handmade.network » Forums » Career Advice » Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
gazto
Carlos Gabriel Hasbun Comandari
35 posts

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#15601 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
4 months ago Edited by Carlos Gabriel Hasbun Comandari on June 21, 2018, 2:57 a.m.

Don't apply like the herd to Human Resources departments, but rather find out who the technical directors of the game companies you want go apply for are, search for their contact information and send them your résumé and cover letter. Also be willing to relocate to another country.

Another option is to start your own, small company, but in that case you would have to apply for loans or venture capital and be ready to take higher risks.

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notnullnotvoid
Miles
9 posts / 1 project
#15651 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry to hijack your thread, but I'm wondering about a few things. A lot of people have suggested looking for jobs in other fields, which makes sense, but that makes me wonder - what other fields are game programming skills relevant in? When I look around for non-game-dev jobs, all I see is web dev, web dev, web dev, and more web dev. It's either making websites/web-app frontends, or programming server software, or both. There's a huge mismatch between the skills those jobs want (web languages/frameworks, network programming, database management, distributed programming, etc.) and the skills I actually have (low-level programming, optimization, graphics programming, etc.).

It's also extremely rare for me to find non-game-dev jobs that don't list a bachelor's degree as a hard requirement. I get the impression that I have no choice but to take on a mountain of student debt while spending years learning an entirely new technology stack I'm not interested in, just so I can work in a field I don't feel good about.

Is there an alternative? Somewhere I should be looking for work that I'm not already?
gazto
Carlos Gabriel Hasbun Comandari
35 posts

|· noise ·|

#15923 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
2 months, 2 weeks ago

That's exactly what not to do. Focusing on a field will ensure a job, not learning the latest, "greatest" framework. You probably shouldn't work with a company that demands technical knowledge of the latest frameworks without any rationale behind it.

|· We were all born equal... except for all those things that set us apart. ·|
mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1811 posts / 1 project
#15927 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
2 months, 2 weeks ago

what other fields are game programming skills relevant in?
From my experience your low level, debugging, optimization, etc skills will be appreciated in embedded development - various microcontrollers, firmware, & similar. Also in computer security related jobs - but beware there is a lot of snake oil jobs in this area. Anyways - in both areas I mentioned there is a lack of experienced developers.

More closer to game development, at least for graphics part, are simulators. Nowadays a lot of companies are doing various unity, unreal engine or custom engine based simulators for autonomous driving. Shameless plug - the team I'm working in is hiring in CA: Unity based simulator, and engineer for robotics / AD.

It's also extremely rare for me to find non-game-dev jobs that don't list a bachelor's degree as a hard requirement.
I ignore this requirement in job requirements or candidates. Most of the times this requirement comes from HR that just takes some template from to make job ad. I am interviewing a lot of candidates for positions either in my team, or in other teams - and I do not care what is their education. All that matters is what they like about their job, what they can do, how they are solving problems, stuff like that.
psyklic
Dan
2 posts
#16215 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited by Dan on Sept. 4, 2018, 2:36 a.m.

It's been a few months, but I also want to highly recommend applying to be a GDC Conference Associate next month! Applications open up end of October (https://www.calounge.com/application.php), and you sound like a great candidate. I did it for two years and gained a lot of industry contacts. The CA network is also incredibly useful for finding jobs later on -- they can put you in touch with people at every company. I wasn't looking for a job at the time, but I did meet an author/editor who let me write a chapter for a video game AI book he was working on.
Cipherpunk
Christopher McLaughlin
8 posts
#16301 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
1 month, 1 week ago Edited by Christopher McLaughlin on Sept. 12, 2018, 12:52 a.m.

I would like to share my job hunt frustration here.

I learned C from Handmade Hero and it's my dream to do engine programming. I didn't go to college but I'm doing everything I can to learn the subject and to prepare myself for a career. I consider Casey Muratori a mentor. When he said that he wants to pass on this way of life, it really spoke to me. I'm very grateful to him because he's taught me skills that not many programmers have.

The only problem is that I can't find companies that care about these skills. Every programmer I talk to tells me that I'm wasting my time and that I need to learn Unity if I want to get hired. And every engine programmer job that I want to apply for is looking to hire a C dinosaur with 10+ years of experience.

There doesn't appear to be a reasonable path to reach my goal. I don't want to take a day job doing web dev or building mobile apps. I don't want to spend multiple years writing business software hoping that some of the skills I'm learning will transfer to the game industry and help me get hired. I'm annoyed because I know that I can't reasonably expect to get my first software job building engines in C. But the alternatives all feel like they're not going to bring me any closer to my goal. I'm starting to despair.

Has anybody here overcome this difficulty? Where do engine programmers come from? How do I survive and make progress towards my dream without compromising the values that Handmade Hero has taught me?
yumisen-yamasen
7 posts
#16312 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
1 month, 1 week ago

Might be useful for yourself or others.

I haven't used it myself, but this site (https://triplebyte.com/) will try to match your skills to people who want to pay you.
notnullnotvoid
Miles
9 posts / 1 project
#16344 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
1 month ago

I've actually gone through triplebyte since I posted my last reply here, as it happens. They seem legitimate, but their process is very heavily focused on backend web development, which isn't entirely clear from their website. So if that's what you're after, it may be worth checking out, but otherwise I wouldn't bother.
yumisen-yamasen
7 posts
#16345 Question: How can I stand a chance when applying for jobs in the programming industry?
1 month ago Edited by yumisen-yamasen on Sept. 17, 2018, 3:32 p.m.

> There's a huge mismatch between the skills those jobs want (web languages/frameworks, network programming, database management, distributed programming, etc.) and the skills I actually have (low-level programming, optimization, graphics programming, etc.).

If you have really solid fundamentals those skills can transfer to basically any field. Like if you wanted with solid fundamentals in programming you can learn the broad-strokes of web development (renowned for being an easy field to get into) in a month or two and be reasonably employable.

> It's also extremely rare for me to find non-game-dev jobs that don't list a bachelor's degree as a hard requirement.

Personally I would ignore it. Those lists of requirements are more like what they want the ideal candidate to have. For a personal anecdote, I don't have a bachelors degree, and my current job listed that a bachelors was a requirement. What I did have was projects I could point to on my resume to prove I was a worthy candidate.

> Is there an alternative? Somewhere I should be looking for work that I'm not already?

Some ideas / fields in no particular order

- Embedded development, specifically Telecommunications comes to mind.
- Email one of the RAD boys and ask to be considered for an apprenticeship / next time they have a position that needs to be filled.
- Check out local university employment listings.
- HFT / FinTech Companies. For example, if you like functional programming apply to Jane Street.
- Become a security researcher and fix peoples bad business logic
- Work on open source projects and get hired from mailing lists