Anonymous said: Is there any chance of being hired as an intern even if you have no experience whatsoever in developing a game but have taken and is in the process of taking computer science classes in college? (bare minimum game making experience being a very simple java game and watching tutorials online of making said games.)
Let’s turn this around and think about it from the hiring manager’s perspective. Say you’re the hiring manager. What qualities would you look for in an intern? They’re actually a little bit different than an entry-level engineer (assuming it is as a programming intern and not a design or production intern), since I know that the intern will likely only be with the team for a few months, and will most likely need to return to school afterward.
These are the sort of qualities I would be looking for in an intern:
- Good problem-solving skills
- A passion for learning more about game development
- A personality that will work well with the team
- A solid work ethic - someone who will complete the task I assign
- A reasonable technical foundation, somewhat less important than the above
Seems pretty straightforward, yeah? You might be looking over this list and thinking “Yeah I totally qualify for all of those.” But you also have to consider that we’re probably going to get at least twenty or thirty resumes for each open position that we have. If you have those skills, you need to show it. It needs to be in your resume, and it needs to be in the way you talk about yourself. You need to be able to stand out enough to get past that first wave of rejections and brought in for an interview with the hiring manager.
Given what you’ve told me, it is possible for someone with your qualifications to be offered an internship position, but it is unlikely. Why? Because getting a job isn’t about meeting minimum requirements, but about being the most attractive candidate for the position. You need to be the one that we want to pick compared to all of the other candidates, because we will always want the best candidate.
You might luck out and everybody else turns out to be slackers with no skills at all and no interest. If that’s the case, then you’ve defaulted into it. Congratulations. But that’s extremely unlikely - I’ve answered lots of general career questions about getting a job in the industry, and plenty more I haven’t answered. Would you hire someone who made a simple java game from youtube tutorials over someone who wrote her own Half-Life mod, Skyrim questline, or graphics engine? I’d even be impressed if the person created his own RPG Maker game with some custom features written in Ruby.
If you want to get a job
as an intern, you have to prove to me that you want it. You need to show me that you have the skills that I’m looking for, through your resume and the way you answer questions at the interview. You need to stand out in some way, so that I remember you and view you favorably compared to the other twenty candidates. I’m trying to build the best team that I can. You know this! It’s up to you to show me that you belong on that team.