THEN look for a game development job.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#6 Damir Halilovic   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:50 AM

frob - yeah, that's usually the issue I got with agencies... at one point I actually qualified for a mobile development job, but I need corporate sponsorship for a UK visa, which ended up being a deal breaker. The one studio in my area is not correct listing, there are no studios in my area. tongue.png

 

Thanks for the help though guys, much appreciated. I guess all I can keep doing is make stuff until someone likes it.


Edited by the_Predator, 27 November 2013 - 02:51 AM.


#7 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

I disagree that it is uncommon for studios to bring in foreign applicants - it's very common within Europe, and larger studios often have dedicated HR who are familiar with national procedures. It is usually only really uncommon in the case of places like the USA, where hideously restrictive immigration procedures prevent people from getting work visas even with company sponsorship.

 

Bosnia is in the process of accession into the EU. When this does happen, he'll have the freedom to work and live in any EU nation without any kind of visa.



#8 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:36 AM

Something of note...

 

In your profile page it says your location is Sarajevo and you also mentioned employment agencies. If you are going through international recruiting agencies you won't have much luck in games on any system. It is uncommon for studios to bring in foreign applicants. They may interview foreign people who are already moved locally, but generally they won't arrange for you to come to them.

 

It looks like there is only one studio in your area, although the list may be wrong. 

 

You generally need to be local to get a game development job. You might need to move to a region with many studios, THEN look for a game development job.

I have to disagree based on my own experience.

 

I certainly don't know how common my situation was, but while I lived in Slovakia, I used to get a lot of phone / onsite interviews in UK from game companies, despite not actually having been employed by a proper huge game company (unless you count establishing your own indie company as a valid experience).

 

So, it's certainly possible. Of course, UK is not US, so only a select few companies were willing to participate in costs for the plane ticket and hotel (in which case it helped having a friend in London where I could stay for few days).

 

In the end, however, the resulting offers were always artificially lowered because I lacked the 'AAA' license game name (the good old argument of 'Your engine was rendering non-licensed characters ? Then it is not a proper engine! ').

 

Despite UK being more and more multicultural, you have to be prepared for incredibly ridiculous questions related to your country of origin. I would suspect that might be even worse in your case, as you're from Sarajevo. But, you might be lucky...

 

I can also confirm that networking during events like ECTS / GDC helped immensely. Once people have your business card, you will be contacted (even 6-12 months after the given GDC / ECTS event) when they are in the hiring phase. So, if you truly want to get into gamedev, this is a proven (albeit expensive) route.

 

Of course, I assume you already are listed with several UK gamedev agencies.

 

 

If you, however,  need the Visa / work permit, then simply forget about it, unless you are already a proven top talent, in which case you would still be fighting against local top talent (which always wins, by definition).

 

Is Bosna&Hercegovina already a part of EU or not ? Sorry for not keeping up with latest EU inclusions - I cut myself off the news on Europe.

 

Also, note that about a year or two ago (could be more), the limitation present in original EU-founding countries on labour market (the one, where even if you are from a country within EU, you still need a work permit) has expired. Of course, if your country is not in EU, then it's of no help...


VladR    My 3rd person action RPG on GreenLight:    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92951596

 


#9 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:54 AM

I disagree that it is uncommon for studios to bring in foreign applicants - it's very common within Europe, and larger studios often have dedicated HR who are familiar with national procedures. It is usually only really uncommon in the case of places like the USA, where hideously restrictive immigration procedures prevent people from getting work visas even with company sponsorship.

 

Bosnia is in the process of accession into the EU. When this does happen, he'll have the freedom to work and live in any EU nation without any kind of visa.

You really are comparing two completely different situations.

 

Majority of Europe's workforce is already within EU AND the 10-year limitations on country of origin have already expired in countries like Germany/France/...

 

Thus, moving within EU - it's really like moving within US (from a legal standpoint). Yes, there's still a lot paperwork, but that's true in US too (I did a cross-country move with my family a year ago, so I have a pretty good idea on this).

 

I also have to disagree on what you say about company sponsorship in US.

IF your company is REALLY willing to bring you in, then they will do that. But unless they have a dedicated immigration resource in HR, it's probably not going to happen, since there's quite a lot of work involved with all the forms - sending it to certified lawyer, keeping up with latest changes in law, ....

 

From my experience,  the visa process to get to US was much smoother 4 yrs ago compared to the visa process to get to UK (about 15 yrs ago, when visas were required).


VladR    My 3rd person action RPG on GreenLight:    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92951596

 


#10 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 10:35 AM

Yes, most of the workforce is already within the EU, but then that's going to be the same with almost every industry in every continent having the bulk of it's workforce originate there (otherwise, why would the business exist in the first place?). It's however not uncommon to find South American nationals (I have worked alongside Brazilians and Venezuelans myself) working within the games industry in the EU. Asian workers and non-EU Europeans are also not uncommon within larger studios.

 

The visa situation in the US is very difficult, and it is often outside of the capability of the company to bring you over - regardless of how big they are, and even if you already work for them from another location. There limited numbers of new H1-B visas given each year (65k), with a significant number going to tech workers from Indian offices of certain established companies. When the annual limit is exhausted, no more will be issued. In addition to this, it is not possible to get an H1-B visa unless you meet a specific set of criteria, including holding a US recognised 3-year bachelors degree or higher, or the equivalent experience (usually held at 5 years of work experience per year of degree - so 15 years).



#11 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:02 PM

That is correct - if you are trying to get to US via H1B (though, there are other types of Visa - of course - H1B being most popular), then there's little the company can do about the annual limits. You'd have to wait and file the petition when the slots open up (for a day or two each year) - which is something that game companies do not really have to do, since there's an overflow of applicants into the gamedev grinder anyway.

 

I should have been a bit more specific. It's much easier to get transferred to US as a SW engineer outside of game industry.

 

After all, why should the company even bother with the whole Visa process, if there's an overabundance of local candidates willing to work for peanuts (or less) ?

 

Now, if they identified the exact match for some senior candidate, and they have a process in place to handle the paperwork AND they know they can wait 3-5 months till the interviews at US embassy take place, passports get stamped (and so on, and so forth) - Yes - it can happen.

 

But, I don't really think it's a very probably scenario, since here in US, there's a gamedev layoff every few weeks anyway - so there's lots of senior candidates ready to start working right away. Plus, the job mobility is an order of magnitude higher here (than in most parts of Europe). If you get through the phone IW on Monday and they tell you to come for onsite IW on Tuesday, you just jump on the plane and go...


VladR    My 3rd person action RPG on GreenLight:    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92951596

 


#12 Damir Halilovic   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 05:05 AM

Just to clarify - Bosnia isn't, and with the trends being as they are, never will be part of the EU, at least not in my life time. However, what I do know is that no matter where you come from, no one will reject you if you have money. Point being, I am currently working on establishing my own game development studio in Sarajevo... my country of residence doesn't really matter when online distribution is concerned. Wish me luck...


Edited by Damir Halilovic, 28 November 2013 - 06:02 AM.


#13 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:43 AM

Just to clarify - Bosnia isn't, and with the trends being as they are, never will be part of the EU, at least not in my life time. However, what I do know is that no matter where you come from, no one will reject you if you have money. Point being, I am currently working on establishing my own game development studio in Sarajevo... my country of residence doesn't really matter when online distribution is concerned. Wish me luck...

Well, that's not entirely true either. I can still very clearly remember, about ~6-7 yrs ago, when I created my first shareware game and started signing up with the online merchants, how Slovakia (my country of origin) was on the  "Red Menace" list - e.g. countries where majority of merchants declined you stating it is too much risk. Meaning, I could not even sign up for an account with the online payment processors.

Paypal / Xbox Live / PSN ? Same thing.

 

 

I don't know if that has changed in the meantime - and frankly don't care, since I live in US now, but I do know that that list contained all post-communistic countries.

 

Just because you're part of physical Europe does not really mean you actually are a part of online Europe...

 

So, unfortunately, it may still matter where the money comes from...

 

I do believe, though, that it may finally change in next few decades (say - around ~2050)


VladR    My 3rd person action RPG on GreenLight:    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92951596

 


#14 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:37 AM


I don't know if that has changed in the meantime

 

It's the complete opposite now. To top it off, Slovakia has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU.



#15 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:44 PM

 


I don't know if that has changed in the meantime

 

It's the complete opposite now. To top it off, Slovakia has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU.

 

Really ? Because I could swear I saw multiple threads (on Slovak game pages) this week where people were complaining about  STILL not being able to sign up to XBLA / PSN using their Slovak address and how the situation with PS3 / XB360 repeats with PS4/XBONE smile.png

 

And for the love of God, please do not bring up the decade-old argument of a macroeconomic "boost". Those virtual numbers only reflect the wealth of select few individuals there, and do not [in any way] reflect the well-being of 95% of population there. Sure, the MMF (Money MaFia) will praise that, since the banks get the upper hand (as they have been always) over whole country...

 

Incidentally, those ~7 yrs ago, we were also riding the top of the growth wave, yet - somehow - still on the "Red Menace" list for CC-companies dry.png

I will never forget how even paying for shareware games was plenty times impossible, since the credit card originated from the country on that list and was automatically declined.

 

 

Only OP can confirm if the situation is similar on Bosna, but this just goes to show, that money does not really always talk....


VladR    My 3rd person action RPG on GreenLight:    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92951596

 


#16 Damir Halilovic   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 06:54 AM

I can sign up for most services in Bosnia, Paypal works, PSN works, but that's about the extent of what I've tried.






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