All things game development

Published: 7 years ago

Minimum years of experience – What does that even mean?

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.

8 Comments.
  1. John van rij says:

    I like to view them as guidelines rather than requirements. They shouldn’t stop you from applying for a job you know that you can do. Not all employers will completely rule you out if you can demonstrate your proficiency through other means.

  2. Lindsay says:

    “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. ” – When I started I learnt about 10x more than I ever learnt at Uni

    • Josh Naylor says:

      Yer I agree, I’ve learnt loads on my internship. But I’m just saying that may necessarily may not be the case, they’re just assuming.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Also it doesn’t matter if one game took 3 years, you still learn a lot and work on a lot and if it is taking that long its probs gonna be a relatively big title.

    • Josh Naylor says:

      I’m just using it for arguments sake for the various job descriptions I’ve seen which may put people off that haven’t done multiple games, rather one big one.

  4. Rory says:

    I’d agree with your sort of general sentiment here which, I assume, is “Don’t let these requirements put you off of applying for a job”. But the difference between university or bedroom education and a job is you learn how to work, versus just learning how to program (it’s like when you first start driving after you pass your test, I suppose). Hopping on that internship is a fantastic idea, one I wish I’d have taken really, but the MEng I’m on should see me through with relatively similar skills learned.

    I just assume you’ll expect some line of questioning in the interview as to why you think you’re suitable. Also I found that typing in “graduate developer”, as reluctant as we may be to type that, yields less results where you need X years experience and they tend to list general technologies instead.

    • Josh Naylor says:

      Yer I completely agree, I think its something that the computer science course at Hull does really well, teaches you not to be just a programmer but a software engineer. That’s properly something I’ll always keep as my professional title as it promotes the fact that you’re more well rounded for a professional environment. I know its fairly boring to be writing reports and planning but at the end of the days its professional practice and something that’ll separate a large chuck of salary in the future. Yer I constantly think of questions that someone may ask me where I have little knowledge, then try find the answer incase it crops up.

      I like your driving analogy. Right new we are learning to drive the “proper” way, after we pass it’s up to us to use our own driving style and adapt our skills.

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