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Getting into the IT Games Industry

By Sarah Jacob Subscribe to RSS | July 19th 2012 | Views:
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So you want to work in the gaming industry, and why not? It may be hard work, but you’d likely be working on something you have a great interest in, and the possible success would be a huge reward. Plus, it’s an interesting job title to mention in conversation, and certainly more of a talking point than, say, an embedded software engineer.

Games aren’t like they used to be, however. Whereas it was once a simple case of knowing to get into console games, like for the Sega Mega Drive or Super Nintendo, today there are choices. Do you want to provide offline games for the iPhone, in which case you’d be looking at being an iOS developer, or online games for websites such as Facebook or bored.com? Or maybe even the traditional video game console platform such as the Xbox or PlayStation. The difference between the types is quite huge – joining a large team like Rockstar or Activision is much more involved and will require at least some qualifications, and possible experience too. Developing for mobiles however is something you can do in your spare time at home after some research and practice.

In fact, such developments may make entering the industry as a whole that much easier. The ability to develop at home means you can essentially conduct your own apprenticeship, plying your craft as and when you have the time and publishing your work to the marketplaces of various ecosystems. If you are dedicated and diligent enough to strive for high quality offerings, your games can be showpieces of your abilities. They can then be used alongside your CV as examples of work and even experience. In other words, whereas you once would have had to study or get experience, with the time demand meaning you couldn’t do both, you are now able to get your qualifications and build a body of work that demonstrates your abilities, and that’s a dream situation for any employer.

The main benefit of this is not only do you get employed within the industry, but your employer would know your ability to code, your imagination and vision, and your capabilities of comprehension. This means that you would most likely be immediately working in a capacity that you enjoy and want to work, rather than starting as a tea maker and gradually working up.

Of course, another option is to apply directly to an employer. Once upon a time this would have meant trawling through newspapers looking for adverts, or calling companies to ask about vacancies. Now, though, you can either visit a company’s website in the hope they have a jobs section, join a recruitment site to look for jobs in the games industry, or view our own job board, which features jobs that come directly from employers and not trawled from other sites.

Gamesys is one such company that is advertising job positions through EmptyLemon, and its games are developed on major platforms including Java, Flash and the newest kid on the block, HTML 5. It even builds social games on .Net, and cross-device/multi-platform development on Lua. With such a vast array of technologies being used to create and deploy games, any employee will be working in a creative atmosphere and learning skills that could take them to the very top of the industry in terms of quality output and recognition.

When it comes down to it, cracking into the IT games industry isn’t really very different from any other industry – it takes hard work, persistence, and proactively searching for the opening you need.

Sarah Jacob - About Author:
Sarah Jacob is editor in chief at EmptyLemon, one of the UK's leading IT jobs boards.

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