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Rudra

Employed/ Internship for Bethesda

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So I'm about to graduate in December of 2012, with a B.S. in CS and a minor in mathematics. I'm well versed in Java, and self taught in C/C++/C#. Currently, i am tinkering around with DirectX, 3ds Max, and soon XNA 4.0. I would like to get employed for my favorite developer, Bethesda, as a coder, and eventually game designer. So, my questions:

What are my chances of getting hired right out of college?

Would a masters help?

Should i construct a portfolio, if so, should it include both code, models, and a small game showing the basics of game design?

Would a website be beneficial showcasing my work?

For those of you who work there; Bethesda, what is the culture like?

How are promotions dealt?

What can i expect in terms of workload?

What internships does Bethesda have, aside QA tester?

Would it be advantageous to intern as a QA tester? If so, can you provide some information into that internship?

How many hours a week?

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1) What are my chances of getting hired right out of college?
2) Would a masters help?
3) Should i construct a portfolio, if so, should it include both code, models, and a small game showing the basics of game design?
4) Would a website be beneficial showcasing my work?
5) For those of you who work there; Bethesda, what is the culture like?
6) How are promotions dealt?
7) What can i expect in terms of workload?
8) What internships does Bethesda have, aside QA tester?
9) Would it be advantageous to intern as a QA tester? If so, can you provide some information into that internship?
10) How many hours a week?
1) If it's a junior role, your chances are ok provided you're competent. Do you feel capable as a game programmer?
2) Probably not. Certificates are good for getting past HR, but being hired depends on demonstrating talent.
3) Yes you need a portfolio. If you're applying for a coding job, you don't need models or designs in there, you just need works that demonstrate your proficiency as a game programmer. It should demonstrate your interest/passion and talent in the field that you're applying for. Do you have any extra-curricular projects that you can show?
4) Often a large portfolio is awkward to send attached to a job appilcation, so the ability to include a URL in your resume is helpful, yes.
5) Generally, on merit. You'll have regular (bi-annual/annual) reviews with other staff (usually your lead and HR) where you can disucss your performance. If you/them agree that you're performing at above a 'junior' level, they'll drop that part of the title, and same for adding 'senior' etc, etc...
7/10) I would guess a regular, 40 hour week.
8) They list them on their website.
9) If you can't get hired in a real position, then interning is a foot in the door that lets you develop contacts and know immediately about any real job openings.

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1. What are my chances of getting hired right out of college?
2. Would a masters help?
3.a. Should i construct a portfolio,
3.b. if so, should it include both code, models, and a small game showing the basics of game design?
4. Would a website be beneficial showcasing my work?
6. How are promotions dealt?
7. What can i expect in terms of workload?
9. Would it be advantageous to intern as a QA tester?
10. If so, can you provide some information into that internship?
11. How many hours a week?


1. Not very good.
2. No.
3.a. Absolutely.
3.b. No. Focus on the thing you're best at.
4. Essential.
6. For experience, good work, performance. Over time.
7. A minimum of 40 hours per week.
9. It probably wouldn't hurt to do a stint in QA.
10. I never heard of QA interns.
11. QA is 40 hours a week exactly, unless they need overtime. Read FAQ 5 (go back out to the Breaking In forum, and see "Getting Started" at upper right).

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I find it's best not to get wrapped up in a specific company, especially if your reason for choosing that company is "I like your games". It's different if you actually know people who work there or like the work environment. But just make sure your reasons are better than "Skyrim was awesome". Even then, set up a short-list and accept that particularly in the current state of affairs, you may not wander out of college and into a dream job. Also keep in mind that an engineering position at another company is likely to be a much better experience than a QA position at your favorite company.

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I find it's best not to get wrapped up in a specific company, especially if your reason for choosing that company is "I like your games". It's different if you actually know people who work there or like the work environment. But just make sure your reasons are better than "Skyrim was awesome". Even then, set up a short-list and accept that particularly in the current state of affairs, you may not wander out of college and into a dream job. Also keep in mind that an engineering position at another company is likely to be a much better experience than a QA position at your favorite company.


Yes, good points. I totally spaced on the "my dream company" thing.
Rudra, your first two interviews are practice. Don't blow it all by skipping practice and jumping straight to the do-or-die interview. Read FAQ 24.

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I mostly agree with the posts above, so I'll pick out this part.

QA tester?

I personally find QA to be one of the least efficient paths into the industry.
The general idea behind the QA route is to make connections to get you in.
Unfortunately, the general problem with QA is it doesn't allow you to demonstrate any skill beyond testing.
And just as often due to the company hierarchy you won't get to meet the right people either way.

Don't consider picking up a QA job with a CS degree.
Worst case scenario you're still better off working as a programmer in a different field.
It'll be much more beneficial to your CV should you be unable to find a job in the industry directly.

Finally, there's a harsh truth that in some employees will look down on the QA department.
That's not a spot you want to be in when you aspire to move up.


I find it's best not to get wrapped up in a specific company, especially if your reason for choosing that company is "I like your games".

This can't be said enough.

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[quote name='Rudra' timestamp='1328589750' post='4910405']
1. What are my chances of getting hired right out of college?


1. Not very good.
[/quote]

Just to expand on that: If they are hiring for an entry level position when you graduate, your chances are as good as the 50 other graduates applying for the same position.
Which is why


[quote name='Promit' timestamp='1328594956' post='4910421']
I find it's best not to get wrapped up in a specific company, especially if your reason for choosing that company is "I like your games".

This can't be said enough.
[/quote]

can't be said enough. When you are fresh out of college you pretty much have to take what you can find.

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Do you feel capable as a game programmer?
2) Probably not. Certificates are good for getting past HR, but being hired depends on demonstrating talent.
3) Do you have any extra-curricular projects that you can show?


Define capable.

Why is a MA not helpful?

Yes, i brought back a derelict club at my Uni. We will finish our first project this month.

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Why is a MA not helpful?


I'm not saying it'll hurt you. Just saying it won't necessarily "help." Someone with a Masters degree, and a portfolio that looks no better than a Bachelor's portfolio, doesn't score extra points because of the MA. He kind of looks like someone who is more into school than game development (an academic rather than a hardworking developer). Most hirers will likely think his time would have been better spent building a portfolio.

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Define capable.

If a company gives you a computer and tells you to go make feature X for their game, do you feel you would be up for it?
Do you know exactly where to start (or would you be left with many questions)?
For the things you don't know, would you be able to find the answers yourself?
Are you aware of a decent size list of subjects you don't know but do know where to start digging to find out?

If you answered yes to those questions you're probably capable (or over estimating yourself :)).

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