Jump to content
  • Advertisement
GreenGodDiary

What can I expect as a Junior Programmer?

Recommended Posts

Advertisement

- What did you do on your first day/week/month?

Week #1: Settled down in new working environment where everything was practical.

- What were your deadlines like? Stressful/relaxed?

I started as assistant programmer so deadlines were quite flexible.

- How were you trained/coached?

Thanks to all my seniors especially the immediate ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What always helps is finding out as much as possible about the company itself. Who works there, history, awards won, that kind of thing. Know what they are doing. It will show you are interested and you will have something to talk about.

Don't worry about the technical side of things, you are already prepared for that.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Biggest thing, ASK FOR HELP.

I see this a lot with juniors they come in and agree to everything and when they get stuck they panic and don't tell anyone. You are a junior you are not supposed to know much and the codebase will be brand new, especially since it's your first job. Nobody cares if you ask for help and it actually looks better than at the end of the day finding out you have been working on a problem already solved someone could of told you quickly. Everyone expects you to be there to learn just as much as you are to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing more in the first morning. Meet with your boss and take the project which you work on. After then deep study your project and try to understand your work and its maintenance.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- What did you do on your first day/week/month?
Nothing too serious. You learn the code-base as you work with it. Worry more about getting the job done. Don't be afraid to ask questions or about looking stupid. Not knowing things is fine, but ask.

- What were your deadlines like? Stressful/relaxed?
Deadlines were relaxed. Get the thing done and communicate any issues, questions etc.

- How were you trained/coached?
I received no coaching. I did approach a co-worker and we started getting lunches together. He really loved programming and I learned a lot from those lunches.

- How did you prepare/wish you had prepared for the job?
A difficulty for me was adjusting to the reality of the workplace.
My dream drove me but didn't quite match the reality.
Now that I have more perspective I can appreciate game-dev more.
All workplaces have their own different pluses and minuses.
Overall, do your best to enjoy the experience. Trust yourself. Be your own advocate and have a good time. Making video games is a great career. You get to work with creatives and feel the satisfaction of seeing your code come to life. Minuses are the pay and the hours, and for some the stability. Enjoy the ride, make friends and congratulations. Know where you want to be in two to five years and work to achieve it. If you want to see what your lifestyle would be like if you stayed at the company look at your leads. How much responsibility, pay, hours etc do they work. Are they happy? Are they extremely stressed? I'm not saying things will be the same but it's at least some data point for how things will play out. Either way, games are great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience might be a bit strange, as I started at a very small studio (~10 people). Everyone is so busy to the point that they can't just babysit the newcomers and everyone has to learn on their own. No formal or informal training whatsoever lol.

Quote

 What did you do on your first day/week/month?

In my case, I was thrown into the battlefield almost right away. The task might be minor, but battlefield nontheless :P.

At that time I started with writing tool for another studio. It was a C# tool used for manipulating (binary) game data. I don't really know if the client have any use of it though. May be they realized that text game data is much more easier to work with, who knows?

The second project is a port of a Series-60 (Symbian) game to Series-40 (Nokia's dump phone). The developer who write the original game sat besides me, so could ask him anything about the code.

Quote

- What were your deadlines like? Stressful/relaxed?

I think those two projects took like 2 months to complete I think .... Stressed ... probably, but I was so young at that time any everything seems optimistic!
 

Quote

- How were you trained/coached?

Mostly from my university years. I did quite a lot of toy projects using multiple API and stuffs.
 

Quote

- How did you prepare/wish you had prepared for the job?

I didn't really prepared much to be honest. However I boutght as many books as my salary allows (in fact I was in red at that time). I read them cover to cover, and then move on to other. I had math, physics, Win32 and DirectX books on my desk, as references. Internet was already filled with information, but I still prefer book (even now).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that just came to mind is, it's actually doesn't matter whether or not you have or have no experience. When you're new to the company, you're about to face new challenges. New people, new projects, new tools, etc.

It's not like you can apply the past experience to the new place right away.

In fact, I'm actually facing a difficulties at the time of writing comments above. I just moved into the company and still trying to get used to things around here as well.

One story I can share is, at the same company I was talking about before, at one point there's a new senior developer just joined the team. About that time there was a new project from one of the biggest client we had (the big U... ), which is to make a game port from PC to PSP. Unfortunately for him, he was assigned to this project. This project, with tight deadline, new tools, new platform, and every worst thing you can think of, kinda destroyed him. Right around his probation ended, he stopped coming to the office and just let my boss's secretary knows on the phone that he wouldn't come anymore. Basically he ran away from the battlefield.

Everybody in the team, who was not tasked with important project, had to stop their work immediately and jump into this project right away. We kinda rush it so we can end the project. That was too late, it did not meet the deadline, the quality was not good enough. We basically loses that client forever. Even with the boss's good relationship with them doesn't help.

-----

What I'm going to tell you is, no matter what happen to you, don't do desertion. It does harm than good. Nobody knows where this gentleman is anymore. I think he has lost his place in the industry forever (the industry here in my country are so small that everyone know each others). If you're know that things are going south, talk with you supervisor/coach/mentor immediately. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't wait until the point of no returns. Of course, if the team is not helping, then at least you can tell yourself that you've already done the best you can.

Nevertheless, things can ended up badly, and that's normal. However losing trusts means losing your footing forever.

And with that, good luck with your new journey :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my first day, I spent some time reading through and signing a few more piles of papers :) Then a QA guy stopped by and helped me install the current version of our tools and the game, which we played together for a while. I remember it crashing a lot :D Then we went on a lunch. Our leads always take newcomers for the lunch, together with whoever can go from their team.

Soon I got links to plenty of documentation (coding standards, some technical designs, Perforce training, plans, ...) and started chewing through that (that spanned over a few days). Some standard work-place stuff like fire safety, first-aid, etc. over the next few days and weeks.

The first task came formulated pretty precisely already during the first week -- I started developing a simpler XML format for our human-readable resources together with a slight refactor of the binary formats, that made me look into everything -- our tool pipelines, editor, game...

All the time, there've been seniors sitting besides me whom I could ask anything and they'd always help.

The deadlines weren't very stressful, the lead always helped with planning and estimates.

The thing of utmost importance is open communication in the sense that your lead and your colleagues dependent on you must have a good idea of how you're doing. You must ask for help, you must provide help to others. It'd say, ultimately, it doesn't matter if you finish a task in a week or two, but that your estimate is good (juniors can't estimate anything, initially, though), so that others can depend on you and in case you're slipping, the production is aware and the situation can be contained.

Sit back, listen, observe, make notes, constantly ask, try to actually sit straight so you don't fokk up your back as MOST of us have (if you have a position-able desk, use it sometimes to stand), eat regularly, sleep regularly, engage in sports with your colleagues if possible, organise some beers or outside activities and always keep everyone in a well-informed state (but don't overwhelm anyone with things they don't need to know).

 

Edited by pcmaster
typo

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!