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Work Hours For VG Programmer

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#1 Phunin   Members   


Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:16 PM

I've been researching the industry recently, and I often hear about long work hours in the Video Game Industry and stuff like that. I oddly never see an actual number of hours though, lol. Maybe poor searching on my part, but I did make an effort. But to those of you who know, how many hours does the average Video Game Programmer work (or a guess of how many hours)? Another question, I tried googling this answer but never got it: In terms of software development, or programming outside of the video game industry, are the hours as bad there too?

#2 LockePick   Members   


Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:39 PM

It is 100% based on the studio you work for.

-Some work 40 hour weeks. No more, no less.
-Some make you do mandatory overtime 12 hours a day, six/seven days a week, for months.
-I've heard of a couple who don't even care what your hours are and when you show up, so long as you get your work done.

#3 frob   Moderators   

Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:40 PM

It varies, just like it does for every industry. Try searching for the number of hours per week for database programmers, or stage managers, or auto mechanics, or just about any other professional job.

Most people work a typical business work week. In the US, that is about 40 hours per week.

Some people work more or less than that for any number of reasons.

Expect to have a few weeks that have some extra hours requested, but the same is true for every industry. If you get a database programming job you will be expected to work late occasionally, and everybody gets to be on hand for a few days during a major transition. My view is that anything over two weeks (either a few days here and there, or all at once) per year is excessive, and I have stood against managers who wanted more than that.

Every company is different -- some have policies that overtime is unnecessary and should be avoided, others have policies that encourage it. Every project is different --- some are high-risk ambitious projects, some projects slip, some projects have everything work out the first time it is tried. Every team is different --- Sometimes an art deadline for a trade show will cause the artists or modelers to work extra hours, other times a bunch of nasty bugs will cause a few programmers to put in late nights. Every individual is different --- a worker who feels their job is in jeopardy may choose to work different hours than a worker who is secure in their job.

Exactly what happens for an individual is defined party by management (team lead, project lead, studio management, scheduling promises) and the individual's ability and desire to go home.

It should be obvious to you when you interview at a company.

Bad management will use overtime as free employees. These businesses tend to have a high turnover and mostly younger workers (under age 30). They tend to have good short-term perks but horrible long-term morale boosting environments. Good management will use overtime as a request and a last resort, and compensate their employees for it. These businesses will have extremely low turnover rates and a mature, more senior work force.

#4 Richy2k   Members   


Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:55 PM

Contractually I'm 37.5 hours a week. On average it's probably a lot more hours due to working over time. Some weeks as high as 70 hours, most sit at around 37.5 for me.
Adventures of a Pro & Hobby Games Programmer - http://neilo-gd.blogspot.com/Twitter - http://twitter.com/neilogd

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