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What are the hot postions which are hard to get in game industry? Client/Server/Game Engine/Networking and database or else?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Byte56 Mar 19 at 20:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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....hard to get when looking for a job, or hard to fill when you're a company? –  Kaj Aug 13 '10 at 17:12
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This is something that's going to change over time, due to simple supply and demand, so be aware any answer of what's "hot" right now might be completely invalid in six months. –  Ian Schreiber Aug 18 '10 at 16:15

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Technical artists are rare as hens teeth. That is, someone who is primarily an artist, but who can also script/code and understands the shader tech underpinning the art stuff.

Also, good shader graphics programmers are still pretty rare, i.e. someone who can create some of the more impressive visual effects, and optimise the rendering performance.

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Hehe. I changed from working towards the goal of being a video game artist to video game programmer at age 19. I still have some art skillz though. You think an artistic programmer can be as useful as a programming artist? –  Nailer Aug 13 '10 at 12:17
    
Probably. Depends on the art skills I suppose, there's a whole spectrum between "has-trouble-drawing-stick-men" (like me), through "can-make-something-that-doesn't-offend-the-eyes" to "wow-that's pretty". Generally you'd have to be at the top end to be a professional artist, and while a technical artist could get away with being lower down the scale, it wouldn't be by much. If your skills are more programmery than arty, then shader programmer is probably a better bet. –  MrCranky Aug 13 '10 at 12:51
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Don't forget that you should enjoy working as well - if shader programming isn't your thing you'll most likely get miserable after a while. Money isn't everything! –  Zolomon Aug 13 '10 at 13:50
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@Zolomon - Doubly true in the game development world, since if you're good enough to be a game developer, you could probably make twice as much with half the stress being a web developer or something. –  OverMachoGrande Aug 14 '10 at 0:53

Good audio programmers seem quite rare. However this may not be a hard job to get because most game studios undervalue audio.

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Any programmer who knows that this is not a const pointer:

const MyClass* myObject = getObject();

Is a hot property.

Seriously: good programmers are hard to come by and there's a lot of inexperienced guys in the videogames industry.

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I do agree with you, but IMO the differences between a const pointer vs a pointer to const are subtle but very learnable by a good developer. Finding the developer who can learn but doesn't know yet is hard... –  Rick Aug 14 '10 at 5:29
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Good point nicely put, Rick. Unfortunately a lot of devs spend too much time crunching for deadlines to spare any for mentoring. We can definitely do better. –  tenpn Aug 14 '10 at 21:00

I would say that that the "Hot position" when it comes to programmers is probably Lead Architect, Lead Engine, or any other name to the same job. Essentially the guy who gets to decide what to implement and how. It's often a person with very good knowledge regarding programming, someone who probably has one of the best overviews of the code in the company. I don't think that it's something that you often get recruited to externally, but instead most likely internally. It requires a lot of experience and often have a tendency to be the best "general" programmers that make it there.

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In addition I hear CEO and CTO are great positions, but also hard to get. –  user744 Aug 13 '10 at 15:28
    
@Joe Wreschnig: Indeed. The CTO is sometimes the position I'm trying to point out - not always or neccessary though. –  Simon Aug 13 '10 at 16:33

I say the hottest and hardest is to be a Studio founder, and to be a successful one at that.

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Just create ONE successful game, improve and extend it in the next two versions and then, bring out a new version every year, that is just a assembly of the features of the first three ones. –  Dave O. Aug 15 '10 at 10:12
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"Just create ONE successful game" ... easier said than done. –  LearnCocos2D Aug 19 '10 at 8:05
    
@Dave O The first million is the easiest, right? :-) –  corsiKa Mar 16 '11 at 6:31

Coding positions seem to be becoming less exciting/creative and less respected with each passing year and increase in team size :(

For each 'exciting' dev position (e.g cutting-edge graphics, or gameplay coding on a big title), there's about 10 coders needed to to fairly dull work (front end, TRC/TCR compliance, tools, porting to the lesser platforms)

You won't make big money coding games unless you really get lucky (right place at the right time). The only real money is in founding a studio and selling up to a megapublisher. Or creating an unexpected big hit with a very small team.

As a career, games programming seems somewhat dead-end unless you have what it takes to start a studio of your own, or are willing to give up coding and aim for a management role...

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I think, that it is any dev position with good project profit share :)...

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a person who's got patience and the quest to learn when new technologies arrive.. he'd get the job he always wanted..be it a game graphics programmer or game programmer lead. i believe u can build a house only after u've bought the first brick :)

going up is a slow and very much desired process.

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