Train2Game Game Developers will be especially interested in this, Lead Programmer at Relentless Software, Lizi Attwood has been speaking to GamesInustry.biz about what she looks for in a graduate programmer.
On the key skills a graduate programmer should have, Attwood said:
“Obviously, really strong C++ skills, on top of that really good de-bugging skills, some optimisation skills, knowing that you need to profile code before you start optimising it. Really good communication skills are important, some exposure to source control, I’m interested in that, and knowing why that’s good. And just really friendly, relaxed happy people.”
While when quizzed about whether programmers shold specialise in a certain area, she replied:
“Personally I look for generalist programmers. I don’t see any reason to be really specific but if you’re going to go for graphics then specialise in it, but you better be really good at it because it’s very competitive.”
“A lot of people see it as the most exciting part of the game and really try to go for that but there is so many people doing that so you have to be exceptional”
And when asked about how long before a graduate programmers becomes a productive member of a game development team, Attwood responded:
“At Headstrong I will throw you in the deep end but we will assign you a mentor to guide you – give a lifebelt – who will guide you towards doing something productive as soon as possible. We might say ‘Okay here’s your task’, something that might take an experienced programmer half a day to do but it might take you a week.”
“At the end of that week you’ll have produced real functionality that contributes to the project and you’ll have learnt so much about the code base. I think that good graduates can become productive and useful pretty quickly and that’s something that we encourage.”
Of course, some Train2Game programmers are already getting hands-on experience building games be they working as part of a student team, or on a Train2Game industry experience placement.
Nontheless, Attwood gives all Train2Game Game Developers a useful insight into what to expect in that first role in the games industry.
The full interview is available on GamesIndustry.biz.
So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Attwood’s advice? Is it useful to you if you’re a programmer?
Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.