Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Boppper

The transition from student to developer

This topic is 4609 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hey guys. For the past 8 years my passion has been games. I realised that I was different from my friends seeing as how I knew or had played every game, whereas my friends were casual gamers who were mainly console oriented, and pretty much stuck to one genre. From an early age I was always fascinated not only by the games, but the technology behind it. Even when I was younger I was already thinking from a developer's point of view, imagining how a game was made, the code and all the talent behind it, what I would like to change in that game, etc. From that moment on I realised that I wanted to be a game developer. I recently started university and am loving it. We are using JAVA as an introduction to programming, and am loving it already. Even though the learning process may be slow, especially when starting from scratch (learning the actual theory of object oriented programming), I find it really rewarding to complete a program and have it work. Coming to my question, I have realised that a lot of the job offerings listed on this site are for positions that require previous experience. I was interested in hearing in some of your own personal experiences of how you have entered, or are thinking of getting into the game's industry. If I get my masters in software engineering as I am planning to do, while studying C/C++/C# on the side, what next? Where will I get that "minimum work experience" required to have a chance of getting a job? I am unsure of the general employment process here in Finland, but am wondering if anyone here has undergone some sort of junior/trainee program or job. If I cannot find a game development job right out of college, should I consider getting another job besides games that requires C++ and software engineering, or should I consider the possibility of emmigrating? So my main question is, what is or are good stepping stones in order for me to reach my goal? Any other advice would also be welcome :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Internships are key. Start looking early. Don't bother waiting for companies to post job offers; send resumes and cover letters to any game studio that interests you. (The cover letter is vitally important for unsolicited internship requests.) Finland may not be exactly the Silicon Valley of game development, but there have to be at least one or two studios there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the advice. Finland is a pretty advanced place in terms of IT, being both the birthplace of Linux as well as having a place here referred to as "the second silicon valley" :P

As for game developers, I know of two major ones located here, being Remedy (Max Payne) and Bugbear Entertainment (Flatout). Hopefully by the time I finish university in 4 to 5 years time there will be a little more to offer. If not, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of looking elsewhere.

For a coverletter, what is the benefit of including sample code? To what extent should I develop this sample code?

Ty again for the advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Boppper
For a coverletter, what is the benefit of including sample code?

Very little. Your programming skills will be tested in a job interview, not on the application. Your cover letter should focus on getting the company interested in you, and showing your interest in the company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you been in an interview situation where you have been tested? If so, could you tell me as an example?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd suggest you take a look at this book:

Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471383562/103-8675010-8810246?v=glance

I found it very helpfull, it's a great catalogue of interview type programming questions.

Good Luck,
- James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you, I will have a look!

Does anybody else have any other general advice that I could use as a student? For example when to begin my transition to C++ etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As always in business you need to keep the pressure on companies that you want internships in. Sending a cover letters are perfectly ok, try follow them up with phone calls though as most businesses get a lot of mail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Does anybody else have any other general advice that I could use as a student? For example when to begin my transition to C++ etc.


Now. Right this second. Stop reading this post and go find some tutorials, right yourself a little applet, etc. Maybe if you have already written some Java programs, try writing an equivalent in C/C++ (as this will help you learn the syntax and nuances without worrying about the design of the code).

The sad truth is, everyone loves games. Dev studios want to see not just passion, but enough passion to actually go and write something, in your own time, for the fun of it. Then they'll start looking at ability, knowledge, experience, etc.

You'll also find you'll get much better at coding the more you do it. (I'm still learning something new every day). The earlier you start, the better you'll be when you start applying for jobs.

What are you waiting for? Get to it! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks :) And I am writing code already daily. I ordered a C++ fundamentals book also that is focused on games, which should get me on my way. This has all been very helpful, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!