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VanillaSnake21

Is it hard to get hired

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I hear that game programming is a very competetive profession and that because a lot of people want to do it its hard to find a job. Is that true. And in general how would I start looking for a job if I've never worked in that field before. Thnx

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Quote:
Original post by VanillaSnake21
I hear that game programming is a very competetive profession and that because a lot of people want to do it its hard to find a job. Is that true.


Yes. It is hard. If you want to give up, that's OK. We don't want people who are worried if it's hard or not. "Weaklings need not apply."

(Note: I'll gladly answer the 2nd part of your question if you decide that you're not worried, or a weakling, after all.)

[Edited by - tsloper on December 12, 2006 11:07:02 PM]

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It's hard to find a game programming job, but not because there's a billion other people looking for a game programming job. Game companies are chronically understaffed. Rather, it is hard to find a game programming job because most applicants aren't good enough.

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Quote:
Original post by VanillaSnake21
And in general how would I start looking for a job if I've never worked in that field before. Thnx
You go to companies web sites and click on the "Jobs" link.

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The hiring habits where I work seem to be "Oh s*** we're starting a new project and don't have quite enough people". Other than that, I don't see new faces very often. Almost nobody has *left* the company since I've been there, either, so the chances of a position opening up are slim.

If you wanted to get hired at a company that operates like that, you'd have to know when they were going to start a new project. And since new project info is usually Top Secret(tm), you may not ever hear back from that company. Sometimes (like me) you just have to get lucky with the timing (and kick as much ass as you can).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
One other thig to consider is if you are willing to do the work for the pay. The runors of long hours and low pay didn't come form nowhere.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
One other thig to consider is if you are willing to do the work for the pay. The runors of long hours and low pay didn't come form nowhere.


If stories about a bad work environment are enough to scare you away, then you are better off in some other industry.

Even when I did database work at a large insurance company I was occasionally asked to work extra time. Even back in high school, fast food joints needed extra work to cover shifts and as a janitor sometimes somebody needed to be covered for vacation.


That said, everything really varies by company. Each company has it's own environment. Some pay well, others pay poorly. Some are high stress, some are not. Some have high morale where everybody is positive and you feel a blast of fun when entering the building, others suck the life out of you when you walk up the steps.

Two local companies are notoriously bad, where they literally do use people as slave labor for in some reports up to 100 hours per week. Several people at this place have come from there, and there are many nasty reports.

But that is not my personal experience. Perhaps I have been lucky or perhaps I have listened to other people to avoid the bad places.

I have been fortunate in that I have never been required to work long hours.

Normal work hours are 8-5 or 9-6 with a one hour lunch. Even those are flexible as long as the work gets done and people are here for the important meetings. There is a crunch time at the very end where the project managers want all the bugs fixed, and finally change the status of a bunch of bugs to KS (Known Shippable) and the few remaining critical bugs are fixed. Good project management is CRITICAL to avoid a crunch time.

There will *ALWAYS* a few times in your career that you will need to work late, or work on Saturday. No company is immune, both inside and outside of game development.

Of course you are not required to work them. Don't do the time and you might end up out of a job, but you still have a choice. What varies is the extent of 'optional'. Sometimes it is a mild request, sometimes it is a very firm stand that you should be there, and sometimes it is under threat of losing the job.

For all but one of the projects I have first-hand knowledge of, we have had optional requested extended overtime that everybody ends up taking to some extent. I have worked several Saturdays and stayed late several times, but it has always been voluntary. Very few people voluntarily spent 80+ hours, but there are a few who chose to do it.

The one project that wasn't the case was almost entirely due to bad management. The management admitted it, and had documentation to show that from day one they expected the schedule to slip because it was too much work with not enough staff. They required 12 hour work days (60 hour weeks) for the last two months, and gave a big paid vacation and perks after launch.

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frob wrote:
>If stories about a bad work environment are enough to scare you away, then you are better off in some other industry.

No kidding. Look, if the OP is worried if it's hard to get hired, then he should look into some other line of work.

Pretty much anything worth doing or worth aspiring to is hard. Just asking "is it hard" means the asker is doomed to fail right from the outset.

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talk to the Better Business Bureau in your area, they're very good at keeping track of business that abuse employees, are badly managed or just suck at what they do.

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