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Game making experience, looks bad or good for non-gameing companies?

Bret Bailey

Joined: Aug 12, 2011
Posts: 2
Hi, so I was wondering would it look good or bad to an employer if I had experience making my own game, for when I am trying to get an entry level non-gameing job? As of right now this will be my last semester in college then I will need to try to get a job and I realized that I really want to focus on Java because I just like programming in it more. But my knowledge is maybe not all that great and truthfully it’s been awhile since I last used Java. I want to really work on getting good with Java and I know for myself I learn better by just coding then reading a book. I was thinking a fun way to really get good at Java would be to pickup one of the books that show you how to make games for the Android, on top of thinking that it would be nice to be able to show something I did myself and have real experience of making a full program. But the thing is I really have no plan of trying to get a job with a gaming company, because I know the hours suck and the jobs are very unstable, but I do like the idea of maybe down the line making small indie games myself on the side.

But I fear that maybe not only would a company not really be impressed by me making a game when I am maybe going for a job at a bank just for an example, but that maybe it would even be viewed negatively, compared to if I made a business application program instead.

So what do you guys think? Would making my own game for the Android be a helpful thing to have on my resume and to show an employer or would it hurt me in the long run? And should I instead try to get better at Java by making a more business type application, maybe still for the Android and maybe just work on making games on my own when I already have a job?

Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

I'm always impressed by any one developing a game!
Making a game is always demanding and showing great programming skills (well, depends on the game).
If I'm an employer, you are definitely going to be in my list.
I say, go for it.
Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 46402
Developing something in one's spare time shows an interest in the subject. Games are difficult. So it is worth mentioning as a good point.

... and welcome to the Ranch
Deepak Bala

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662

I did try making a game before I got a job. I also tried to write a pop-up blocker. I put that on my resume.

I learned the hard way that writing a game is not as easy as playing one The truth was my game worked but it had bugs that sucked real bad. It was a good learning experience however.

Go ahead and write the game. Are you planning to write it in java ? Here are some books that would interest you

SCJP 6 articles - SCJP 5/6 mock exams - More SCJP Mocks
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33130

I'm impressed by an entry level candidate who has done anything of complexity. As far as the finance end of things, I work for a bank. I'm much more inclined to believe you were passionate about developing a game while in college than that you sat down to write a spreadsheet program. And if you are passionate about something, you learn more. Don't worry about it - the game is a great idea.

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