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FordPrefectA

Skills to show on a portfolio (programmer)

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I want to start a project or two this summer but I can't decide what would increase my value to prospective employers the most (I graduate in 2011).

Here are some things I'm considering:

-UDK/Unity project
-Flash project
-DirectX project

I already did some very small projects with DirectX so I would aim to produce a game demonstrating a full range of skills with the API and secondarily try to further improve my C++/OOD/OOP skills and possibly some AI techniques.

On the other hand I may have an opportunity to work on a non-profit UDK project with a team of experienced modders.

On the other other hand I'm also interested in learning to make flash games.

I have (the possibly mistaken) impression that the first set of skills (directx/C++/OOD) are so important that I would be a fool to work on UDK/flash projects instead, but I'm actually more motivated and interested in doing the UDK/flash projects. When I apply for a job will it be more advantageous to have really strong directx/C++/OOD/AI skills and not much besides that or to have good skills in that area, good flash skills, and good udk skills? Better to have a portfolio showing off one really good dx project or a bunch of projects showing that I have a grasp of lots of technologies?

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It really depends on what you want to do as a programmer; in real industry jobs, it's very rare for anyone to be a generalist, at least for entry-level positions. You'll almost always specialize in some particular area, and that's where you should be focusing your time. Polish up the skills you want to have.

In your case, if you find that working with Flash for instance is far more enjoyable and productive than hacking everything out by hand in C++, then by all means go for Flash - it's not like there's a lack of good Flash-based career options out there. In general you'll do much better if you're working on something you truly enjoy versus something you're doing out of some sense of obligation, so for best results, make sure you're having fun [smile]

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Quote:
Original post by FordPrefectA
I want to start a project or two this summer but I can't decide what would increase my value to prospective employers the most

Don't live your life to suit the expectations of other people. Live your life to suit your own passions. Start the project that will (1) further your own skills and (2) suit your own passions.

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