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blueshogun96

Member Since 09 Jun 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:04 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Why learn STL library

09 April 2016 - 01:13 AM

Would you rather

 

A) Learn STL and not only make your life as a programmer easier but be able to understand existing and proven efficient code, or

B) Do everything the hard way and write your own classes from scratch?

 

The first and keyword being "standard", as in it is part of a standard.

 


Don't make the mistake of assuming, as most starting game developers do, that the standard library is "too slow" or just plain to be avoided. Don't make the mistake of assuming, as most starting game developers do, that "real (game) programmers" write every line of code they've ever laid eyes on. Don't make the mistake of assuming, as most starting game developers do, that using such a pedestrian library doesn't live up to the game-developers-as-programming-gods myth, and if you do then you'll never be elite. Don't make the mistake of assuming, as most starting game developers do, that you know what needs to be optimized before you've measured it with real tools that you really know how to use.

This.  I was one of those when I first started.  Keep in mind that STL has already gone through more scrutiny and battle testing than your game/program (whatever it is) EVER has or ever will.  Using STL isn't going to kill you unless you abuse it and/or not know how to use it properly.  On that note, Ravyne is also correct about STL not being always being "perfect" for all your gamedev needs.  Some things (as listed above) are not really designed for speed sake, but are often safer to use than your own solution if you don't know what you are doing.  I won't pretend to be an expert here, as surely Washu would put me to shame.

 

Btw, did you get the job?

 

Shogun.


In Topic: I am beginning to hate the IT and gaming industry (Part 2)

06 April 2016 - 05:10 PM

 


Okay, I remember you replied last time, but I wanted to make things a bit clearer just in case you didn't understand me now or prior. I haven't worked for any gaming related company/position since 2013 when I decided it was enough. So yes, I have applied and worked at many non-gaming companies and have been quite satisfied with most of those jobs. Needless to say, I've had much more success and fulfillment with non-game dev.

 

So, where exactly is the problem?

 

Is it that you would still like to work in the gaming industry despite your prior expieriences? Is your current job not so fullfilling, even thought it is more fullfilling than your prior game industry related jobs (or trying to get into the industry and never getting the job if that was your expierience)?

 

 

As far as I read it, you have a job that pays the bill. Good. That means you can now look for fullfillment and joy (given your day job is not already providing you with that).

If you are convinced that it is game development that can give that to you, why even try to get a job in the industry? Why not just see game development as a hobby, and do it on the side?

Yes, you do not get to work on games 24/7, and you are not able to be on the team that builds the next AAA blockbuster. On the other hand, you are free as to how and on what you work, with whom you work, and there is certainly no whiteboarding and assesments involved... just being nice to people you want to continue working with, and continuosly showing great skill and determination to keep the morale of all people involved up.

 

 

Again, I do not mean harm, just trying to give another perspective. To me it seems like you are not happy with your current situation, but I am unsure why that is.

 

I appreciate your response, but I'll try explaining this one more time.

 

No, I do not want to work in the game industry.  I discovered that in 2013 that it just is not for me because I'm treated better and paid more in non gaming positions.  It doesn't really have anything to do with the gaming industry either (at least this time) and I don't really hold any animosity towards it anymore either.  Maybe I shouldn't have given it the title.  Instead something else, because it's misleading.  Now, there's one exception, and that is working for myself.  I wish I could put more time into that, but I feel as if life is nothing but work to stay above water while not really having time for anything else.

 

I don't have a job anymore, because once again I've been laid off abruptly.  When I was working at my previous positions, I was actually quite happy and hated to leave.  The time I spent working at Microsoft on the Surface Hub was priceless and I would gladly work on that for years to come.  It's the continuous abrupt layoffs and poorly executed interview process that is burning me out.  Keeping a job IMO is much easier than getting one.

 

 

 

Once more, this is not meant to be a sob story nor I big long story of how I gave up on gaming.  If I don't tell anyone, my attitude isn't going to change, so I'm telling you guys since you've generally been good to me over the years.  I've only chosen not to work at a gaming company, that's all.  I guess this type of thread isn't very productive.


What are you trying to accomplish here, anyways? Nobody seems to be guessing correctly.


If you're doing this to change your attitude, you need one fundamental piece of advice:

Start by being truly open to changing your attitude.


Because this thread (much like the last one) reads as "Here's my complaints, now here's all the reasons why you guys are wrong and I should continue being bitter, abrasive, borderline toxic, and unpleasant about it all."

If you want to stop being perceived as bitter, abrasive, borderline toxic, and unpleasant, maybe you should stop complaining about things and then refusing to consider all the input that is offered.

Ultimately none of us can change your attitude, and unless you start coming across as someone who wants to be pleasant, nobody is going to sink much effort into your situation.



Of course, I probably guessed wrong as to what you're even here for, given your bizarre reticence to actually explain yourself.

 

I'm trying to find out what I'm doing wrong and how to avoid the cycle of "spend months hunting for new job, work for a while, get abruptly laid off before contract end date, repeat".

 

I'm sorry, but it's kinda hard not to be the way I am, especially when you've been denied unemployment, the last bit of money you have has gone to rent/bills, only given $26 for a month in food stamps, and loved ones depending on you especially when their fate is linked to your ability to perform!  When stuff like this happens so frequently, it's enough to burn out anyone over time.  Thank God I don't have any kids because I'd be a failure as a parent.

 

How I type is not how I seem in person.  It just feels easier to speak freely on a forum than in person.

 


You obviously like computers and probably math or you wouldn't have trained for a job in IT but, working in an environment that is toxic to you isn't good for your health and could actually end up with you resenting something that you used to enjoy (if it hasn't already).

It's not the work environment, it's the constant up and down time.  The work environment at Microsoft was perfect; not a thing I would add or subtract to the mix.

 

It was awesome, like this:

 

Gotta run, hopefully that makes more sense.

 

Shogun


In Topic: I am beginning to hate the IT and gaming industry (Part 2)

05 April 2016 - 02:11 AM

Once more, this is not meant to be a sob story nor I big long story of how I gave up on gaming.  If I don't tell anyone, my attitude isn't going to change, so I'm telling you guys since you've generally been good to me over the years.  I've only chosen not to work at a gaming company, that's all.  I guess this type of thread isn't very productive.

 

Good news: I'm being considered for a dev position at Verizon again.  Unfortunately, they are all the way on the eastern coast of Murica, and I told them I wasn't willing to relocate because I already have my roots here as well as my dedication to family and girlfriend who I value much more than any sum of money.  Since they are having a really hard time finding someone with the necessary experience besides myself (kinda hard to believe, isn't it?), they are considering allowing me to work remotely and possible travel from time to time from what I understand.  Considering the pay rate ($70/hr) and the sheer awesomeness of the job description, I'm going for it.  What's the worst they can do?  Say no?

 

Shogun.


In Topic: I am beginning to hate the IT and gaming industry (Part 2)

04 April 2016 - 02:31 PM

Btw, the reason I typed another rant was in hopes that someone could help persuade me to view otherwise.  So far, nobody has done it, in or out of this forum.  Don't worry, I promise this is the last time.

 


Charm wins

I'm not convinced.  There was nothing charming about me when I demonstrated skill that got me a job.

 


Do you ever ask your interviews for feedback or anything like that?

Assuming I'm reading you correctly (sorry, this is a bit ambiguous to me), interviewers give me feedback a day or two after the interview.  Asking for feedback before leaving is something they generally don't do.  So it kinda goes back to the "smile in your face until you leave" thing.

 

 

I do most of the technical hiring where I work, as in interviews.

 

I never liked the concept of whiteboarding because it's time consuming/wasteful/stressful. Instead, I simply break one of our smaller projects a bit, and ask them to build it. I check to make sure they notice the important errors, make sure they look at the class view of the components we're using to see why parameters are wrong, ask them where they'd put a debug write to figure it out. If they demonstrate the ability to make logical decisions (Most of the time it can't be resolved without in-depth knowledge of the app), they usually get a pass for the things they don't know.

 

It's surprising to me that if you out-perform your co-workers, you'll still be let go while working for a company like Microsoft... Have you tried speaking with your project manager about it, and stressing the fact that they often re-hire you wasting resources on more interviews?

 

the IT sector is extremely unfriendly to workers, game dev even more so... But I don't really understand why. Some of our core devs don't even have degrees, but were hired on their obvious skill. And when we have a team that delivers great software, we wouldn't consider cutting anyone just to save money... That money should be re-invested into the company, and the cycle of potentially hiring/firing devs all the time's costly.

I like this way of thinking, very much so.  I find this to be more practical than the typical whiteboard exam.  I found that interviews that involve an actual IDE and real world problems I enjoy even better.  Even though I didn't get the last position that interviewed me this way (not senior level enough), it was much more productive and I even learned a thing or two I could have improved on so that interview even though I failed was actually worth going to.  C#/Java and Selenium Webdriver is definitely a skill that can be mastered fairly easily.  As soon as I can afford to pay for my domain again, I'll spend a few moments automating my website and see if it's feasible for other stuff.

 

And yes, that's just how it is... when you're not a full time employee.  Chances are, they'll never find another guy who's able to write driver level GPU code and performance monitoring tools from scratch so easily either.  If I was full time, then getting rid of me would not be as easy.  And yes, I did talk to my managers about getting full time work.  Letting me go wasn't their decision, otherwise they'd have kept me because I was highly praised for my skills there.

 

Yes, it is quite hostile, hence why I left gaming as a career in 2013 permanently because I was fed up with being seen as a lesser employee and getting yelled at because I didn't do <insert here> to their immediate liking.  Working for non-gaming companies has treated me much better.  That's why I prefer working on the run of the mill software program in an traditional environment.  Better treatment, better pay.

 


Did you try to apply to non-game dev positions, or at least check out your chances to get such a position? Given that you are fed up with the game industry this much, and even a year later feel the same, Maybe the game industry is no longer for you?

Okay, I remember you replied last time, but I wanted to make things a bit clearer just in case you didn't understand me now or prior.  I haven't worked for any gaming related company/position since 2013 when I decided it was enough.  So yes, I have applied and worked at many non-gaming companies and have been quite satisfied with most of those jobs.  Needless to say, I've had much more success and fulfillment with non-game dev.

 


And while you might lack the job expierience now, maybe some short term education, as well as selling yourself well during interviews can help you over that hurdle?

Education won't really change anything.  It's quite rare that I'm asked for any degree credentials or turned down due to lack thereof either.  Also, when I say inexperienced, I mean it in regards to very specific areas.  I have 6+ years experience overall, but let's say you don't have enough experience (or none) using something like angular.js, Google Analytics, Selenium Webdriver, etc., then your previous experience is not likely to count.  Of course, those are things you can improve on yourself in your own time, but many times they expect you to have done it on another job before giving you a chance.

 


blueshogun96, on 04 Apr 2016 - 02:27 AM, said:


1. Whiteboarding

I've been involved in both giving and receiving of interviews many times.



Very few companies have ever asked me to write code on a whiteboard. I've had to solve problems and diagram things on a white board, but that is different from writing code. I don't require people to write code on a whiteboard.



In my job, many times I've needed to diagram problems and work out solutions where the whiteboard is the easiest thing on hand to help collaborate. So that part is realistic.



I agree that "write perfect code on a whiteboard" is an unrealistic assessment. If a company is doing that, they've got a terrible interviewing practice.



The process of "Let me explain and diagram a problem for you to solve", however, IS a realistic assessment because that happens all the time in my experience. That is fine.

 

This I am in full agreement with.  Things like flow charting, etc. is quite reasonable and realistic on a whiteboard.  Faster and more convenient too.  What I do like is when interviewers allow me to chart out my idea before diving into code at least. 


If your complaint is that companies are breaking their contracts with you early, and that it happens frequently, that is not like what I've experienced or witnessed, except for people who are toxic to be around. If the person is not sociable or difficult to work with, they will be gone, either for a contractor getting their contract terminated or a regular employee getting written up, having a "performance improvement plan" or similar document put together, and being fired a month later if the attitude did not completely turn around.

No, it's not a complaint, but a frustration nonetheless.  Contract to hire is also a challenge to find.  When a contract is ending, it's usually because the product has shipped, and they need less people to pay, so they start laying us off.  I just do my work to the best of my ability and go from there.

 


These are all very different entities.



Your assessment is correct that the smaller businesses are sometimes harder to get called back, and harder still to get the job. Sometimes it is easier. The biggest determining factor, in my experience, is how your job history looks. If you look like a job hopper, or like you cannot complete projects, your job history is suspicious.



Startups and small companies are more shy of people with suspicious records. If you've got five or ten years of experience somewhere they love it, you'll likely be an asset. But small companies usually have extremely lean budgets and they don't want to take a risk on a bad employee.



Big companies can usually afford to take more risks when it comes to workers with suspicious work histories.



If your resume is short, or if your jobs appear to be moving from company to company in under two years, whatever the reason, it makes sense that startups and small companies won't hire you. They will dig in and want to know the reason for each early separation. They can understand an early termination if the high-risk project was terminated, sometimes a person is unlucky and gets two such jobs. But more than that and they're unlikely to consider you for the risk.

Makes sense.  My resume is roughly 3 pages long though, and I've never had a permanent position before.

 


Someone who hates the industry (as it seems you do) will tend to have an attitude that is toxic to everyone. Those who work with the individual get frustrated and angry rather than taking pride in their accomplishments. People who do not enjoy their jobs tend to arrive late and leave early, tend to do shoddy work, tend to be bad employees.

Hence why I don't work in gaming anymore.  When working in non-gamedev positions, I'm much happier and productive.  But then the sudden lay off comes without any warning, and then I'm going through the frequent grind of the interview process (assuming I'm even getting that far).  As much as I've grown to detest working at gaming companies, I've never had any problem against the work from non-gaming companies.  It's just the hostile interviewing and layoff process that I'm getting tired of and what I am growing to hate.  When I started back at Microsoft, I was like "yeeeehaw!  Let's get this show on the road!".  So I hauled ass, not sagged ass.  I kicked ass, and not kissed ass.

 


Someone who hates the industry (as it seems you do) will tend to have an attitude that is toxic to everyone. Those who work with the individual get frustrated and angry rather than taking pride in their accomplishments. People who do not enjoy their jobs tend to arrive late and leave early, tend to do shoddy work, tend to be bad employees.

Read it again.

 


I've also never been asked to do whiteboard coding.

I wish I could find a company like this.

 


I suppose you've ruled out the notion that employers are using absurdly high standards of whiteboard coding and experience to weed you out for reasons unrelated to your actual technical competence? I wouldn't be terribly surprised at some employers having a "favored candidate" and going out of their way to make things tough for people who aren't that candidate - or don't "look" like their ideal candidate, either in terms of personality/temperament, experience level, or even (sadly) things like race or gender.

Eh, who knows?  I've heard stories about it.

 

Btw, who said anything about giving up?

 

Shogun.


In Topic: How beneficial can personal projects be?

04 April 2016 - 12:33 AM

Companies generally won't care unless those personal project games are big and/or profitable.  They will overlook it if you do not have experience.

 

Source: 6+ years in the game/software engineering field.  YMMV of course.

 

Shogun.


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