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career thought

category: general [glöplog]
I'm a programmer and I worked 16 months in a game studio, after which I quit for many reasons. Right now I'm searching, some days I'm really enthusiatic and willing to give it another shot but other days I just feel like giving the gaming biz the finger. Anybody else out there who feels lost. That's how I feel today.
I know there are other fields that can be more fulfilling than games, like medical imaging. Do you know any other?

This harsh reality we live in can really be a downer at times. Luckily there is chip music and coding to cheer me up. Beer doesn't do it for me.

Just wanted to share my thoughts.
added on the 2006-09-19 22:00:41 by duffman duffman
Create some killer plugins for 3DS MAX (procedural mesh/texture generation and stuff) and sell the whole package at $599 a pop. If it's really good, I'll buy a copy.
added on the 2006-09-19 22:04:00 by noouch noouch
Problem is, you dont need any skills what so ever to work as a game programmer. Obviously some studios are strict and only use good people, but they are very rare but ofcourse there are a couple of great coders in the industry. Its just that ordinary gameprogrammers arent paid a shit so the good people run away and leave free jobs for lamers.

If you want to do serious stuff youll have to know what youre doing. Ill bet you dont have what it takes to work outside the gamebiz.
added on the 2006-09-19 22:21:42 by Hatikvah Hatikvah
I don't know what kind of programmer you are, but if you like low level and technical stuff you might consider an embedded software company.

You can go all ways there, from mobile phone applications to satellite control software, and yes, also medical applications :-)
added on the 2006-09-19 22:22:21 by sparcus sparcus
Here is my advice: Work where they pay you the most, and you can retire before you are 30.
(and move to Thailand? :) I will..
added on the 2006-09-19 22:31:28 by sp^ctz sp^ctz
you could try gardening? trees use less power than computers.. and they smell nice, too
added on the 2006-09-20 02:58:43 by Gaia Gaia
im trying to avoid gamedev by getting into AI stuff.. luckily getting it involved with audiovisuals will do the trick to make it both rentable and interesting.. i'll let you know in a few years..
added on the 2006-09-20 03:39:18 by psenough psenough
Anyone can be a programmer, not everyone can be a developer.

im trying to avoid gamedev by getting into AI stuff.. luckily getting it involved with audiovisuals will do the trick to make it both rentable and interesting.. i'll let you know in a few years..

SKYNET!!!1 You crazy.

I, on the other hand, am safly working with Oracle databases and other evil big corporations ;). Working for gamebiz and/or audiovisual stuff could be more interesting, but this way i'll get paid better and don't get bored on coding so easily.
added on the 2006-09-20 09:22:55 by kurli kurli
sceners should choose/keep boring jobs so that they go on making fun scene stuff :D
added on the 2006-09-20 09:31:04 by Zest Zest
on the other hand, the very best ones should make the future Battlefield or Max Payne or Riddick :)
added on the 2006-09-20 09:33:56 by Zest Zest
Never settle for a crap job. Find a job that you enjoy, and do that. Don't worry about pay and shit, if you enjoy it and it's only paying enough to get you to a few demoparties and pay rent, you've still got that you can go to work and not go "ok, ya know what, I wish I were somewhere else."

The type of work doesn't matter as long as you're happy doing it.

And just because the last job sucked in an industry doesn't mean the next one will. If it does, don't work there. You know what to look for (somewhat, mostly hiring places hide the crap elsewhere, but you can see the signs - like people without clue, people not interested in what they're doing, people joking about TPS reports, people not understanding jokes about TPS reports...)

And always be able to escape if you need to, no matter what you're doing - auto racing, espionage, flipping burgers, cleaning toilets, growing rice, secretary of defense...

added on the 2006-09-20 13:01:52 by v4nl4me v4nl4me
I started reading http://www.ericsink.com/No_Programmers.html, not a great article but I can see where the guy is coming from. Then I got to this line at the bottom:

Your developers probably can do sysadmin work

Hah. Yes. Sure. And your system admins can manage your Oracle databases. While we're about it, your receptionist could probably do your toolcoding too...

That is the #1 problem with small dev shops. They think because they are all coders (sorry, "developers") and thus uber-l33t at all this computer stuff, they somehow have the skills to deploy, manage, maintain and secure the network infrastructure their company TOTALLY RELIES ON.

So don't be surprised when a virus wipes out your infrastructure, or some 13 year old steals your source code (coughVALVEcough). It was your own fault, because you thought your coders could be network infrastructure specialists, security consultants, web developers, system admins....
added on the 2006-09-20 13:10:43 by defbase defbase
that eric sink guy desperately needs an education. he's merely stating the obvious and then being very narrow minded about it.
added on the 2006-09-20 14:32:18 by skrebbel skrebbel
I hope to work with robots and have fun. I also hope do find a nice girlfriend, and it's proving dificult. See my point?
added on the 2006-09-20 14:33:59 by xernobyl xernobyl
way to quote there defbase
added on the 2006-09-20 14:48:51 by Sverker Sverker
I stopped working as a programmer because although I enjoy programming I don´t enjoy working in sweatshops, surrounded by clueless people / marketing drones and so on.

so now I code only for fun, and hope I can keep it that way for years to come.
added on the 2006-09-20 14:57:34 by Reboot Reboot
What reboot said

plus most programming jobs suck :)
added on the 2006-09-20 15:03:00 by すすれ すすれ
i second truck.
added on the 2006-09-20 15:46:53 by xeNusion xeNusion

You will realize with time that working in a field you usually like when doing it at home might become utterly boring and annoying at work if you have to follow guidelines and roadmaps you don't agree with.

Instead of working on something you would love doing at home during your sparetime, it can become something you totally hate.
Which means, for programmers, it can sometimes be better to work in a field not related to your passion (CG, 3D, AI or whatever) and keep that for your sparetime, unless you are strongly involved in the decision process.

Videogame industry is really one of a kind. You will meet really cool challenges and projects but you might do a lot of overtime (not to mention the stress before deadlines).
As for the wages, it vary a lot from a company to another. The old cliché of underpaid game programmers tends to be more and more wrong because nowadays game companies need people with strong skills in one or many fields (maths, physics, AI, 3D) that the average mainstream programmer doesn't have.
When you specialize in a field, you can actually get a really good salary in videogames.

However, I doubt you can stay a game programmer for 10 years. It's a very good experience but I guess you eventually have to move on afterward :)
added on the 2006-09-20 16:13:22 by keops keops
Duffman: I noticed that your website is hosted by sympatico.ca, may I ask in which game company you worked if it was in Canada? :)
added on the 2006-09-20 16:16:56 by keops keops
I quit sysadmin because, like reboot, i got tired of making drones and plugging switches. I noticed that most people in my various organic wholefood stores and markets seemed to be happy, so i'm doing that now.

in other words, what truck said :)
added on the 2006-09-20 16:26:43 by Gaia Gaia
I second Keops.

I sell my soul & skills to big corporations :) Having an usual and good education in computer science and electronics helped me for that.

Though, at first, I always wanted to work in audiovisual and sound engineering. I even had a little studio where I recorded local bands back in 1995/1996. I had some work experience in TV and music studios. This was very exciting until I saw the other face...
Crazy working hours (and I know what's working hard means in my current job), boring job especially in TV studios, badly paid until you gain a lot of experience, very difficult job status in France, etc...

Well, this was very far from my expectations and I lost interest in working in this area. I'm 29 now and two friends of mine still work in this domain and they mostly have no life despite some good incomes but not constant...

So now, I know I gained a lot of skills in audio engineering and music production, but because this is my passion. Like a graduated pianist who only play for his own pleasure instead of giving curses or playing to live.

It remains a pleasure and passion. I think this applies pretty well to game programming... So think twice before making your passion a daily job!

added on the 2006-09-20 16:35:08 by oxb oxb
TI : I have the same philosophy, life is too short to do something you don't enjoy. Since work occupies at least 1/3 of our life, it should be somewhat pleasant.

Keops: I worked there
and it's the only studio that ports Xbox to PC I think.
I had to make the code, developped by another studio, work on the PC. A lot of debugging and hacking.
added on the 2006-09-20 17:52:48 by duffman duffman


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