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T1Oracle

Career paths

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Its been a while since I've posted here, but over a year ago I had thread here where I admitted that I attended DeVry which of course led to instantaneous DeVry bashing... Anyway, I still have a year left there and all of my friends who graduated still have jobs, and they never had to go outside of their field since earning their degree. Regardless, this is about me and the fact that I just landed job as a web developer with a fairly big company (they do work for NASA, the Navy, the Air force, etc) earning far more than I expected to without a college degree. The reason I chose to look for web dev work instead of game development is because, it looks so much easier to get into and I finish my web projects more often than I finish game projects. Now that all of this has transpired I feel I have learned a few lessons but I still have many questions. The things that I feel that I have learned is: 1) You don't have to go to a "traditional" university to get a good job. It is probably better that you go somewhere where you actually learn, than go somewhere that will give your parents bragging rights. 2) Studying the job market is just as important as studying for college exams. If I didn't know what employers wanted I would not have known that I should learn it. I also would have had less to impress them with at the interview. 3) Bringing a visual aid to the interview is a good thing. I brought printouts of screen shots of my work, and they loved it. 4) (This is more of a hypothesis still, but I feel that it is true.) It is better to show that you know something or can do something, than it is to say it although you should be clear in what it is you are showing. 5) People are biased in favor of their own methods, sometimes in life you must find your own path for there is no "one right" answer. My questions are: 1) Is web development a decent way to gain work experience and later move into game development? 2) If I do switch jobs to game dev should I expect a drop in pay? (I'm earning more than 50k/yr now) 3) Will game dev shops value the experience that a web dev can bring to the table? I don't know if it makes any sense to post this here, but I'm putting out my olive branch again in hopes that it will not be snapped off and burned...

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Quote:
Original post by T1Oracle
My questions are:
1) Is web development a decent way to gain work experience and later move into game development?
If you want to work at a game developer that does web based games (or in the web dept of a console/PC company) then yes.
Quote:
2) If I do switch jobs to game dev should I expect a drop in pay? (I'm earning more than 50k/yr now)
Probably.
Quote:
3) Will game dev shops value the experience that a web dev can bring to the table?
as for question 1.

There are lots of devs doing web based stuff now so its certainly possible to do games with your experience.

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The thing is, my strongest language right now is C++ by far. I do web stuff because finishing and sharing them has been easier for me, and I enjoying seeing others interact with my work.

Now I will be adding professional web dev experience to my repertoire. I hope it's value will go beyond just web based game dev, because in the end all development work involves customers, testing/debugging, maintenance, support, deadlines, collaboration, etc. Also, lots of games use databases and experience optimizing live databases should be useful.

Although I know that if I want to keep up with the 3D stuff, I'll have to keep doing my own private projects. Unfortunately, I'll have less time for that now that I'm juggling full time work and school.

I don't know how I should plan my career, I think I may like money more than game development but I still like 3D graphics development.

I need more people to talk to.

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Congratulations on landing the job, to tell you the truth I am rather surprised since I have read that Web development is extremely competitive and thus usually leads to lower wages. The thing about game development is that even if you are proficient with C++ and DirectX etc. most companies will require a university degree in Computer Science or Physics, or another related field no matter how much experience you have (unless you find a small company in a small town in which case expect to go no further). I don't mean to discourage you but when it comes to game development, or any sort of software development this is how the industry works now a days. For example, a friend of mine(teacher) has a bachelors of Physics, and a couple of(20) years ago he became a programmer in Newfoundland, he worked at that for about 5 years, and he was very good because his Physics background gave him a lot of the skills he needed, he came to Toronto, but was rejected by every software company he applied for because he lacked a degree specifically in Computer Science.

In short, if you are serious about becoming a game developer you should invest your time into a related university degree, most companies will look for one.

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Quote:
Original post by T1Oracle
4) (This is more of a hypothesis still, but I feel that it is true.) It is better to show that you know something or can do something, than it is to say it although you should be clear in what it is you are showing.

It's true. In fact, by showing it you also say it, but you provide some 'proof' (not a 100% of course, but it's certainly better than nothing).

Quote:
1) Is web development a decent way to gain work experience and later move into game development?

A good game programmer is first of all a good programmer. Having more work experience can never hurt, even if it's not within the field of game development. And I figure you are still at the start of your career, you still have the possibility to make the switch to games. In fact, I made that very transition when I had done web development for more than six years. I did have the relevant experience before (and some during) that period though.
Quote:
2) If I do switch jobs to game dev should I expect a drop in pay? (I'm earning more than 50k/yr now)

I don't know about the U.S. job market, but salaries depend on many factors: the size of the company, your position, your experience, your location, the supply and demand for specific skills, etc. I wouldn't worry too much about that.
Quote:
3) Will game dev shops value the experience that a web dev can bring to the table?

Like Obscure, I would like to refer to #1.

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Thanks to all who replied to this thread.

@lonewolf2852 I am 1 year from earning my degree, but it isn't in CS, it is in Computer Engineering and Technology. Not sure how that will be received. I wish I could just go for a masters in Math to show that I have the mathematics down, but although I am good at math I hate pure math. I also don't know if a masters in Math is an option after getting a CET degree.

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