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Member Since 22 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 11 2015 04:40 AM

#5170273 Stuck in a rut, need some advice!

Posted by on 30 July 2014 - 04:55 AM

Hi forum, I've spent a lot of time here reading FAQs and old threads, but still cannot seem to find an answer to my current dilema. I am a programmer, looking to take my skills into the gaming industry. I graduated with a Masters in Software Engineering in 2012, and a BSc in Computer Science in 2009. The town I work in has very little programming opportunities, and I currently work as a retail consultant in a phone shop.


My current occupation I know is odd, its a job to pay the bills which Ive been stuck in for several reasons (mostly due to refusing to travel long distances, which I realise is crippling me). That aside, I've been stuck to not applying for game industry jobs even if I find some available. Why? Take for example a position as a Server Application Engineer. They require the applicant to know SQL, PHP and Node.js. Brilliant, I know SQL and PHP, but I have never touched Node.js in my life. I suddenly feel Ive fallen short of the job's requirements, and dont apply for fear of wasting the employer's time.


So my first question is, how often do people get into jobs where they are hitting around half of the position's requirements? The few that I have replied for I tend to not get a reply. But as a programmer, and with so many different languages out there, I find it very difficult to hit 100% of an employer's requirements.


My next question is, what path should I take towards hitting these requirements to break into the industry? I currently have a few options.

  1. Do a Masters in Game Development. I'm extreemly reluctant to do this, because I feel having three degrees is overkill. I do realise however it would alow me to network well with other people in gaming and teach me some good specialist skills.
  2. Continue building my portfolio. I enjoy doing this, but don't think its giving me the necessary skills. I'm currently working on a strategy/survival android game which is built in Java with LibGDX, and I would like to finish the project. But hardly any employers seem to be looking for Java game developers, so perhaps I should make better use of my time?
  3. Widen my skillset. Probably the hardest path as I would have to self motivate myself with only the small amount of time available to learn technology like Node.js; something I feel nessesary to meet the requirements for a job, but other than that have little interest in knowing.

All of these paths I know are benificial to break into the industry, I'm just looking for the best place to focus my spare time at the moment. I seem to find so few graduate jobs available in the gaming industry, so it seems I need to work that much harder in order to compete with experienced game developers. Any advice is appreciated, and thanks in advance :)