What do video game companies look for when hiring their programmers? Is a bachelor's in computer science good enough?
So I want to program video games for a career and I'm already majoring in computer science and trying to learn a little about video game programming through Unity but I'm worried that there'll be a lot of extra hoops I have to jump through before I look hire-able. So I want to know what not just what I can do to stand out in the hiring process but also what video game companies expect to be common knowledge when hiring their programmers. Thanks!
Good question, I get your concern it is such a broad field and it can be difficult to know where to start. Thankfully you already started with a BA degree. What I will say is start from what inspires you. Which game do you like, or what kind of games you want to make. Do the research what game devs in that area are doing. Then start using those tools. One thing to note a new college grad with a lot of self motivated project are highly attractive and a great place to start. I studied gaming and graphic design in college and nothing prepares you more for an interview than knowing that you are capable. So even though the tools might be different from what your actual job might be using they might be similar enough which would reduce training time needed. Hope this helps.
Hi Christy, From the programming side, it really depends on what type of video games you want to develop, like for iOS, Swift, Cocoa, Objective C are a must, but in other areas you want to definitely have a good grasp on object oriented languages , including Unity, and be able to translate that knowledge into the ability to learn quickly and on the fly. Look at EA's game dev listings to get an idea, as well as Blizzard and Riot gaming.
Hi, Christa, I hope a programmer will add answers to this. I come from the game design and narrative design side, but one thing I can recommend is to go the job listings on gamasutra.com and look at lots and lots of job listings for programmers. By looking at their requirements, you'll begin to get a sense of what companies want.
Being expert in Unity is also a big plus.