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After Receiving B.A. in Computer Science

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My first thoughts, APPLY! No on a serious note, look at some game companies and go to careers and see what they are hiring for, look at the requirements they desire. If you meet them, apply if not, work on getting to that point, maybe look into internships. Try Blizzard Entertainment they are always looking, try PlayNC as well. Maybe even Bioware I think they were looking last month.

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Well I'm actually a high school senior right now who is going to major in Computer Science when I enter college. I was just wondering what was the quickest way to get a job. Apparently game companies are always looking for people. I thought there was a "getting known" aspect to get a job.

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Well, the first thing you need to do is make yourself presentable. Remember, you're coming to them, not the other way around. Do not speak selfishly (overuse of the word I and My). Why should they choose you over others? Do you have a specialty that other people would normally lack? How can you benefit them.

I made myself known to the local game developers by email. Keep in mind that even if you are rejected, your name has been brought up. Make the first impression a good one.

Since you're in high school still, look for a normal part-time job and save up money. Program for the sake of programming in your spare time. You will, in all likelihood, be starting out as an intern. If there is a game developer in the area you live (as there was with me), wait until after you graduate from high school before trying to get an intern position. My grades tanked and I ended up $750 USD in debt to my parents for car repairs and gas because I didn't have a normal job for a regular income.


Summed up:
1.) Scope out the local game dev. scene.
2.) Introduce yourself. Don't instantly go on a tangent about what you want. Tell them why hiring you is a good idea (not might be a good idea).
3.) Program. Even if you're rejected, keep at it and try again. (I would think 6 months would be a good time to give it another shot). Hey, that first attempt may help you out. They know your name and now know you're serious and persistent.

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Since you haven't started yet, my best advice for you is start programming now in any spare moment you get. Probably going to want to look into C++ as your school will probably start you out at that, at least mine did. Do basics the "Hello world" tutorial which is simple and read, read and read some more. Try looking into the book "Accelerated C++", it would help to have a head start as some programming classes can be fast paced. It can take years to be expert in programming, if you don't have the time for C++ right now, try taking on C# it is easier to learn at least when I took it I found it easier.

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The very best that you could do is to spend your coming years in college wisely. Success in academics is largely a fine balance between taking your studies seriously and taking some time off for yourself to enjoy life. University is expensive, so don't waste your money: make the best of it.

Get to know your professors. Professors have a huge amount of knowledge, and as a general rule they enjoy demonstrating this. Ask smart questions that go beyond the material in class but are still relevant; in doing so you will demonstrate your intelligence and give the professor a chance to demonstrate his. Ideally you'll end up with nearly a "working" relationship with your professors. Further, do not hesitate to visit your professors during their office hours; only good can come out of it.

Get to know your classmates. They could very well become important job contacts in the future; and the future may be sooner than you expect. My first semester of college I got a job offer from one of my classmates who happened to work at a local software company.

Be sure to socialize, but take your studies seriously. Take a reasonable number of courses. Don't overburden yourself with too many credit hours; it's better to spend a little extra time in college and learn the material more thoroughly than to rush through and gather only a superficial survey. Pursue your interests in your spare time. Universities aren't career mills; they do not prepare you for a specific career nor should they. The point of attending university is for you to gain a solid understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of your subject from people who perform research in these fields; it's your responsibility to learn whatever else is needed to get a job.

Finally, "take your studies seriously" is not the same statement as "obsess over grades." Grades are certainly important, but it's a fact of life that at some point during your time in college you will get an asshole instructor. The best you can do in such a situation is to recognize that the grade he gives you doesn't necessarily reflect your competence or your adherence to the class policies and to move on and forget about the class and the teacher. Don't cause yourself undue stress because of anything like that.

Doing these things should guarantee that you'll be in a good position upon graduating.

Good luck!

[Edited by - nilkn on March 17, 2009 1:23:23 PM]

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