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Like I plan to build up my portfolio with games. If I don't get a job in gaming or if frankly I don't want to, how would an employer who wants nothing to do with games see me as a potential future employee?

Would he see it as impressive and consider me? Or would he think it's nice but irrelevant and thus be somewhat detrimental?

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closed as not constructive by Walter, Mark Trapp Oct 3 '11 at 9:18

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Very good question! To me personally it would say that you can code, but you like games so much that you put them in your portfolio, and therefore might not be reliable, and you the employee would rather make games but are settling for me, the non-gaming employer, and you the person have interests that are very different from me the person, and I would rather work together on a project or even have a lunch conversation with someone else. This is my straight answer and I am probably a minority. Most people would not care what your hobby is as long as you can code. Some could be your soul-mates. –  Job Oct 3 '11 at 2:37
Its actually a poor question. The answer will depend on the individual employer in question - some will be impressed, some wont take him seriously. We here can give our personal thoughts on how we'd react, but we cant tell him how someone else will react. –  GrandmasterB Oct 3 '11 at 3:20
Hi Russ, as GrandmasterB pointed out, we really can't predict what any individual employer would think is impressive: this is unfortunately just polling the audience. –  user8 Oct 3 '11 at 9:20

4 Answers 4

The crucial thing you show is that you can ship a product.

  • Implement what is needed.
  • Get finished!
  • Make it available to others.
  • Being easy to use (which games need to be) is an extra plus.

This is something you need to be able to regardless what the software produced actually do.

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Learn a bit about their business domain / tech domain, such as "consumer facing web apps", spend some time going over your skill-set and experience and determine how you can map your current experience to the skill-set they would be looking for. Already being a programmer, you are bound to be more adaptable than someone who is just starting out, its just a matter of having the right perspective to adapt your skills and selling your prospective employer on the fact that you area able to do this.

Somewhat related, at my current job, they hire senior dev's to work on an existing web application that uses JSP's, AJAX, JavaScript, etc who have little to know experience with web development (but know the server-side language well) because they are confident in their overall dev skills and adaptability, I think the same logic would apply to your situation.

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I'd see it as valuable - admittedly I'm rather at the technical end of the "non game-related employer spectrum" but games are a great way of showing that you can create working products that utilise a wide variety of programming techniques. Big bonus points if the game was either 3D or networked / multiplayer.

Be careful that you balance the game experience with other things however - if I'm hiring someone to write business applications, I probably don't want someone who is only interested in writing games, so it would look suspicious if your CV made you out as a frustrated game developer.

Suggestions for some balance in your CV: Write or contribute to an open source tool/librray, create and run a non-trivial website, or get at least one completed "enterprise" style application in your portfolio to balance your game development interests.

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When a company needs to recruit a new developer, it's often technical people that are going to do the technical interviews. And you can bet that having a good game portfolio will impress them: a lot of developer respect game creator.

Maybe don't put your game creation at the heart of your CV (except if you are targeting some high tech startup companies). The idea is to keep the video game 'show' to impress the tech people and to only mention this activity in the CV. So the business guys won't reject you and you will thrill the tech.

I have been part of a recruiting team and I have often given a very good feedback on game dev, because they looked very strong in computer skills.

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