In one week, Josh Laurence will be heading to Melbourne to start his first job as a junior programmer for Big Ant Studios. This is his story…
Having already worked as a web developer an android app developer and trained as a teacher Josh came to AIE because…
“I realised that although I enjoyed teaching, it wasn't my absolute dream career, so I decided that I would chase my dreams while I had nothing stopping me. I didn't want to become an old grumpy teacher, regretting never trying to break into the Game Development Industry said Josh.
Taking his first steps towards employment, meant hours and hours of learning and practicing programming over many years, creating an online portfolio and LinkedIn account. He regularly updated new work and projects he had been involved in and also uploaded some completed and in-progress programming projects to GitHub, and linked his GitHub profile to his online portfolio.
Josh’s first steps into employment were not particularly promising and after a very vague, confusing interview with a small Sydney game development company he felt very frustrated.
“I decided to take out my frustration on the AIE Alumni website, and applied for all of the positions at more well known, well established companies. I looked up each company, and Big Ant took me by surprise! I was amazed that an Australian Game Development company had been making games since the PS2/GBA era, and were still going strong despite the Global Financial Crisis hitting Australia pretty hard in 2007-2008.”
Once the application was in, he was concerned about the interview process as the job was in Melbourne and he lives in Sydney. After a Skype interview, programming test and finally a challenge to build a game in 6 hours Josh landed the job!
“I'm about to enter my dream career, which I set out to do 2 years ago”.
Josh has little idea of what to expect, but is very excited. He is moving to Melbourne in a week and is looking forward to learning and expanding his programming knowledge.
His advice to others wanting to be a game programmer,” Be willing, able and ready to relocate … be open to making games that may not be your jam, particularly when you're just starting out. You have plenty of time to work on your dream game genres later, but get some varied experiences under your belt.”
( Big Ant Studios is an Australian video game development studio founded by CEO Ross Symons in 2001. Originally known as Bullant Studios, a specialist in the simulation-racing genre, the studio changed its name to Big Ant Studios in 2005 and has expanded its portfolio to include a wide variety of game genres on current and next-generation platforms. )
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