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Is too early for me to worry about specializing?

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Hello everyone!

 

A bit of relevant information about me:

 

I have been programming for 2 years and making games using Unreal Engine 4 since it came out last year. I've also been studying C++ with the help of a friend who works at Ubisoft for around 6 months. I am familliar and comfortable with the basic topics of C++ that are taught in Bjarne Stroustrups book "Programming principles and practices using c++". I very much enjoy working with C++ in UE4 and I find the language itself very deep and interesting compared to the Java and C# I learned in school. Memory management and the theory that goes with it is really cool to learn about.

 

I also happen to have studied graphic design for 3 years before that and have developed good design sensibilities and know about art theory, I can draw pretty well and have worked for a short period of time as a graphic designer.

 

I know for a fact that programming is what I enjoy the most and it's what I want to do. However I still don't know what kind of programming work I want to do in the context of a video game company. I know I want to work for AAA studios because I feel like that's where all the cool and cutting edge technology is hapenning and I have my sights set on Ubisoft montreal. I feel like knowing what role I want to have would help me figure out what to study next or what kind of project feature to put efforts on.

 

So my question to you is: What programming jobs out there can somebody who likes programming in C++ and low-level memory stuff, who also happens to have a good taste for what looks good? Is there anything that merge both of those skills?

 

Thank you!

Edited by timetravel

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Usually a specialty is something develops naturally out of what you are interested in.

 

Also, most people have many specialties.

 

You listed several in your post. C++ specifically, as opposed to knowing other languages like java, objective c, or other languages. Low-level memory stuff is a specialty. Graphic design is a specialty. Art theory is a specialty. 

 

Whatever talents you have, you can likely find a job that makes use of them. Even if the job itself doesn't demand it specifically, you can still use your unique talents and experience as they relate to whatever you do.

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In the AAA world, there aren't entry level "art and engineering" positions (or at least not that I can think of), and resumes that look like "I can do art, and also engineering, and I can design..." tend to get round filed (again, in my experience).

 

Pick one. Art or engineering. Get your skills in that up to the level that you can beat out all the other applicants for an entry level position. There is still room to talk about background, but it has to be clear that it is background.

 

So, you can pitch yourself as a skilled programmer with a previous background in graphic design "that will help you communicate with the artists". But you need to make absolutely sure that it is clear to the reader that you are professional level programmer first and foremost.

 

And later in your career, especially if you decided to focus on art, you could leverage programming experience to look to move into a technical artist role, but that is not entry level at all.

 

Just remember, there are for all intents and purposes an infinite supply of entry level candidates for game positions. You need to not only get your skills to the point where you are qualified, you need to make sure that you come across as the best qualified candidate, and that means committing to whichever path you pick.

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