Every few months or so I browse various job sites to see what roles there are out there to get an understanding what employers look for when trying to get into the games industry or just the general software development industry for that matter. The first thing I notice that on 80% of job descriptions it says something along the lines of 2 years minimum in the industry, must have shipped at least 3 games, experience in a professional environment.
First of all, who gets to determine how many years someone needs to have in a workplace before they are deemed to have the relevant “years of experience” ? There could be one person who’s been in the industry for 3 years but that doesn’t necessarily mean someone coming out of university knows any less that guy/girl. What if you worked for a studio that had a massive game and for the years you worked there that’s the only game you worked on, that would instantly mean you shouldn’t apply because you have not got 3 shipped games under your belt. Finally how are you supposed to get experience in a “professional environment” when the two comments above are restricting you from doing so. You could be a bedroom coder releasing games on various phone devices, does that count as a “professional environment”?
This is why I thought of found it vital to get on an internship, even if it’s not in the games industry. It shows I can work as a team in a working environment, answer to management, learn new technologies and co-ordinate with customers on what they want, which often changes daily.
When the time comes I think I’ll just ignore the “X amount of years of experience” line and apply for every role that isn’t labeled senior or lead.