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CGEngine

So many programming positions available...

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Hi,

 

*Every* website, blog post, etc about getting into the game industry says that there are *hundreds or thousands* of people applying for every position out there.

 

However I've come to notice that most positions (from no exp required to senior roles) remain open (or at least they appear on the websites) for months. And I'm not talking about some small indie studio that no one knows, but even large AAA developers.

 

So whats going on?

Are the companies rejecting most applicants even if they fit their requirements, because they're looking for someone truly awesome, or overqualified for the position?

Or most of the applicants don't meet the requirements (no programming experience/no game programming experience)?

 

Btw, how long does the interview process usually take? (from the sending the application to getting hired and start working)

 

Thanks.

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1. So whats going on?
A) Are the companies rejecting most applicants even if they fit their requirements, because they're looking for someone truly awesome, or overqualified for the position?
B) Or most of the applicants don't meet the requirements (no programming experience/no game programming experience)?

2. Btw, how long does the interview process usually take? (from the sending the application to getting hired and start working)


1.The answer is B, sort of, and also C (an option you didn't offer us). The right candidate has not yet been found (they want someone who fits all those requirements and also will fit with their team). Or they want more than one of those people.

2. It varies. Can be as short as 2 weeks, can be longer than 2 months.

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I don't know the nuances of the game industry, but I can tell you from the perspective of hiring for business app development. It is very difficult to find good talent. Many applicants simply don't have good software development skills. On paper they look good, but in person they cannot demonstrate or speak to the skills on their resumes.

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I would echo smr's sentiments. In all software development sectors, I have often come across anecdotes from people who have been out of work for long periods of time and had a lot of trouble getting work. People who actually know what the hell they're doing do not have this problem. Having been on the hiring side of things numerous times myself, it is amazing the basic knowledge you'd assume an applicant should have that they simply can't demonstrate. Simple algorithmic tasks, such as "given an array of numbers, write a function to return the highest number in the array", are routinely failed by candidates who seemed great on paper.

 

So the disconnect here is, yes there are plenty of positions available, and you can easily get one if you really know what you're doing. But, again as smr said, good people are hard to find. The droves of bad developers out there will always have trouble getting work as compared to someone with real skill, and it is from those bad developers that you'll consistently hear tales of the industry being difficult due to so much competition.

Edited by axefrog

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Are you serious axefrog with what you said about the algorithmic question?

 

It seems like a pretty easy question to me and I don't do programming except as some kind of a hobby.

It would be really weird if some pro could not answer this one except if there is an advanced algorithm that I don't know about.

Edited by Valoon

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I am genuinely serious. As a recent example, a company I worked at for most of 2013 was doing a round of hiring while I was there, so I was asked to sit in with the team lead on a number of interviews and I would say only 20-30% of the candidates could actually solve that basic problem correctly. They all had a go, but some looked way too stumped for what should have been a walk in the park, some massively overcomplicated the logic for no obvious reason, and a bunch of them made really stupid errors like forgetting that integers could be negative, and so forth. It was quite shocking, really. Many others could not answer a lot of basic questions assessing their understand of object oriented programming, many, who were applying for a web development role mind you, really only understood how to do what amounted to VB-style drag'n'drop programming (despite what their CV said) and barely knew any CSS or JavaScript. I think the team lead had done a bad job of screening, but it was quite interesting to see how many people were applying for intermediate-level web development work and barely had junior-level understanding of what they were doing.

 

I think the problem is that many people (a majority, even) enter this field as a "career" choice but don't have any specific passion for it. Some are quite intelligent and have a good work ethic and so still manage to make pretty competent developers over the courses of their careers, but without that genuine passion for it, most just learn on the job and when they leave the office, they immediately stop thinking about anything to do with development. It's just not what they would do if money were no object. In contrast, many (most?) of the people here in these forums have a genuine desire to build, to create, and to understand what they're doing. Coding happens whenever we can find time to do it. The simple fact is, the more time, effort and passion you put into something, the better you're going to get at it, and most people in the industry are not coming from that mindset. That, and people are often just lazy and don't get around to making the time to keep their skills up to date.

Edited by axefrog

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In addition to what other people say, if you're looking at listings on recruitment agency websites, they probably aren't quick to take down adverts even after positions are filled.

 

It's a kind of bait-and-switch tactic, they want to get contact details for as many developers as possible, and they'll talk to you about other roles.

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I am genuinely serious. As a recent example, a company I worked at for most of 2013 was doing a round of hiring while I was there, so I was asked to sit in with the team lead on a number of interviews and I would say only 20-30% of the candidates could actually solve that basic problem correctly. They all had a go, but some looked way too stumped for what should have been a walk in the park, some massively overcomplicated the logic for no obvious reason, and a bunch of them made really stupid errors like forgetting that integers could be negative, and so forth. It was quite shocking, really. Many others could not answer a lot of basic questions assessing their understand of object oriented programming, many, who were applying for a web development role mind you, really only understood how to do what amounted to VB-style drag'n'drop programming (despite what their CV said) and barely knew any CSS or JavaScript. I think the team lead had done a bad job of screening, but it was quite interesting to see how many people were applying for intermediate-level web development work and barely had junior-level understanding of what they were doing.

 

I think the problem is that many people (a majority, even) enter this field as a "career" choice but don't have any specific passion for it. Some are quite intelligent and have a good work ethic and so still manage to make pretty competent developers over the courses of their careers, but without that genuine passion for it, most just learn on the job and when they leave the office, they immediately stop thinking about anything to do with development. It's just not what they would do if money were no object. In contrast, many (most?) of the people here in these forums have a genuine desire to build, to create, and to understand what they're doing. Coding happens whenever we can find time to do it. The simple fact is, the more time, effort and passion you put into something, the better you're going to get at it, and most people in the industry are not coming from that mindset. That, and people are often just lazy and don't get around to making the time to keep their skills up to date.

 

Thank you for the explanation, as a person who's just a student I assumed everyone who applied at jobs had at least the minimal stuff required.

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they probably aren't quick to take down adverts even after positions are filled.


Yes. I was with a company that left that type of ad up all the time, since there was always a need for great people.

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There's also a lot of "option D" around. Which is that when they find someone qualified and actually capable of doing the job they offer them less than their current role and then are amazed that they get declined. In the last few months I've had agents waving between 50 and 80% paycuts at me to in an attempt to headhunt me to join companies that are "excellent opportunities"...

 

And there's always "E" -- many companies have HUGE staff churn and seem to accept that annoying their staff to the point of quitting and then having to replace them is somehow easier than having happy staff.

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