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Working hours for programming jobs

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To anyone whose ever worked as a programmer, be it as a games programmer or whatever, what kind of hours do they make you work? What kind of salaries are you looking at straight out of college for a programmer? I heard games programming doesnt pay as much.

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Hey Dede I notice you goto University Michigan Ann Habor. I envy you as that is one of the US top Universities, not to mention you must be very smart. If I could go there I would be as an international student its simply too expensive. How do you like the CS program? Or are you engineering major? I will download your game and check it out.

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Game programming is best done at home, while you do another kind of job like system management.

It would be best to work in Europe. All game development stories I heard about USA companies start with too optimistic planning and deadlines, then disappointment, then the last 4 months are ''crunch time'' in which you are supposed to work 7 days a week, 18 hours a day just to finish an arbitrary deadline some bonehead manager has agreed on with the published. All this while still getting paid for 40 hours/week only with no overtime.
Game programming is sadly a business that never learns. All projects the last 10 years have been the same. Get 10-20 people, make a planning for 12-14 months, work for 10 months, realise you''re only 50% done, then work in crunch mode for a few months and ship a game with a lot of features cut out, plenty of bugs, and network code cut and promised in an update, just to make that ''gold master'' date.
I love directx/game programming, as a hobby, to do when I feel like it. I would never want to make it my job.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by nonnus29
Learn COBOL, thats were the money is at; 9-5 awesome benefits.


Pretty sure you''re joking but there''s truth to that. A lot of companies, especially insurance companies, have large COBOL systems they still hack away in. I''ve been asked if I know COBOL in several interviews.

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quote:
Original post by asdasd12345
Orlando, FL, any kind of programming.
I actually goto Dearborn, not Ann Arbor. The address is www.umd.umich.edu.

umd -> dearborn.

It is one of the best small colleges in the state, but it isn''t the best.

''any programming'' is very difficult to judge. Like another poster said, mainframe COBOL programming is 9-5. ASM386 is name your own hours and your own price.

In Florda, I''d estimate a general entry level position is around $30,000-$35,000 a year.

The easiest way to break into game programming, IMHO, is to work yourself up from a tool programmer. It''s grunt work, but it helps you build contacts which you can use to do something besides game programming. Just tell your supervisor that you''d rather be doing game programming, and if he has any minor assignments, you can handle them.

~~~~~
Adam & Eve "did not know right from wrong, therefore God could not punish them whenever they did all those things that really creeped him out." - Ghastly.
Download and play Slime King I.

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I work 8:30AM to 5:15PM five days a week except for one or two days a month, prior to milestones, where I work 8:30AM to 11:00PM ( or later, depends on the bugs ). During finalling, for the last six weeks I work until 7:00PM, and in the last two weeks I usually work 8:30AM until 5:00PM unless something comes up at which point I could be at work all night long. While finalling the game I am on call and can be expected to be called 24 hours a day to come in with no notice, but in practice this rarely happens unless I really screwed something up. Over five shipped titles I think I've work 10 really late nights, so it's not so bad. The salary ranges are low for juniors but you work your way up the salary range if you prove yourself.

As a final note, I often find that no one makes me work late hours - sometimes I choose to work late because I like my job.


This is in Western Canada.

[edited by - Sphet on November 10, 2003 9:54:44 PM]

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In my old job at a game company we worked insane hours (upwards of 60 hours a week). The company was very small (3-4 people in the beginning) and we were taking on multiple projects so it was pretty rough. If you join a more established company it shouldn''t be nearly that bad though.

In my new job (not game oriented) work hours are very flexible and usually around 40 hours a week (or less) when working efficiently. If you don''t get your stuff done then you''ll end up doing some overtime, but that''s nearly always the result of poor planning.

As far as salaries, for top-notch programmers you can go very high still. Experience on shipped products is a key determiner in the games industry however. I''d estimate for a good programmer 30-50k would not be completely out of line.

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You should try your question on interviewers. Well organised organisations will have reasonable (9-5) hours, breaks etc.

Those that work in chaos (or small companies trying to hammer the code out to make a living) will have longer, somethimes much longer hours.

It is up to you which you go work for, personally I like having a life.

As to COBOL! I can (well could) program in COBOL and promised myself I would never ever no matter what, do it for a living ever.

Good luck finding that ''right'' job.



BaelWrath

If it is not nailed down it''s mine and if I can prise it loose,
it''s not nailed down!

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