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  How do I get hired?  (Read 3361 times)
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Offline kitfox

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Posted 2002-11-11 16:25:35 »

I was wondering if any veterans may be able to share the secrets of finding and landing contracts.  Myself, I have a CS degree, some great Java experience both in the workplace and as a hobbiest, a strong desire to create games, and even worked on a game with the LithTech engine in C++.  Yet I find myself doing database administration and having my resume get reject after reject from the companies that post on Gamasutra.  

I'm certain I'm more than qualified, and that my problem is that I'm not looking in the right places.  Where can I find game groups starting up?  I can work remotely, as I imagine many of these groups would require.

Mark McKay

http://www.kitfox.com
Offline BlackCloud

Junior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #1 - Posted 2002-11-11 23:55:46 »

If the resume on your website is the resume you've been sending out then I understand the problem.  It's a weak resume.  You've got large gaps in employment and short periods of work.  While your objective is "to have a distinguished career as a computer graphics programmer" nothing in your body of work as exhibited in your resume demonstrates any aptitude for that career.  Gazelle may be technically challenging but viewing it from the mindset of a company on Gamasutra it's not impressive.

You say you're more than qualified...show it!
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #2 - Posted 2002-11-12 08:15:07 »

What he said...

And the first rule of CVs is to listen and humbly swallow every bit of horrible, pooey criticism that's thrown at it and fix the perceived problems.

My CV went through a very public grilling in front of hundreds of contractors on CIX. The humiliation has done it a power of good (it's at http://www.shavenpuppy.com/cv.html) I certainly don't claim that it's the best or the coolest.

Oh, and it has so far entirely failed to get me a job in the games industry Smiley But that's because there's feck all money in it in the UK, so I'm eking out a living on databases for now...

Cas Smiley

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline kitfox

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2002-11-12 20:15:35 »

Thanks for the advice.  I'm hoping to update my site soon with more game related information.  How could I fix my resume?  Many of the jobs in my employment history are university co-op positions.  Would mentioning this remove the appearance of weakness?

Mark McKay
Offline MGodehardt

Junior Member




why does the chicken cross the road?


« Reply #4 - Posted 2002-12-05 16:34:21 »

Hmmm, maybe you are looking at the wrong places, try to find a job in a small company. Develop small simple games.

i started with assembly and basic language at the age of 9, wrote some programs on the famous C64 and Atari 600/800. I finished school ( in germany its called Abitur ) and went to university and deaf as i was, i was not studying Computer Science, it was 89 and ppl like me was called freaks. Then a lot of shit happened, but i never stopped programming at home, in 96 a company gave me a chance as unemployed and without any degrees. I worked hard learned many many things and earned not much money, but i didnt care, i earned a lot experience and left that company 3 years later as a freelancer, then i was lucky and was hired by compaq for a big project for FIBA learned java. Then it was easy for me i found a nice company and i am developing now online games/chats in c++/java on windows and unix, but its not my goal to do this job forever, maybe i get a chance to join a group of real game developers and work for EA or Sony

its a hard business, i work 14 to 17 hours a day 7 days a week, i had no holiday for 5 years, but thats the only way to become a skilled programmer, its no 9 to 5 job

developer is not my job, its my life
Offline nabetse

Senior Newbie




I love YaBB 1G - SP1!


« Reply #5 - Posted 2002-12-07 15:47:19 »

I agree with BlackCloud when he says that you must show your work. Actually, these big gaming companies receive a lot of resumes everyday. What they want is to get impressed with your work. You have to show something great. When they have been surprised by your work, then they proceed to read your resume.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #6 - Posted 2002-12-07 21:02:42 »

Bizarre anomaly: hey look at this terrain demo, it's all bumpmapped and stuff etc etc., Oooh, isn't it amazing, you're brilliant, oh what's that you say, it's written in Java? goodbye...

Cas Smiley (drunk and not responsible for actions of keyboard)

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #7 - Posted 2002-12-13 13:32:33 »

(Speaking as CEO of a games company:)

I've done a lot of recruiting in the past, and made at least as many terrible mistakes as I have had great successes :(. I'm probably reasonably representative right now of many execs at other game companies who do hiring (although I'm no longer in the front line, so to speak ;) - although YMMV.

In addition to all the generally true things (several of which others have mentioned above, its all good stuff), with games-dev hires I'm really concentrating on the following:

 1. Is this person lying through their teeth? (Happens often, sadly :(

 2. If I sit this guy down at a desk and leave him, and give him a task, will he have the initiative to get it done, even if that means doing lots of background reading (spending ages searching google, AND reading it all), finding a well-respected book, ordering it off Amazon, designing a solution from his new-found-knowledge, and then coming to me to check if he's "going in the right direction".

I've had more than one person who would get no further than asking his colleagues how to do it, and if they didn't know, he might do a single, 2 minute google check, and then give up and wait until the next meeting before telling me (and so waste a week doing less important stuff).

 3. Is this the kind of person, that when he accidentally breaks something (and spots it), will spend time fixing it, or at least TELL everyone else about it, and explain why he hasn't got time / can't fix it himself. (One guy used to keep quiet every time he broke things, because he didn't want people to think he was less than perfect. Wasted many many many man-weeks because we lost stuff due to the broken thing (which no-one had been warned about), then had to get lost work back again, then had to work out what the problem was, and finally volunteer someone to fix it!)

 4. Is he a really fast learner? (no time for slow-learners in this industry, I'm afraid)

 5. Script-kiddie or Super-Hacker? (Listing the languages you know usually screams "SCRIPT-KIDDIE!" loud and clear, at least in the games industry, because sadly many many wannabe games-developers who have very poor skills try to hide this fact by substituting quantity (of skills) for any detailed description that would show the lack of quality. For each language, give 5 words listing the kind of things (apps?) you have done with that language, that let me get a good idea of your level of experience with it!).

 6. Innovator, or copy-cat? I've seen lots of C.V.s that e.g. mention "I wrote an implementation of ROAM". Great; anyone within the industry who codes can do an implementation of ROAM. There was a time when just having done this would demonstrate both your keen-ness and your skill (ROAM isn't trivial to get working properly). Nowadays, you need to be showing "ROAM with my own custom modification that does X" - X just needs to be something slightly different, so that I can see you not only understand the common-knowledge (ROAM) stuff, but at least try to experiment and add your own ideas too. Hey, I don't mind if your additions are pretty slow, nor particularly innovative, although if your additions are of a high quality, you'll really get me excited)

 7. Professional worker, or newbie intern?. Previous experience is NOT the issue here; what concerns me is whether you have the maturity and the professionalism to work in a high-pressure environment. "professionalism" is definitely NOT "suit and ties" or "always being on time". Heck, sometimes I end up habitually late for EVERYTHING some days (knock-on delays); but I want to know if you at least phone ahead when you know you'll be late, and WARN the rest of us, as opposed to just sneaking in late with some excuse. Equally I want to be sure that when the shit really hits the fan on some code you're working on - perhaps we're going gold tomorrow morning, 9am, and you promised you'd have the installer working by then, and now its midnight and you've unearthed a load of new critical bugs - then you don't just give up, nor do you work flat out, hoping to fix it before anyone notices. Instead, you get hold of your manager, and let him know the situation, and then get on with one of the other two options above :). That way, your manager is able to prepare for damage limitation; if you fix everything in time, great, he's happy. If you don't, he steps in at 8:30am and prevents everything else from falling to pieces, and he's a hell of a lot more happy than if you didn't tell him until 8:59am!

That's all off the top of my head; sorry its a bit waffling. I'm not claiming you can answer all those concerns in a CV, but every CV gives an impression of the person, and people WILL make guesses of answers to those questions based on reading your CV. The more CV's a person gets, the more they will try to answer these questions from your CV before spending the time giving you an interview. Hope this helps. :)

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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