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Murtasma

Do developers enjoy what they do?

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I am currently employed as a System Administrator. I have worked in several locations not as a Sys Admin the entire time but, always on the side of providing computer support. What I have noticed is generally nobody enjoys what they do on the IT support side. It can be very frustrating at times because, employees tend to slack off and cut corners which results in more work for the team in the long run. Along with nobody really enjoying what they are doing, few actually take the time to learn new things. There really isn't a whole lot to the support side of the computer industry. Changes are slow; it's usually the same repetitive tasks over and over again. There is little if any challenge for me anymore. There are all sorts of hoops to go through to get anything proactive done. A whole bureaucracy to get through just to get something innovative implemented. Here is my background. I have worked with computers since I was about 8 years old, I am 23 now. I have several certificates related to providing support to end users such as MCSE, General Networking Operating Systems ect. I have attended a few computer classes at a local community college however 90% of my knowledge is self taught. The problem I have is where I currently am at there is little room for advancement. I have other skills that are not utilized in my current field such as programming. I write scripts every now and then but, I don't consider this programming. I am very familiar with Visual Basic. I started programming at the age of 16 in Visual Basic, mostly creating applications for myself to help speed work along. At my age I see a lot of future opportunity but, not in the industry I am involved in. I love to be challenged but, providing support to "retarded" end users is not the kind of mental challenge I am looking for. I have been an AVID and I mean AVID Hardcore Gamer since I was very young. When I am released from the prison I call work my escape is playing video games constantly. I have purchased almost every video game system and have a massive collection of games. Video games give me inspiration like nothing else in this world. Recently I had an epiphany that, hey you play video games so much, you enjoy programming and it's a new challenge with every new project I create for myself. Perhaps now is time for a career change. I am very very interested in getting into the video game industry. Mostly the programming side. I have other skills such as modeling, artwork, and music however programming is most certainly my strong skill set. However I am fairly well versed in anything that can be done with or on a computer including hardware. On to my question... Do video game programmers enjoy what they do? What is the environment link? Are people hardworking willing to learn new things. I think the video game industry has a more fresh feel too it. Newer idea's greater enthusiasm. I understand they yes it's a grid just like any other job out there. It can be a royal pain sometimes but, those things pass. What I want to know is from people in the industry do you usually wake up in the morning excited to go to work? I am willing right now to drop everything relocate (I am in Michigan) to attend classes at a trade school such as Full Sail, UAT ect. I have newer programmed a video game however a few days ago I purchased a book on the Video Game industry with the name "Breaking into the Video Game Industry" I have almost finished the book and I have the feeling that yes this is what I need to do with the rest of my life. I also bought some books on programming in C/C++ creating video games. I will start working though the examples and see what I can learn on my own before starting classes to try and get familiar programming video games. I have a natural ability to pick up programming so this part doesn't scare me. Personally I love the challenge. I would just like to hear from some real people out there with real jobs. Am I heading in the right direction? PS: Sorry for all the rambling.

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If you work hard for achieve your dreams, you will obtain a successful life.
Game Industry is some similar to the Music Industry. Innovation is the key, and take risks is the rule.

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Ah! Also, you should be prepared to run your own bussiness. May you would start as independent freelancer.

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I find the topic question quite interesting. Maybe this topic should be moved to the lounge so it gets the attention it deserves?

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I think any _good_ programmer has to be fairly motivated and enjoy what he does, because there are so many times when the easiest things (or so they seem) go wrong. Its a very frustrating art, but it can also be very rewarding. Its just so much work that I think a programmer has to enjoy his job.

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Quote:
Original post by Murtasma
Do video game programmers enjoy what they do? What is the environment link? Are people hardworking willing to learn new things. I think the video game industry has a more fresh feel too it. Newer idea's greater enthusiasm. I understand they yes it's a grid just like any other job out there. It can be a royal pain sometimes but, those things pass. What I want to know is from people in the industry do you usually wake up in the morning excited to go to work?


Hmm, the best way to put it is that if you don't enjoy it, you tend to find another career. Typically, you can get paid more in other industries, and usually get a more regular workload too.

So those who actually stick with it only have one reason, really. It must be because they like it. [grin]

However, the other side is that there's a fairly high burnout rate too. A lot of people get into game development, enjoy it for a couple of years, and then burn out due to too high workload and too much stress. And then they usually find a different job in another industry.

Quote:

I would just like to hear from some real people out there with real jobs.

Oops, I don't qualify there. I'm just a student interested in game development. but the above is what I've heard from countless sources. [grin]

Quote:

Am I heading in the right direction?

Well, Full sail isn't mandatory. Some kind of programming-related degree is more or less a must these days, but a general CS degree is typically just as good as a specialized one from Full Sail or other game dev schools.

But anyway, are you headed in the right direction? If it's what you want to do, then yes. [lol]
If you don't enjoy your current job, it's time to find something else. If you think you'd like making games, then go for that.

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I work as a programmer doing engine/gameplay work and most recently leading the design and development of our new tools. I am not much older than you at 26, and can not imagine a better career. I love going to work everyday, which is the case with just about everybody I work with. Some of us work on things from home in the evenings or on weekends (my wife doesn't always like this, but is happy that I love my job that much), but don't think that long hours are "required". We pull a few extra hours around big milestones, but people pretty much work a 40 hour week. I hope this helps. By the way, if you are looking at colleges, I would highly recommend Digipen...I was the second DP graduate at my company, and now we make up half of the programming staff (including our lead engine programmer). I know everybody has an opinion on game schools...I just thought I would give you mine.

Good luck,
Scott

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Wow thanks for the great responses! Where I work more then 1/2 the team members don't have a degree supporting our systems here. They are not seeking one. They got the job based on past experience or working as temp for many years. Once you have the job here (local university) due to labor laws it's very hard to get rid of someone. No one does any work from home, everyone just does enough not to get fired.

From the previous posted this is exactly what I am looking for a job where if you don't know the stuff you will get canned and if you can't take the pressure which probably means you don't enjoy the work you will find work somewhere else.

I love taking scripts home and working on them. I want to eat and breathe my job however breaks every now and then are a must. I mean I still got to play video games right!

BTW: Is it possible for me to move this thread to the lounge like recommended?

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Quote:
Original post by scott_l_smith
I hope this helps. By the way, if you are looking at colleges, I would highly recommend Digipen...I was the second DP graduate at my company, and now we make up half of the programming staff (including our lead engine programmer). I know everybody has an opinion on game schools...I just thought I would give you mine.

Good luck,
Scott


I was considering DigiPen as well. I have to do a lot of reseach on the schools first but that is in my top 3. I really need to figure out how I am going to fund this endevor, any possible scholarships ect. How much did it cost to attend?

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Another happy game developer checking in [smile]


At this point in your life, you're young enough that I'd say just go for it. Worst case you'll burn a few years and find out you don't actually enjoy programming - but you'll have learned plenty, especially about yourself. Better to take the risk and have it turn out badly than spend your life miserable and wondering "what if."

And, of course, if you get lucky, you'll find yourself with a great career.


As has been mentioned, people in this business have to be highly motivated, constantly looking for self-improvement, and generally enthusiastic about what we do. Just be aware that what we do is not at all like playing games all day - I've played a grand total of two different games in the past 5 months, and haven't beaten either one of them yet. For the right sort of person, the work is still enjoyable - for me personally the challenge and reward of building a complicated system is an even better rush than finishing all three Doom games on Nightmare [wink]

Again, I say give it a shot - find out if it's right for you. There's plenty of great advice stashed around in various threads here about getting started in the industry, so you should be covered.


Best of luck!

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