Jump to content
  • Advertisement
ireef

Age restrictions with companies

Recommended Posts

    The topic at hand may seem a bit weird but this has been one of my many concerns moving into this field. A little background about myself before I start my question so that people can understand where I am coming from.

    I am currently going through a college to gain my Game Development and Programming degree and I am about 2 terms away from completing this milestone in my life. I am also a full time Active Duty military member and have been for 17+ years. My goal is to serve our country until they tell me I can no longer serve but I also do not want to handicap myself once I do retire and I begin to apply for jobs in this field. At the earliest I can retire at 38 or at the latest 48. 

    This leads me into my job opportunity question, will my age and lack of experience in the filed other than my degree handicap me when i begin to apply against the younger applicants?

My plan is to continue working on smaller projects as a volunteer and to work on a few things during my off military time in order to build an extensive portfolio to go along with my degree and possible masters before I retire in computer science.

   Will my continuing education and projects be enough to join a large AAA team or even a smaller company as well?

Thank you for reading and I look forward to any posts and information!

Franky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
3 hours ago, ireef said:

This leads me into my job opportunity question, will my age and lack of experience in the filed other than my degree handicap me when i begin to apply against the younger applicants?

Generally speaking (not just in IT) - I personally never look at age (aside from legal requirements) when I've had to hire. What I care about is one's competence among some other factors so that individual will be able to mesh in to the current culture and group if applicable.

If you're able to perform well and do the job no company 'should' refuse to hire you over a younger application who isn't as qualified. You might get passed over if it's a reason of culture fit and they must have someone today. We don't live in a perfect world sadly so you have to roll with it sometimes. There is age discrimination in the working world, and such companies are not worth working for anyhow, but you have zero control over it so don't worry about it... Just keep applying when you get to that stage.

My advice is work on being the best you can be in your chosen craft and give it your all. If you show enthusiasm and competence you're already setting yourself on the correct path. Will you get into a AAA company out the gate? Well that depends on the position, networking, luck of the draw, portfolio, if someone likes you enough, ect...  Nobody can guarantee you'll get hired in (x) period of time or at (x) size company, or (x) company, but if you keep pushing to succeed and continue to put your best foot forward you'll be better off than doing the latter.

Build your resume up along side your portfolio (if you're a programmer it should be 'code' based, not with "visuals" everywhere and no code) and focus on jobs that will help you do that. If you aim for the top when starting out you're going to set yourself up for failure. Don't be afraid to settle for smaller companies and entry level positions because you're technically at that level anyhow in terms of employment experience in programming regardless of knowledge.

One big tip I'll give you is do lots of research on properly creating resumes. So many companies are using automated systems to filter resumes and you'll need to have the correct "key words", or risk getting your resume trashed before a human even sees it.

I didn't see what goal you had in your post though? What are you aiming for as you've indicated you want to get a masters... Game Programmers generally don't go for master degrees, that's usually more on the higher up -> executive positions. Game Development has many moving parts, it would be a good idea to define what you're aiming for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ireef, the only "restrictions" you'll find in the professional industry is for people who are under 18 (in the USA anyway). 

2 hours ago, ireef said:

will my age and lack of experience in the filed other than my degree handicap me when i begin to apply against the younger applicants?

Could be. Can't say for certain. There is a bias towards younger cheaper applicants, as you suspected.

2 hours ago, ireef said:

Will my continuing education and projects be enough to join a large AAA team or even a smaller company as well?

My crystal ball is at the repair shop right now. And nothing is ever enough. But don't let any of this stop you from pursuing your chosen path.

Smaller companies may be easier for you to get your foot in the door. Broaden your options to increase your chances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my console/platform engineering team there are people between 22 and 40-something. The average is around 30. Although we don't have many developers over 45 in the whole company, it isn't because we wouldn't like to, it's because they've moved to some other fields or industries altogether. Don't be too afraid, merit and not being a dick is what matters, not details like age, sex and such, especially in games and tech firms. I like to be positive about our industry :) I hope people and companies don't discriminate more in the US than in Central Europe :) Also, your projects and the enthusiasm shown will be more important than your education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that I would add to the other replies you’ve got so far:

Don’t stop with your education at the degree level. 

Game dev can be a quickly moving industry. Try to keep up with good practices, engines/frameworks and programming/scripting languages that are being used or the industry is moving to. The cool thing about game dev is, that a lot of practices are being shared. Many good presentations are held regularly, so try to take something out of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2018 at 4:47 PM, Rutin said:

Generally speaking (not just in IT) - I personally never look at age (aside from legal requirements) when I've had to hire. What I care about is one's competence among some other factors so that individual will be able to mesh in to the current culture and group if applicable.

If you're able to perform well and do the job no company 'should' refuse to hire you over a younger application who isn't as qualified. You might get passed over if it's a reason of culture fit and they must have someone today. We don't live in a perfect world sadly so you have to roll with it sometimes. There is age discrimination in the working world, and such companies are not worth working for anyhow, but you have zero control over it so don't worry about it... Just keep applying when you get to that stage.

My advice is work on being the best you can be in your chosen craft and give it your all. If you show enthusiasm and competence you're already setting yourself on the correct path. Will you get into a AAA company out the gate? Well that depends on the position, networking, luck of the draw, portfolio, if someone likes you enough, ect...  Nobody can guarantee you'll get hired in (x) period of time or at (x) size company, or (x) company, but if you keep pushing to succeed and continue to put your best foot forward you'll be better off than doing the latter.

Build your resume up along side your portfolio (if you're a programmer it should be 'code' based, not with "visuals" everywhere and no code) and focus on jobs that will help you do that. If you aim for the top when starting out you're going to set yourself up for failure. Don't be afraid to settle for smaller companies and entry level positions because you're technically at that level anyhow in terms of employment experience in programming regardless of knowledge.

One big tip I'll give you is do lots of research on properly creating resumes. So many companies are using automated systems to filter resumes and you'll need to have the correct "key words", or risk getting your resume trashed before a human even sees it.

I didn't see what goal you had in your post though? What are you aiming for as you've indicated you want to get a masters... Game Programmers generally don't go for master degrees, that's usually more on the higher up -> executive positions. Game Development has many moving parts, it would be a good idea to define what you're aiming for.

Wow! Thank you guys for all the valuable information. This does make the eventual transition seem a bit easier to swallow once I decide it is time to retire from the Navy. The biggest concern for me was that my age would over shadow my abilities but after reading these posts from you guys, I believe that any large AAA or smaller game companies are just like any other company and are looking for the best talent available no matter what age you are which is very refreshing to hear.

To reply back on a few questions and comments from all posters:

My goal is to become a programmer initially, get in the weeds and learn everything I can from the field for as long as I can. With that being said, I do not want forward progression in any endeavor I take so advancing through the field is a goal as well but not initially. I do understand that a Masters is not required for a programmer but I figured that since the Navy will pay for any level degree I choose to tackle, I assume that it will not hurt to have the highest degree possible.

Ideally, I think that in my post I shot for the moon and stated a Large AAA company but that is a dream scenario that I have about 10% staked into it actually coming into reality. I would be open to any programming position with any company once I retire in order to get my self more well rounded and maybe one day working for the big boys!

About the not being a dick part...welllll lol if you ask my subordinates, they probably say that I am when I tell them things they do not want to hear but on the other hand I am a very well liked person that likes others so I am sure I can control that part. I just want to be part of a team, possibly a game developing team, and make some great games that make people happy! I am really excited to see that there are people in my age group flourishing in the field and that the age is not a big deal as long as your willing to work hard and make things happen!

That is going to be my biggest focus throughout this process is to focus and read on whats new and how to make myself better. I want to finish my degree and move on to higher education but during those in between times, I will be focusing on perfecting my craft in what ever form is made available to me like internships or volunteer projects!

Thank you all and you are all awesome for replying!

P.S: If you are looking for a retired Navy vet in a few years for a programming positions don't forget about this post lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm closer to 60 than to 50 and I've been seen stuff over the decades.

I can vouch that despite claims of being age blind, hiring managers like to hire people who are similar to themselves, in age, in sex, and in socio-cultural background.  Yes, it's not legal and it's not necessarily to the company's advantage, but it's human nature and you;re going to run into it.  Expect to get fewer opportunities than someone who is younger together with excuses like "someone your age will expect to be paid more than we can afford" or "we're a young and agile team that needs to be able to pick up new technologies on the fly."  Ageism in the industry is alive and well and rumours of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • 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!