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Programming Skills but no diploma (yet)

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Hello everyone, 

 

My name is Aladine, am 20 years old computer science student and i really want to have a successful career as game programmer.

I've been learning game programming for more than 4 years now, and am sure that you all now the struggles we face in the beginning (specially when you are not following the right path)

anyway,

in the last 6 months, i was working as a freelancer for different clients who wanted some simple 2d games (match 3, flappy bird, make up, dressing, simple runner,  etc..)  and surprisingly i did pretty good rolleyes.gif and the payment is not bad at all (for my age and country, am from Tunsia)  and now am developing with a friend (artist) our unique games, we already made the design documents for 4 small games, the first one should be out next week.

 

Now what i want to ask about is the following : 

 

-Being able to make games is enough to get you in a game development studio ? and am not talking for big studios like Ubisoft, or EA, am asking about small (but not very small) studios who make casual games or studios like DoubleFines who make super cool game but not with the budget and size of a AAA game (it's the perfect choice)

Note that i have a very good *game programming* level with Java and C#, and 90% of the time i made my games with Unity3D and am really REALLY   suffering in my current college, the education level in public university is very low and i cannot afford the private ones, so am feeling like am wasting my time since everything i need to know am learning it online, so again and just to make it straight to the point, 

 

Does game studios look for your diploma or your portfolio when you apply for them ?

 

I would really appreciate if you be precise in your answers, also i know that the most obvious answer will be "it depend on your level"  but am really sure that i have at least an intermediate level that can be useful for a way or another (i proved that with previous clients) however i am going to setup my portfolio before June (or July) but till then, just tell me what you think happy.png

 

Thank you all and have a great day.  

    

  

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-Being able to make games is enough to get you in a game development studio ?

 

It depends on the company. Are you going to move to another country and apply? If so, what country?  

If you come to the US, hirers here usually expect to see a degree - unless you have really solid industry experience.  A portfolio of 6 months' worth of small freelance games is probably not "enough" (does not constitute "really solid industry experience") in the US. 

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Epathize with your audience (employers).  If you can show them that you are good, it doesn't matter if you have a diploma/degree.  I have interviewed people with prestigious degrees from places like M.I.T. who we passed on hiring because they really did not have good skills.

 

Employers like degrees as "first pass" evidence that you know something.  But, they would very much rather see what you can do (recent work) than hear what someone claims to have told you (a degree).

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-Being able to make games is enough to get you in a game development studio ?

 

It depends on the company. Are you going to move to another country and apply? If so, what country?  

If you come to the US, hirers here usually expect to see a degree - unless you have really solid industry experience.  A portfolio of 6 months' worth of small freelance games is probably not "enough" (does not constitute "really solid industry experience") in the US. 

 

Am not aiming for countries who require a high salary to have a good living, am talking about countries like Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, etc... as far as i can communicate with English and the studio doesn't require someone who will wrote an engine from scratch (even that i did make games from scratch with Java2D only) then i think i have the ability to help the studio with my skills.    

 

 

Epathize with your audience (employers).  If you can show them that you are good, it doesn't matter if you have a diploma/degree.  I have interviewed people with prestigious degrees from places like M.I.T. who we passed on hiring because they really did not have good skills.

 

Employers like degrees as "first pass" evidence that you know something.  But, they would very much rather see what you can do (recent work) than hear what someone claims to have told you (a degree).

This is my actual mission smile.png am just working as a Freelancer to get what i need financially, but the real games are the one i made for myself (that's why am not sharing any of the clients games)

 

Question: 

how about online degrees ? does it have a good reputation when it comes to employment ? because my real problem here is the quality of education, and it's something that people discuss everyday on our local TV, and it really make me angry when they confess that the public educational system is very corrupted due to the previous dictatorship and that they will try to fix it in the upcoming years after doing the necessary researches and plans  angry.png  !!!  

i feel like am just passing my time there... so maybe online degrees worth a shot ? what could be better than working at home and studying at home too biggrin.png ?

 

Thank you all and have a great day

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Yeah, I've been noticing with most job ads that they say "computer science or equivalent experience," etc. so it's those you want to look at. I got my first programming job without a degree just because they saw I was talented and worked hard on my own. If I'd do it all over again, I would recommend getting a part-time intership and finish your degree.

Edited by shinypixel

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What a degree really tells an employer is that you have the capacity to stick with something for four years until completion.

Oddly enough, that's the same thing a high school diploma tells employers for lower skilled jobs.

 

If all you have are 'short term' projects and experience hopping from one thing to the next, you're not really selling yourself as a potential long term employee.

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