Thursday, October 05, 2006

Getting a games programming job - Tip 9 - Working on group projects

I interview quite a few people who’ve worked on group projects at university. In an average group project, I’ll often see that two people did almost all the programming work, one person did a trivial bit, and then one person performed some other role like writing the fluffy game design doc (which is far beyond what gets implemented:) and doing graphics.

If this was isolated, it wouldn’t be too bad, but what normally happens is that on the next project, people perform the same roles. The coders code, and the people who worked on other things last time, again work on things other than code. By the time university is over, the code dodgers may well have the same GPA as the coders, but when it comes to interviewing for a coding job, they can have a hard time.


  • Don’t let it happen to you. When there’s code to be written, jump in, and do as much as you can.
  • Don’t let it happen to your friends. Help to structure your team so that everyone codes. This is both ‘being nice’, but also building up skills you’ll need in working in a team of programmers.
  • If you somehow get stuck in a non-programming role, then do more coding on your own outside of your class projects. Writing demos and games on your own can be one of the most important things you do in terms of getting a job.

The more coding practice you get, the easier job interviews for programming positions are.

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