Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
nickyc95

Question about programming portfolio

This topic is 1342 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

 

I am currently in the process of building a portfolio for my programming work, however I have a question about how I should handle it.

 

Should I create a typical portfolio site OR create a web-based game (JS/WebGL) which incorporates the portfolio i.e. http://danielsternlicht.com/

 

Which looks better from an game company employer?

Too creative (i.e. not a designer/artist)?

Too complex?

...?

 

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

HR people in game companies might not be gamers, and have better things to do than playing a game just to read a CV. I think few people will look at something like that seriously (it took like a minute to load the game, I almost close the tab and I'm with almost zero things to do right now at work!).

 

Most companies are looking at several CV's every day, some might even see CV's without a PC in front, or want to quickly see something about a CV they already discarded. In those cases, you'll be ignored.

 

It's a weird way to show the CV, but in that particular case I think it doesn't even show a good skill on anything in particular, a non programmer could make that in GameMaker following some tutorials. In fact, you can clearly see problems with the collision detection for eample, and the movement is weird. Doing it for web probably isn't a lot harder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HR people in game companies might not be gamers, and have better things to do than playing a game just to read a CV. I think few people will look at something like that seriously (it took like a minute to load the game, I almost close the tab and I'm with almost zero things to do right now at work!).

 

Most companies are looking at several CV's every day, some might even see CV's without a PC in front, or want to quickly see something about a CV they already discarded. In those cases, you'll be ignored.

 

It's a weird way to show the CV, but in that particular case I think it doesn't even show a good skill on anything in particular, a non programmer could make that in GameMaker following some tutorials. In fact, you can clearly see problems with the collision detection for eample, and the movement is weird. Doing it for web probably isn't a lot harder.

 

I'm not particularly looking for CVs, more at a portfolio where the employer has already seen your CV and wants to dig a little deeper; and to see the work that you claim to have done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, you were asking for a portfolio, but after watching the link I thought you wanted to do a CV like that one, sorry.

 

Anyway, I don't really like that idea for a portfolio either, it seems to be slower than just browsing a classic web with embedding youtube videos and executables. Unless your web "game/portfolio-layout" can also be used as portfolio material, I think you should avoid that... in the end, what do you want to show? The "game" you made instead of the site or the actual games you've made that would be in a classic portfolio? You need to make something good, if it looks like a quick and dirty game it might give the wrong idea to the visitor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, you were asking for a portfolio, but after watching the link I thought you wanted to do a CV like that one, sorry.

 

Anyway, I don't really like that idea for a portfolio either, it seems to be slower than just browsing a classic web with embedding youtube videos and executables. Unless your web "game/portfolio-layout" can also be used as portfolio material, I think you should avoid that... in the end, what do you want to show? The "game" you made instead of the site or the actual games you've made that would be in a classic portfolio? You need to make something good, if it looks like a quick and dirty game it might give the wrong idea to the visitor.

Surely if they are looking through many many CV/portfolio sites and come across a one of a kind site that is nothing like the others, they would be interested?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Surely if they are looking through many many CV/portfolio sites and come across a one of a kind site that is nothing like the others, they would be interested?

 

Sure. I heard of a guy who wore a Star Wars stormtrooper costume to a job interview, and got the job.  That doesn't mean that it's recommended to wear a Star Wars stormtrooper costume to a job interview; it just means that he was able to pull that off, made a good impression, and that the company was receptive to his particular brand of quirkiness at that particular time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe, but you can make something enjoyable and different without making it work like a game. You can try something like a guided tour, instead of just showing everything there, use some slides and short texts to show each project. Take a look at impress.js, something like that would work a lot better.

 

I'm not an HR person anyway, but I think that, as I said before, if you decide to make something like that it should also show some skill, they'll probably use your game-site as a first impression of your work. If it has problems (check the collisions in the first link you posted) it'll make you look bad even if your real portfolio is good. And given the purpose of that game-site, there's really not much room to show skills, there's just some drawing and basic movement and collision.

Edited by DiegoSLTS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FWIW, I've never once ever looked at an engineering applicant's "portfolio" and I haven't heard any colleagues at other companies doing so, either. Requests for code samples come up, but that's a desire to see actual code in a small, meaningful context (i.e. nobody's going to browse a 50,000 game app; they want to see a specific chunk of code that you feel is representative of your skill) but not finished executables. If you have published a game, though, certainly list that on your resume; experience counts.

The front page of your resume and/or a recommendation from a current employee is what'll get you an initial phone interview. Anything that requires more time investment than that (like playing or even finding a game) is too much.

The advice for a designer or artist of course is different.

My light experience in the indie world also leads me to believe that programming portfolios might be more relevant there, but only a little (the hiring practices in indie studios are all over the place, though).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I've never once ever looked at an engineering applicant's "portfolio" and I haven't heard any colleagues at other companies doing so, either.
I've looked at a very small number of them, when the person asked to have it looked at, and only AFTER they have made it to the short stack.

 

There is usually no time to look at them when they are still in the big stack. The goal is to get from 100 or 200 or more down to around 10. Pruning the first stack is brutal. There are many people who have both a degree AND industry experience, so unless we are creating a position specifically to pick up some entry level or intern-type workers, there just isn't time to see how awesome your portfolio is.

 

There are some times (rarely) where I'll see something that catches my eye and I'll move it to the small stack.

 

One of them, a decade ago and very memorable, was a recent graduate. He made a game for a senior project. Half of his resume was devoted to the project, including headlining that his senior project was sponsored by both Microsoft and NVidia, and submitted to assorted big competitions. And he was the local SIGDA president, and had picked up GDC scholarship.  So I took the bait and looked at it.

 

The name was memorable ("Modern Warfare") and a few seconds on Google shows the program (100MB download, back in an era when that needed a serious warning) is still up, along with the web page for the senior project.

 

If you look at the game and realize this was his senior project back in 2003, you'll understand how he managed to get multiple job offers from that little senior project.

 

 

The hard part is making it to the short list.

 

Once you've made the short list, if you think your demo is awesome enough to be shown, then push the issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to be slightly different for smaller companies. I just applied to two small companies, and it seems that they had a look at my portfolio before moving me to the next step in the process. One of the emails specifically mentioned my portfolio, and the other one mentioned that my previous projects would be a topic of discussion in the interview.

 

This is, however, taken from two relatively vague emails and nothing else, so it should be taken with a grain of salt, but I doubt it can hurt your chances to have a nice website to show prospective employers when you're applying to small companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!