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Shelf-life of game programmers...

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All people who work for games companies seem young - under 40 if not 30. Is this ''cos it''s still a new industry and grows so fast that most people have to be young, or do programmers all get kicked out at 30? I don''t really want to devote so much time to working there (though I do really want to do it) if it means finding myself on the job scrap heap at 32! Do companies employ programmers up to 60?
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I work for a professional game company and i can tell you that we would be more than happy to hire a 50 year old with 30 something years worth of professional game programming. Any sane company would.

Believe me, once you actually work professinally with game programming it is like any other workplace. Experience is the main thing we rate when hiring. ( read: the only thing )

The reason why there are no ''old'' programmers is that there is none! Noone of the hundreds of applicants we get everytime we set out an ad in the paper has the combination of experienced competent graphics programmer and an age over 35.

But i can assure you that by 2030 there''ll be a lot of us :-)

/ Per

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Just a curiosity about age and professionality , I do not mean for game programming in particular or other " new economy " jobs.
In Italy is very hard to find a job if you are over 50, even though you are highly qualified , in other words , age is the main issue.
Is it the same also in U.S.A.?
Sorry for asking a question which is not focused on games

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I just want to say that in my experience CamelFly is spot on in his assessment here.

Jacob Marner, M.Sc.
Console Programmer, Deadline Games

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quote:
Original post by felonius
I just want to say that in my experience CamelFly is spot on in his assessment here.

Jacob Marner, M.Sc.
Console Programmer, Deadline Games


Ditto. And there are a few I know of in the UK who were "stars" back when I was growing up (C64 & Spectrum days) who are still working in hands-on game development today. For example John Gibson works at Warthog, he was 36 when that article was written (May 1984), do the maths...!

Many people move up the games industry job ladder in their mid to late thirties, so the grey haired "managing director" interviewing is often likely to have been a games programmer who moved up to lead programmer, onto senior programmer, tech director, then managing director of his own place etc...

I think the main reasons some people leave when they get older are when they become tired of some of the bad points of development (irregular long hours at crunch time which are no doubt a strain on people with families) or get mistreated in business deals/terms (I heard somewhere that Andrew Braybrook left the industry for that reason, not sure if its true.)


--
Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

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