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zizigy

Best time for job change

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I have been working as a programmer for a game company (fairly big one, around 200 employees) for around 6 months now, however I am not enjoying what I do. As this is my first job and I was hired fresh out of college, I am wondering how long it would be sensible to wait before starting to search for a different placement. In other words, how long/what exactly does it take to be recognized as having had some industry experience as opposed to being on the same level as a new graduate?

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The recognized items are generally projects completed, and also years on projects canceled. If you worked on tools it may be appropriate to cite the projects that used them in addition to the time on the project. I know somebody who worked for four years in a successful studio without a shipped title. It seems like he was the only thing in common with all the canceled projects, until he finally got one out; employers understand about canceled projects.



Don't give you your old job until you have a new one in hand.

Also, don't upset anybody at your existing company. The industry is relatively small, and you will very likely encounter some of those co-worker in the future.



Although it is generally best to have some completed games or years of incomplete games, that doesn't mean you can't ask around. Send out applications and see what comes back. It may take a few months before you find something, but since you still have a job, there is no immediate rush.

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Original post by zizigy
In other words, how long/what exactly does it take to be recognized as having had some industry experience as opposed to being on the same level as a new graduate?
*Take all of this with a grain of salt because it's just the way things are described in my small corner of the world*

After 12 months you've got "game industry experience".
After 3 years and at least 1 shipped title, you're an "experienced game developer".

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I am wondering how long it would be sensible to wait before starting to search for a different placement.

Until you have shipped your first game.

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Original post by zizigy
I am wondering how long it would be sensible to wait before starting to search for a different placement. In other words, how long/what exactly does it take to be recognized as having had some industry experience as opposed to being on the same level as a new graduate?

Two years.

BTW, what's so bad about your current place, and what makes you think it'll be better at another company? Because it probably won't.

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If you can find another place that wants you that you think you'd be happier at, maybe you should go for it.

Right now since you have a job (even if you aren't happy), you can look around and see who'd be interested in hiring you.

The only risk is that if you get to the new place and it's worse, oops!

Also, if you got to a new place and it went out of business, you'd have lets say 2 companies @ 6 months each instead of 1 company @ a year.

I think bottom line you should do what makes you happy though (:

I was at a job for 6 months before leaving it for my first game development job, and it worked out great, and was a really good decision for me in my life.

I had 5 years exp programming before that though, but no college, so a different kind of background, but maybe not so different.

If you hop to a new place, stick there for a few years for better or worse, to get your foothold secure IMO!

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@ Tom Sloper

There's nothing particularly wrong with the company itself: what I don't like is the kind of tasks I am assigned (mostly writing unit tests for the internal toolchain and fixing the simpler bugs I encounter while doing so); while the company made it very clear this is what I was getting into (this is more or less exactly what I was told I would have been doing during my interview) and I accepted the job knowingly, it does feel very dry and not really related to games at all.
All of this just got me thinking: if I have to have a job that doesn't feel connected to games in any way, why am I even working in the game industry, with working conditions and salaries being better in other fields?

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what I don't like is the kind of tasks I am assigned (mostly writing unit tests for the internal toolchain and fixing the simpler bugs I encounter while doing so); while the company made it very clear this is what I was getting into (this is more or less exactly what I was told I would have been doing during my interview) and I accepted the job knowingly, it does feel very dry and not really related to games at all.

In other words, you're a primadonna and a quitter.
Quote:
All of this just got me thinking: if I have to have a job that doesn't feel connected to games in any way, why am I even working in the game industry, with working conditions and salaries being better in other fields?

Good thinking. Get out of the game industry.

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@ Tom Sloper

There's nothing particularly wrong with the company itself: what I don't like is the kind of tasks I am assigned (mostly writing unit tests for the internal toolchain and fixing the simpler bugs I encounter while doing so); while the company made it very clear this is what I was getting into (this is more or less exactly what I was told I would have been doing during my interview) and I accepted the job knowingly, it does feel very dry and not really related to games at all.
All of this just got me thinking: if I have to have a job that doesn't feel connected to games in any way, why am I even working in the game industry, with working conditions and salaries being better in other fields?


You're a new hire with no experience, what do you expect you would be doing at this point? Writing 3D engines from scratch? You have to pay your dues before you get any of the interesting jobs and six months isn't that long at a job. If you want to be closer to actually making games then quit and find a job at a smaller indie studio. Getting a job at another bigger studio is just going to be more of the same. Getting a job outside of games you are still going to have a year or two of grunt work before doing anything "interesting".

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I have a related question, so I think it's better if I avoid a new topic: beside academic credentials and job experiences, do they take into account personal/amateur projects (tutorials, games, engines written)? I mean, are they valid as a kind of portfolio?

thanks in advance for any answer

daniele

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