I'm a big doo doo head

Posted by Ferret on March 1, 2016, 12:56 p.m.

It's the final stretch for me, one more semester until I graduate and I really start to do adulty things. Put on my adulty pants and get in my adulty car and work an adulty job.

You would think that with only one more semester left I would be hunkering down and giving this semester all I got. At least I would have thought that, but instead I'm checked out. It's kind of hard to be motivated when you've been doing meaningless work for so many years and all you can think about is how different your life will be in a few months.

I loved school at some point, which was weird because I hated everything about highschool, but I loved college work for a a good while. Now it feels like I'm just running through the motions and it all feels rather meaningless.

Never been more busy though, there are a lot of projects I am working on both academic and personal, but unlike any other time in my life there is a real ticking timer with real consequences when the hand stops ticking.

On top of my projects, I've been trying to find work before that timer ends. Maybe setting myself up for failure since so many people tell me work is hard to find after college. Well, people say that, but I got a job offer to work for General Motors in Phoenix Arizona back in December. I turned it down though, mainly because I really want to go back to Los Angeles (my home) and I have no gauge on the type of work I can acquire. Also would rather not melt in the summer.

I'm taking any interview I can get mainly just to practice them, even if I know I would turn down the job (as dumb as that sounds). One of these interviews got me invited to a 2-day hiring event down in Tuscon Arizona. I'm honestly just excited to have a hotel paid for me and 2 days of just being treated by a large company. The company itself and the job they would give me inspires a lukewarm feeling about it all. They're called Raytheon, a "defense" contractor, which means missiles, aka flying explodey boomy death sticks. Not sure how I should feel about the idea of programming those.

-/-

I think I'm going to commit to the idea of trying to get a job at a game company. I've had retarded feelings on the matter pretty much all my life, associating people that say they "want to work in games" with the assumption that they never have picked up a piece of code in their life, they would like to be the "ideas guy" and really have no conception of what it means to actually make a game. I hold on the idea that game developers are really fucking smart (and they are truly) and I would hate to naively think I could do the work they do. I guess that's were the problem lies, I set this huge hurdle in my mind about who can and can't be a game developer, and I've always set it above myself.

I'll try to fix that.

Comments

F1ak3r 4 years, 8 months ago

Quote:
You would think that with only one more semester left I would be hunkering down and giving this semester all I got. At least I would have thought that, but instead I'm checked out. It's kind of hard to be motivated when you've been doing meaningless work for so many years and all you can think about is how different your life will be in a few months.
I've been there. The last few months of my honours year, I was so sick of my thesis and of my courses and just wanted all of them to be done already. I'd already taken a job offer and was impatient to move on to that new part of my life.

Yeah. Things got done eventually and I finally started work, which I found I infinitely prefer to academia in most ways.

Quote:
On top of my projects, I've been trying to find work before that timer ends. Maybe setting myself up for failure since so many people tell me work is hard to find after college. Well, people say that, but I got a job offer to work for General Motors in Phoenix Arizona back in December.
I was told the same by a few people. In ZA it seems that "it's hard to find work after graduating" holds true unless you studied Computer Science/Engineering: the skills are scarce and in demand, and so you're all but guaranteed a job, and can often play potential employers off one another for better offers. Don't know what it's like there, probably less extreme.

Quote:
I think I'm going to commit to the idea of trying to get a job at a game company. I've had retarded feelings on the matter pretty much all my life, associating people that say they "want to work in games" with the assumption that they never have picked up a piece of code in their life, they would like to be the "ideas guy" and really have no conception of what it means to actually make a game.
Yeah… We all know those people in first year CS who wanted to make games, and then either flunked out or stayed on but gave up on that and ultimately got a job programming internal business applications. Incidentally, I know a guy who gave up on CS 1 to go get a degree in Game Design (good on him) but is now doing CS again because he couldn't find work (aww).

I don't think it's unrealistic to get work at a game shop. Maybe you don't feel like you can do it now, but if you're qualified it doesn't hurt to apply. Good places see hiring graduates as an investment: if you're smart, hardworking and <other positive qualities>, they'll build on your academic base and teach you all the stuff you need to know that you don't know now and before you know it you'll be "do[ing] the work they do". Academia is supposed to be where you learn new things, but I feel like I've learnt a lot more on the job.

flashback 4 years, 8 months ago

The end of university is hard - I know I could scarcely focus in my last semester (which is why I packed it with easy classes). But, if you can keep your GPA up, it really can help with employers.

twisterghost 4 years, 8 months ago

Getting a job out of college is what you make it, and depends highly on what you've done so far. If you have no profile to point at, and did nothing but go to school, come home and be a blob, then it might be harder. If you have internship experience, or at least some side projects to point at, it goes miles towards landing you a spot.

flashback 4 years, 8 months ago

Definitely - I worked summers with a research group at my university, so instead of a gap for four years in my job history, I have 4 years of working at that research group. Gives me a leg up on positions that say "Entry level position, x years experience required" and things like that.

Zuurix 4 years, 8 months ago

Quote:
They're called Raytheon, a "defense" contractor, which means missiles, aka flying explodey boomy death sticks. Not sure how I should feel about the idea of programming those.

Hehe. *guilty smile*

StevenOBrien 4 years, 8 months ago

I suppose you could say his game echoes throughout 64digits huhuhu

Zuurix 4 years, 8 months ago

Ok, ok, I get the message =P

Rez 4 years, 7 months ago

It's interesting hearing from you on the other side of college, since I'm really just still starting out myself. I'm in a comp sci major and it's kind of a bizarre gear shift for me because I didn't take mathematics seriously until I attended a community college a few years back. Surprisingly enough to me, I'm doing pretty well and enjoying myself despite the workload (I'm taking my first ever calc and programming classes on top of an intro to bio course). At this point, I kinda don't even care if I really end up sticking with it as a career path, I'm just happy to see myself to succeed at something different.

I can relate to feeling bewildered about the path to adulthood, even though it's pretty much a certainty I have a lot longer to go than I'd want to, it's something I think about a lot. I think in the end it's important to work hard and plan, but to me it's equally as important to take some risks for your future happiness and let the chips fall where they may. At least that's how I feel at this juncture. It was kind of a big impasse for me to decide on computer science over possibly attempting an English/other writing intensive major, something which my parents and teachers both encouraged me on because of my early ability to write (which is funny because now I feel like I've forgotten how). Anyhoo, I think I'm happier for making my choice and I'd like to think life is filled with those higher risk, higher reward type choices.

Sorry for the somewhat longwinded, self-centered reply. I really felt compelled to share my experiences here rather than a blog for whatever reason. I hope your job hunt goes well and you figure out the whole adult life thing. Seriously, I wish you all the best man. :)

Toast 4 years, 7 months ago

I can't remember if I've said before that I dropped out of Computer Science. I fucked up big time. Most people fuck it up, but I really fucked up and made mistakes that wouldn't even be conceivable to a normal person

The lesson I learned is that free will is overrated and humans are more or less slaves to their environment. The environment you create for yourself is everything. Figuratively speaking, I locked myself in a prison and threw away the key.

Not sure where I'm going with that, other than to explain myself. I've fucked up a lot, and fuck ups are self-reinforcing. Fucking up has a domino effect where one fuck up leads to a chain reaction. Or perhaps it's more like the butterfly effect, where a seemingly harmless fuck up comes back to bite you in the ass.

The good thing is that it works the other way too. Success breeds success. The first part is always the hardest, but if you can summon the courage to do it, it gets infinitely easier after that. Usually. (Insert disclaimer about not being responsible for any injury or loss of life as a result of summoning courage)

For me the keystone is getting a decent job so I can finally live independently. I might have a job as a web developer soon. Even though I'll be working 9-5 every day and that will be an annoyingly large fraction of time, I have a good feeling it won't seem to matter. And I'll have the funds to really enjoy life the rest of the time.

None of us will ever be world famous Martian astronauts - probably. Those are the products of man's "free will", not a plausible work environment. But you can be successful if you put yourself in the right environment, and live an extremely happy life, I'm confident about that. Ferret's taking all those job interviews and succeeding, so it's a small matter of taking some interviews in the game industry and seeing what becomes of it.

But I'm also talking about contentedness and not needing to be a Martian astronaut in order to be happy. Be happy on the journey rather than frustrated that you're not something. There will always be something you're not. Personally I've never understood how fat middle-aged men can sit around watching sports and not think "I want to try that!" They will never be professional athletes, but I have a lot of respect for amateur sportsmen.

JoshDreamland 4 years, 7 months ago

I remember in 2013, being right where you are now. I had to take a couple classes over summer to avoid needing an additional semester the next year. Make very sure you don't have to do the same—get everything scheduled and get your application in.

Unlike you, I never found college interesting—though this may be because the reason I found my last two years of high school interesting was that I was taking some college classes at the local university, which was completely free for me through a really cool government program called PSEO.

College was just a strange dance I had to participate in, if I wanted to be awarded a sheep skin. My goal was to get in and out as quickly as possible, and their goal was apparently to keep me from doing so for as long as possible. Those fuckers seem to think that five years is an acceptable amount of time to detain someone in exchange for a degree. Even with my year and some of PSEO, it took me 3.5 years plus a summer term to graduate. I'm doing my best to forget that I ever went to college.

As for game development as a profession… I guess I'll say, good luck. And I'm sorry to say, your fears are warranted. Typically, game programmers aren't treated well, or compensated well. The concept of working as a game developer greatly appeals to me, but not when I look at the difference in compensation (not just monetary—perks are important) and working environment.

More to your point, the programming skills of typical game developers are poor enough that I believe I would have a hard time working on a team. You're certainly right that many of these aren't even hobbyists who enjoyed making games from childhood, like members of this community. Yes, some of these are people who have literally never made a game, or only made one or two, and even then it was by muddling through the tasks given to them by a project lead. They don't have the skills that even Game Maker imparts, of designing each script in the game as a piece of a functioning whole.

It might comfort you to know that most of these will have been through a college program similar to yours, but I'm sorry so say, many will still have the coding ability of a typical game maker user. That is to say, "I know how to write a for loop!" (don't ask me why I'd ever need one, though).

But even then, it's fallacy to compare the members of this community with those people; they are comparatively empty husks. Game Maker users learn to code in response to a need; they develop skills and an understanding of when to use them, because they developed these skills as they were needed. By contrast, these people went to college and learned what code basically looks like; now they're going to write games professionally. But why? This is the icing on the cake: at best, maybe they enjoy playing games. Maybe they're as enthusiastic as you paint them to be. At worst, you're working with a person who can't code, and that person doesn't even fucking like games.

In college, this worked out fine for me, because people were happy to just listen to me and do what I say to make the project work. They'd do the simple, monotonous tasks I asked them, and everything would work out. In industry, you get (A) the people I've described above, which is problematic because they believe their ideas are better than yours, and (B) a real deadline that you are not personally capable of meeting on your own, so now you actually DO have to work with those people, and you can't have beautifully clean, well-tested code. Missed (and changing) deadlines lead to games like Sonic '06 (or Sonic Boom, for that matter).

Anyway, don't let that discourage you; you'll hit these problems no matter what field you enter. Just pick your game company well. And don't be afraid to bail.