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deadstar

Two announcements, and a big thanks to everyone here!

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Hi all, Yesterday, I received my final year University result - a First class honours in Computer & Video Games! Today, I was offered the role of Junior Programmer at Travellers Tales! I owe a lot to this community, so I would like to offer my thanks to every single member here. I've been using the vast collection of resources and help from the users here to create my engine and games over the past 3 years - a learning experience like no other - and finally it's all paid off. I've done it, guys! I've done it! I'm a computer games programmer! I would be happy to offer, in return, a run-down of my experiences during the test/interview stages, and a list of the kind of things they were expecting me to know before they would consider me, in the hope that someone else would find the information useful. But first, I'm off to celebrate with an ice-cold can of lager and a film!

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Congrats :) I would like to know what kind of things they were expecting from you before they considered you.

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Quote:
Original post by dmatter
Was this at The University of Manchester?


University of Salford.

Quote:
Original post by ViLiO
Is that TT Knutsford or TT Fusion in Wilmslow?


Knutsford, although 3 of my Uni friends recently got QA/Testing jobs at Fusion.

So, here's a few hints I can offer:

- Make sure your CV includes a 'skillset' list, on the first page. He seemed to enjoy jotting stuff down on the list, asking me questions about each skill.

- Make an online portfolio. Mine was unfortunately down for maintenence at the time, but the job agency were pretty keen for me to get it back up and running ASAP, and were very certain having ANYTHING to show before hand would have helped, however small. Eventually, all I could offer was a trailer video for an upcoming Xbox Community Games release, but it's better than nothing.

- Offer some sample code. I bravely shipped off the source to two entire 3D engines, one done at University using DX9, the other done in my spare time using OpenGL.

- Take something to show in the interview. I demonstrated my wxWidgets-based 3D level editor on my laptop, which I think was what secured the position, since they asked some wx stuff.

- Practice some register-based pseudo code. They gave me this strange test to do on paper, which involved manipulating a single variable in a 'workspace'. Difficult to explain, and I won't give an example because I'm unsure if the test contents were in the NDA. Research around for programming tests and have a practice.

- If you're going for a console-based developer position, brush up on your C! This is where I failed miserably, coming from a pure C++ background. It was pointer and malloc city, and I wrote a list of things I couldn't answer to research at home. Things like volatile pointers, byte alignment; stuff I'd never heard of.

- Brush up on your 3D Maths. Vector stuff, and Matrices (know what each column/row does). I was asked to identify unnamed 3D maths functions by studying the source. One returned the dot product of two vectors, one returned the square root of the dot product without using the SQRT() function (they loved their optimisation questions), stuff like that.

- Smart/casual dress at the interview. This isn't Tesco, so no jeans and T-shirt, but it's not exactly a bank manager's job either, so don't overdo it. I took a tie in my bag to see if any other candidates were wearing one, and I would have slipped it on whilst waiting if so. Nice idea, but I was the only guy there! I braved it without.

- Get a good reference. I'm lucky to have a very enthusiastic course leader, who gave me possibly the best reference I've ever seen. I was very grateful for it.

- When they ask the money question, don't get cocky if it's your first job. I simply asked what they paid the last junior programmer they hired, if the guy was happy with what he got, and if the company was willing to match it.

- Research the company. They asked me "so, why Traveller's Tales?". I explained how the company name had stuck in my head since my Sonic 3D days, and something about how highly I regard their company after looking at their games list. Memory's a little fuzzy.

I'll add some more as I think of them.

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