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What to put on my business card

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GDC is almost here, and I need to order my business cards ASAP. However I'm not sure what I should put on it. I am currently a student, and know not to put that on there. But other than contact information, and the word "Programmer", what else should I put on there? I enjoy coding anything that goes into a game, but I think putting on there that I am a generalist would be bad. Or maybe I shouldn't put anything more. What are other peoples' take on this? Any suggestions?

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I am also a student, and since you are one I wouldn't say being a generalist programmer is bad. As an entry level programmer or intern you probably won't be doing anything other than generalist work when you start anyway.

I think Darius Kazemi mentions some good business card stuff in one of his networking tutorials.

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Original post by M4573R
1. I am currently a student, and know not to put that on there.
2. But other than contact information, and the word "Programmer", what else should I put on there?

1. It's not a total no-no. Your purpose for going to GDC is just to network, isn't it? You could put "Class of 2011" or something on there.
2. This is YOUR chance to be creative and unique, by classifying yourself in a way that'll make other people remember you, in a good way. If you put a label on the card that is just like what others also do, then that's not nearly as memorable and unique.
Make some columns of words that describe you, why doncha. Just thinking out loud:

Column A:
Tall
Hairy
Thin
Lovable
etc.

Column B:
Dude
Wizard
Guy
Techie

Try mixing and matching words from column A and column B until you hit something that makes you chuckle, and doesn't seem like a bad thing to put on a card.

Just a thought

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I won't be able to finish school with a full time job. From what I've heard, student business cards are thrown out. If I can think of something unique to put on there, I can do that, but should I still try to put something on there like "Graphics, Gameplay, Tools" ?

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Original post by M4573R
1. I won't be able to finish school with a full time job.
2. From what I've heard, student business cards are thrown out.
3. If I can think of something unique to put on there, I can do that, but should I still try to put something on there like "Graphics, Gameplay, Tools" ?

1. Of course. Finish school before you go for the full time job. Don't go for the job until you finish school. Like I said before, you're just going to GDC to do some networking anyway, right?
2. You've heard this from whom? And student cards are thrown out by whom (according to those other whoms)? Like I said before, you're just going to GDC to do some networking, right? Or are you quitting school and going to GDC looking for a job? Because that's not likely to work out for ya, no matter what you put on your card.
3. This is your chance to be CREATIVE. You seem to be telling us that you can't be creative...? You could put that on your card, then. "Leave the creativity to someone else, that's what I always say!" Or "Strictly technical engineering type." Although I still think my column A and column B idea is better. In my opinion, humor is an attractive quality, and it's good to express it. Especially if you're a student and you're just doing some intelligent networking.

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Original post by M4573R
I won't be able to finish school with a full time job.

Finish your degree first. Finish it all the way.

If you happen to get a part time in your chosen field while at school, that's fine, just remember that your primary goal is to FINISH THE DEGREE.
Quote:
From what I've heard, student business cards are thrown out.
Business cards are conference currency.

You give them a card, they give you a card. It's the normal exchange. I recommend one pocket for 'out', one pocket for 'in'. It makes it easier to grab a card, and keeps the received cards in one place.

It does not matter to you what they do with your card. They might discard it, they might keep it on file, they might frame it and put it on a wall, they might use it as kindling the next time they go camping. This is unimportant. Recruiters and employers get several hundred cards at major conferences, and they don't use them to call in for interviews.

What matters is what you do with their cards. You are the one who wants to contact them. You are the one looking for industry contacts. You are the one looking for well-connected recruiters. You are the one looking for future employers. You are the one looking for future mentors. Collect the cards so you can get in touch with specific people inside the companies.

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Original post by M4573R
1. What about going for internships?
2. This was what I read:
http://bbrathwaite.wordpress.com/2008/01/19/business-card-titles-the-dark-truth-about-student-business-cards/

1. Then you can put "student" on your card. Because the only people who go for internships are students or recent grads.
2. Don't give us a link to a whole article to read. Tell us what sentence or idea of that article you have a question about.

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Apologies, you asked about who said they threw out student cards. It was said: "...as a game developer, I threw away student cards either at GDC or as soon as I got home." However if companies that offer internships don't do this, then I will put on there that I am a student.

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Original post by way2lazy2care
I am also a student, and since you are one I wouldn't say being a generalist programmer is bad. As an entry level programmer or intern you probably won't be doing anything other than generalist work when you start anyway.

I think Darius Kazemi mentions some good business card stuff in one of his networking tutorials.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I see things from inside of the industry (but it could be simply that this is the way I work where I work, and not anywhere else), Generalist programmers aren't entry-level jobs.
As a matter of fact, they are pretty much the last step before jobs such as techno, etc.
If someone was to be hired here, they wouldn't be generalists for a fair amount of while. Besides, generalists also get their specialities... Just wondering if I'm correct on that structure.

Oh and for the card, I'd put something simple and fancy. Two coloured lines? why not...

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Let me put it this way.

Unless you make an awesome impression, as a student your card will get thrown away without being read. If you make an awesome impression, it wont matter what you write on it as long as its got your contact info. So I wouldnt stress about it.

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Original post by Orymus
If someone was to be hired here, they wouldn't be generalists for a fair amount of while. Besides, generalists also get their specialities... Just wondering if I'm correct on that structure.

Oh and for the card, I'd put something simple and fancy. Two coloured lines? why not...


I stand corrected :-p

What would you say an entry level position would be? I guess I figured programmers would work their way deeper and deeper into their specialty while jr. programmers would handle less important higher level tasks.

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper3. This is your chance to be CREATIVE. You seem to be telling us that you can't be creative...? You could put that on your card, then. "Leave the creativity to someone else, that's what I always say!" Or "Strictly technical engineering type." Although I still think my column A and column B idea is better. In my opinion, humor is an attractive quality, and it's good to express it. Especially if you're a student and you're just doing some intelligent networking.


The 2 column idea is something I hadn't thought of.

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I understand your interpretation. Where I work, generalists are accomplished programmers that have acquired variety of knowledges from diverse mandates. For example, someone who has worked on AI, Combat, graphical, etc, eventually becomes the "all-purpose" guy or general "gameplay-go-to-guy" whereas the new guys will be seen performing very specific areas of interest, normally based on what they did prior to coming into the industry. Say, the guy was hired because he was particularly good with HUD programming? He will be hired as such, and slowly work his way into different mandates.

When enough mandates have been accomplished, he would become generalist so to speak... Of course, there is also the possibility to come back to a proficiency later (techno guy for example) but most of them will be entitled generalists. They may, for a moment in the project, work on a certain specific aspect (combat team, gameplay team, etc) but in the end, they will do a lot of patching up here and there.

I guess it can also depend on CPI choices too.

Entry level job would be, of course, interns.
The most efficient interns often get a job in the industry.
They are usually given small specific mandates on "smaller" project.
HOWEVER, not on the SMALLEST projects (bear in mind that smaller teams means a lot more responsabilities).

So to answer your question, where I work, an entry-level job after being an intern, would be that of a relatively small mandate on a middle-sized project where you have the luxury of having a team lead that is not too busy to verify your code. (Progress can be monitored).

Growing responsabilities would mean going into smaller scale projects but with more responsabilities (possibly no lead, or a lead too busy to monitor) and growing generalist would be done after acquiring a series of small mandates, thus acquired versatile experience. In the end, this experience could be used in becoming a specialist so to speak (AI, Combat, Graphical, etc).

This, however, is but the state of where I work. It may work differently elsewhere, and it may be the minority, but this structure exists nonetheless :)

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Thanks for the info on how the industry works with regards to generalist programmer. I think I've decided to put on graphics and gameplay because that is what I've been doing the most of recently, and would be what I'm best at right now. I also got my artist friend to make me an awesome card.

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