What does it take to become hireable as a programmer? Or maybe just reach that next level? Naughty dog compiled a few movies regarding working there, you will get some insight on what it takes to become hireable for different positions.
I’ve been teaching game programming for plenty of years now in different levels of education. There are four areas I see students struggle with.
Consumer vs Developer.
When you talk about games, do you talk about playing games, enjoying them or do you talk about them from a developer stand point? It’s important to start the transition to the latter. To think on how different aspects of the game were made, what can you improve or do different.
It seams people are afraid of math, understandable perhaps. Math is however a key ingredient in most areas of creating digital and analog games. For programmers math and logic is something you will work with on a daily basis, it is part of the creative problem solving we do. Practicing programming means you also need to practice math. Khan Academy is a great free resource for this so go there today!
You might enjoy working on your own projects but taking on an employment means you will work with others. Being able to work with others is the most important aspect when it comes to the success of a project. You can have greatly skilled people but unless they can work together the game will suffer greatly.
What do you do with the time that you have? I meet students that aspire to become developers but don’t put in the time. Just showing up to class won’t cut it, using the time wisely won’t cut it. You need to grind and train, more so than you’ve ever done before and it needs to start TODAY!
The business is absolutely desperate for skilled hireable people, you don’t need talent, talent will only give you a slight advantage… You need skill. Skill take time to develop and you can count on that someone else is putting in the time you’re not.
Higher educational institutes as well as the industry will ask you straight out if you work on projects during your spare time, most likely they’re answer regarding hiring you will match your answer to that question.