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Finding network programmers

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Not sure if this is the best place to post, but it's aimed at the people who'd be reading this forum (and hopefully a Mod can move if I've done something stupid and should have posted in a different forum). I was wondering if anyone here has any good ideas of places to look for good network programmers? (NB: we've already got an advert up on the front page of GD.net, but the response hasn't been as large as I'd expected).

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good network programmers

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but the response hasn't been as large as I'd expected


The interest tends to be directly proportional to the amount paid.

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What kind of network programmers? If it's for creating games, you may want to try a service such as Mary-Margaret or Creative Heads. You can also try industry fora such as the Game Developer magazine, or doing head hunting at trade shows.

In general, though, people with networking experience are significantly expensive, and may or may not want to move to your location. If you're around San Diego, San Francisco, or Seattle, you'll be in good order, as there are many studios around there; other locations around the world will vary.

Last, I looked at the postings on the front page, and didn't find anyone asking for a network programmer -- was this a while back?

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Original post by hplus0603
What kind of network programmers? If it's for creating games, you may want to try a service such as Mary-Margaret or Creative Heads. You can also try industry fora such as the Game Developer magazine, or doing head hunting at trade shows.


Sure, we do all that as well, but in general direct hires in games save around 15% on costs, which translates into higher salaries for the people we hire: everyone benefits. I'm just surprised at the low response from GD.net in particular.

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In general, though, people with networking experience are significantly expensive, and may or may not want to move to your location.


No problems have come up yet over salary. Many people probably have rejected it without contacting us because of the location (although I'd expect any experienced games dev to be intimately familiar with the money involved in "relocation" ;))

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Last, I looked at the postings on the front page, and didn't find anyone asking for a network programmer -- was this a while back?


http://www.gamedev.net/directory/careers/default.asp?jobid=1999

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Ah, the wonderful UK. Great if you like fog, haggis, and standing in line, eh? :-) (yes, I know Brighton is nowhere near Scotland -- having spent a summer in Bournemouth in my teens)

Also, the UK salaries aren't quite competetive with US salaries, from what I can gather -- even with the awfully weak dollar. Perhaps the audience of Gamedev.net is more US and possibly Asia than Europe?

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Ah, the wonderful UK. Great if you like fog, haggis, and standing in line, eh? :-) (yes, I know Brighton is nowhere near Scotland -- having spent a summer in Bournemouth in my teens)


And also the home of MMOG's ;)...

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Also, the UK salaries aren't quite competetive with US salaries, from what I can gather -- even with the awfully weak dollar. Perhaps the audience of Gamedev.net is more US and possibly Asia than Europe?


Depends whether you're talking about graduates or experienced hires. UK tends to pay much less for graduates, and more for seniors. Do you think people won't even apply from here because of their preconceptions about salary? That's a bit ... depressing.

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Depends whether you're talking about graduates or experienced hires. UK tends to pay much less for graduates, and more for seniors. Do you think people won't even apply from here because of their preconceptions about salary? That's a bit ... depressing.


Well, money is not the main reason. My original comment was assuming this is about one of those homebrewn MMORPG projects.

Part of the problem is this:
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* an experienced game developer, having written real-time multiplayer network code for multiple shipped titles


The "real-time multiplayer ... for multiple shipped titles" would likely translate into 5-10+ years of such experience. I think that many folks who develop the AAA MMORPG titles today don't have such experience.

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* understanding and/or experience of: client/server, peer to peer (P2P), UDP, TCP, IP, concurrency, distributed computing, dead reckoning, replication / distributed object architectures (DOA), synchronization, berkeley sockets, NAT traversal


Now this is much more problematic, since someone with such experience is unlikely to have the first requirement met as well. Just learning the ropes for C/S design takes a lot of knowledge and practice (theory, as well as design).

Then there's P2P, still an area of research for anything above multi-player.

DOA, distributed computing, replication, ... Well, one could write several PhDs on this, and still not be done with it.


I know what is actually required and why. But the sheer scope of these requirements, especially when taken literally, is likely to intimidate someone, or seem as an overkill, given the context of posting.

Networking is Hard, as Barbie would say. It involves true understanding of several quite difficult, and sometimes even unexplored concepts which require true knowledge, not just familiarity with API. Most of the useful articles on design and practice are PhD, ACM or IEEE level, and the casual articles involve tiny pieces of the whole picture, never explaining enough.

And the alternatives are quite limited. You can't make a showcase MMO server. Writing a server is easy - but making sure it scales to hundreds of users for 72 hours is not viable for freelancers.

Developing a showcase network game - once again, a freelancer may put together a simple game, but adding any realistic network play makes everything much more complex.

So in the end, it's not the lack of network developers as such, but possibly a disconnect between game development and other network developers. Many of which would likely be more than competent, but are not game-ish enough to consider applying. And I'm sure that everyone with "multiple published titles" isn't looking for a job, unless it involves individual recruiting and nice perks.

PS. Perhaps it should be noted that PlayNC's site also looks for junior network developers, where requirements might not be as harsh.

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I think that many folks who develop the AAA MMORPG titles today don't have such experience.


I don't think that's true. There are people with senior skills, if you're willing to pay for them. The problem is much more likely that job ads, in any form, isn't a good way to find those people.

Someone who is senior, is likely to have worked with a bunch of people, and developed friendships and contacts with people they respect and would like to work with again. When those people call about a new opportunity, is when that senior person might consider switching. And, if that senior person comes "on the market" through company collapse or something, he'll often call those friends, rather than a recruiter or job ad site.

It's depressing. It's depressing for us, too, and we're trying to recruit in Orlando, FL and San Mate, CA, two of the major hubs of networking and simulation! And, honestly, someone with kids in school and a position on the local Rotary club board (i e, someone with 10-20 years of experience) is unlikely to want to move away from where they live.

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