Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Crushyerbones

Breaking in as a programmer

This topic is 1067 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

Hello, I'm a long-term lurker here. But today I have a question and this looked like the best place to ask it :)

Up until last year I've seen a lot of openings for Game Programmers of all sorts, but mostly junior-level positions. I've gotten job offers myself but I decided to wait until I finished my degree.

Now they're all gone. Everyone is either hiring senior devs or doing "open internship applications". The few junior and internships I find either ignore me outright or tell me something along the lines of "we're looking for someone with more experience", despite my years of experience and several games under my belt. It's pretty much driving me insane.

 

 

So my question is: Did I miss something? Does everyone and their grandmother have a compsci degree now or is the industry downscaling?
 

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, I'm mostly curious if I fucked up and missed a hiring boom ph34r.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Job openings tend to be seasonal for various positions. Same with seasonal layoffs near project endings.

For example, lots of projects want to finish up in time to be on stores for holidays, so they finish development in the summer and layoffs follow. A short glut of talent follows. Similarly when many projects are staffing up all at once there tends to be a big rush to hire junior developers. There tends to be a bigger rush for junior developers near graduation season, just in time to start them down a one-year march so they'll be fired in the annual summer layoffs the following year. But I digress.

Be patient and keep applying to jobs in your area. Companies are unlikely to relocate a junior developer so they need to be local. Keep applying, keep working your social network, and make friends with those at your local studios and let them know you want to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say you missed your boom but you did what I did "wait until I finish my degree." That was a huge backfire as I was in the exact boat you were in. You say you have years of experience under your belt and games. My question to you if that is years under your belt or is it professional "working for a company as a software engineer?" If you do have pure company experience as a software engineer then I would say whatever tests they are having you take you might not be nailing it how they want. I for one think most those tests are bogus and generic. Anyways I found that game jobs were always hiring but never hiring if you know what I mean. The same position will be there for almost a year. Don't get discouraged just keep trying eventually you will land one. If you have games under your belt no offense they must not be impressive or they would be coming for you.

 

If this does help I have noticed the realization of great interviewers but bad programmers amongst my last few companies I worked at. Guys would ace the test and interview but 6 months in to the job their code just isn't up to par and that is becoming more and more of an issue. You could get 50/50 on a simple question like what are the pros and cons of using a recursive function (I btw didn't know that off the top of my head 4 years ago) but nonetheless that ended my interview ASAP. I knew the pro but not the con, now I will never forget it. There is also a thing where people are not great at interviews, clam up hesitate all those are factors when hiring someone. If you answer something unsure sounds like you might be BS'ing. One thing I have also noticed is they tend to lean toward honesty. If you are honest and say I have never actually used that kind of algorithm or not that familiar with that API. Honesty is always appreciated and builds a level of trust that you don't BS with them so they know they can trust you.

 

Also one last thing apply to everything even if you do not meet the requirements, my friend who was a Senior Engineer at a large software company told me that and it worked out for me actually. They usually are posting their ideal candidate. Plus the interviews you can look at like experience, go in there not expecting it go in there like you are ready to learn a new challenge that you can take to the next interview.

Edited by wicked250

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about taking this long to reply, I don't seem to have received any notifications for some reason.

 

Job openings tend to be seasonal for various positions. Same with seasonal layoffs near project endings.

 

Glad to hear that. I probably just picked a bad time then :)

 

Be patient and keep applying to jobs in your area. Companies are unlikely to relocate a junior developer so they need to be local. Keep applying, keep working your social network, and make friends with those at your local studios and let them know you want to work.

 

Unfortunately there's not many choices around my area. I am nearly forced to relocate. However, one of the first things I mention in any application is that I'm willing to relocate at my own expense.

 

 

I for one think most those tests are bogus and generic. Anyways I found that game jobs were always hiring but never hiring if you know what I mean. The same position will be there for almost a year. Don't get discouraged just keep trying eventually you will land one. If you have games under your belt no offense they must not be impressive or they would be coming for you.

Hah, I haven't gotten that far yet! In dozens of applications I've only had one interview.

 

But you may be right on one thing, maybe I need a better curriculum. It probably doesn't help that most of the projects I've been in are closed-source and a couple of the best ones were for clients and aren't available to play in any way.

 

Thanks for the replies! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately there's not many choices around my area. I am nearly forced to relocate. However, one of the first things I mention in any application is that I'm willing to relocate at my own expense.


As it says in the FAQs, nobody is impressed by your willingness to relocate. RELOCATE. If there aren't enough game employers where you live now, you have to move. And you have to do that before applying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Unfortunately there's not many choices around my area. I am nearly forced to relocate. However, one of the first things I mention in any application is that I'm willing to relocate at my own expense.


As it says in the FAQs, nobody is impressed by your willingness to relocate. RELOCATE. If there aren't enough game employers where you live now, you have to move. And you have to do that before applying.

 

 

You may have misunderstood me, I emphasize "at my own expense". However, I've read this link off the FAQ more attentively and realized what you mean.

 

If this is it, it's quite a problem then. European game companies are spread pretty thin, I could move to a certain town in particular and hope to get a job at one of 3 smallish companies. Of course, London (and maybe Paris) seem promising for easy access to a lot of companies at once, but those are VERY expensive places to live in without any job prospects.

 

Well I guess that's life. Thanks for the insight.

 

EDIT: I just noticed you're the author. Holy crap, I'm getting career advice from Tom Sloper.

Edited by Crushy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For senior positions, I would expect an employer to hire globally and pay relocation expenses (and fly you over for a face to face interviee first, and give you accommodation while helping you find a rental, etc...), but yeah, for junior positions I would expect them to look locally.
I don't think that needing to relocate should hurt you too much though, as most positions probably don't have harsh deadlines in being filled.

A lot of studios won't even advertise for positions BTW. A lot of (non-seasonal) hiring happens through word of mouth. It can't hurt to email resume's through to jobs@email.addresses for junior programmer roles even if no role is advertised. Worse case, they ignore you, best case, they like your CV and call you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

European game companies are spread pretty thin

 

That's funny, I have the opposite opinion of European game companies. To work in games again I got my Australian citizenship and moved from Australia to Europe (Sweden) on a working holiday visa, then looked for work. Browsing through the job ads in Sweden was like walking through some sort of magical game development company fantasy land - there were so many games companies, and so many hiring (in comparison to where I lived in AU anyway). Of course there was also more competition, but that's expected. Depending on where you are exactly the opportunities in Europe definitely are there.

 

From what I gather you area already in Europe? Is your country part of the EU? This makes it so much easier to relocate, and also makes it easier for a company to hire you remotely either with relocation included or with your ability to relocate yourself, as there is far less hassle with visas and such. If you are not in a country that's part of the EU you may want to consider saving up and physically moving yourself, then looking for work - I know it's a bit scary, but in my case that seemed to be the only option to actually have a company seriously consider an application for a non-senior role.

Edited by Drakonka

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.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!