21.04.2021. ·
5 min

HOW I STARTED MY ENGINEERING CAREER IN GAMING? NORDEUS EARLY TALENT

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HOW I STARTED MY ENGINEERING CAREER IN GAMING? NORDEUS EARLY TALENT

We had our first Nordeus Early Talent talk – How I started my engineering career in gaming, and we are so glad that we can share some impressions and the great experience we had while making it! 

Two of our Lead Engineers, Maja Isakov and Strahinja Kustudić, who took our young talents through their career journey – starting steps, project highlights, and impressions on how they started making an impact in the gaming industry and start-up environment.

Keeping in mind the unusual times we are currently living in, together with enthusiasm to give you a sneak peek into what we are doing and space to answer all your questions- we decided to pre-record the event and have a live Q&A section. As we had a record interest that resulted in the 1-hour question and answers marathon, we decided to share the video of the event with you and some of the Q&A highlights from Strahinja’s session. 🙂

TAKE A LOOK:

1. HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW AT NORDEUS?

I am probably not the best person to be asked about this since I joined a long time ago, and then the interview process looked very different. Now we organize it in a more extensive way that gives candidates a chance to talk to most people they will collaborate with closely, and we feel this is important. What I can give you as advice is that all your faculty education could be relevant – e.g., Algorithms and Data structures are important areas to understand.

2. WHAT TRAITS DO YOU APPRECIATE THE MOST ABOUT THE CANDIDATES IN THE INTERVIEW PROCESS? 

One of the things I appreciate the most is the extracurricular activities, stuff that you do besides faculty, and your side projects you are working on in your spare time. That tells me that you are interested in things you learn about at faculty. It shows that you are not just interested in graduating and obtaining a degree, but rather passionate about specific topics and proactive. Regarding the interview process, what is always great to see – the candidates who are super modest and super smart at the same time. But what is also refreshing to see are things that don’t have to be necessarily connected to game-making, coding, etc. It can be sports, playing an instrument, painting, etc. Those are also great additions (learn more here).

3. IN WHAT SENSE DO YOU HAVE FREEDOM WHEN WORKING ON YOUR PROJECTS?

From my own experience, I think I have much freedom to decide what we will work on next. That was the case from the first day in the office and it is also the case now with the teams I am leading. We all talk together (cross-org) about what will make the most significant impact, what makes the most sense – it’s all up to the team and me.

4. IS THERE ANY PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN SHARE WITH PEOPLE THAT WANT TO STEP INTO THIS INDUSTRY, THAT YOU WISH SOMEBODY TOLD YOU WHEN YOU STARTED? 

You can’t achieve anything alone. Count on the fact you need a team, and only that way can you make something valuable happen. And, of course, you need to be gritty and persistent.

5. HOW DID YOUR DEVELOPMENT PATH LOOK LIKE AND WHAT SHOULD I LEARN OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL IF I WANT TO PROGRESS JUST LIKE YOU?

There are some things you do not learn at school but that is important at work. You would not know how to work in a team, and you would not be aware of how important it is. Also, communication is 16 times more important than writing the best code in the world. I am not sure how you can prepare for this, but just being aware of it and expecting it to happen is the first step. I also think it is essential to get the industry experience before you teach it theoretically at the faculty. I believe that is what we are missing in school.

6. WHAT DOES A JUNIOR DO AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF WORKING AT NORDEUS?

It all depends on the position and the team. Usually, you would start with some simple tasks and work on smaller features, etc. You can expect to work alongside your mentor for the first month a lot, coding alongside them (the so-called “pair programming”), which is a great way to develop (for both of you). If you are working in a Game Team, you can expect to see something you worked on fast in the game itself, maybe even in the first month.

7. WHAT TECH STACK ARE YOU USING?

Client-side is written in Unity (C#). Regarding the Backend side, we recently switched to Google Cloud. Most of our backend is written in Java, and our primary database is Postgres. This is the leading tech stack, but, of course, there are many other technologies like Python, Aerospike, Redis, web-based technologies, and many more.

8. WHAT COMPUTER SPECIFICATION IS RECOMMENDED FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT?

Two components are critical – the more RAM and more processing power, the better. The graphics card doesn’t have to be as strong for making mobile games, but 32 GB of RAM and eight-core processors would be perfect. Of course, anything less than that is also a possibility.

9. HOW TO SWITCH FROM DEV TO GAME DEV?

Now it is easier than ever – download Unity, it is free, and play with it, see how you feel about the process. You can also download Roblox, and without almost any knowledge of programming, you can try to make games.

10. WHAT DOES THE BACKEND GAME DEV DO?

As a Backend Game Dev, you do not receive specifications about what functionalities you need to implement, but you work together with Game Designers and Client Developers to design a feature. It is far from just writing a code and doing it on your own, and then you are done. Coding is probably the easiest part of the process. Once you are writing code, then most of the job is already done. That is the main difference between being a Game Dev and working for an, e.g., outsourcing company. There is a lot more creativity, discussion, collaboration in a dynamic team environment.

11. WHAT CAN I DO APART FROM HACKATHONS IN ORDER TO DEVELOP MY SKILLS?

There are various activities at your disposal- game jams, challenges, workshops, etc. If you would like to develop your skills and are interested in working in the gaming industry, please check out the Nordeus Hub programs.

Last year, I participated in one of the Nordeus Hub programs as a mentor. There was a program where the teams were formed to make games – Booster.

During the program, we organized zoom calls to help them. We had over 40 sessions in one day, and teams such as Game Design, Development, Art, Production, System Engineering talked with Booster teams. Our goal was to help them to make games.

Also, it would help if you played games. 🙂

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