Getting into... Games Programming

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Are you looking to start a career in games programming? We asked our team of Hutch engineers for their top tips on how to get into the industry. And here’s what they had to say!

  • Build up a small portfolio to show that you are really interested in making games, and have a nice way to show them off, like a simple website. Anything you can demonstrate to show an active interest in making games is what hiring managers want to see!

  • Have an (analytical) interest in gaming. While you may not have worked on a game before, having thought about games, how they work and why they work helps show how you can help build one.

  • Join a Game Jam! These are social events where you are tasked with making a game in a short amount of time (usually 2-3 days). You’ll be able to join a team and safely explore what it’s like to make a game from start to finish. It doesn’t matter if the game ends up good or bad, the purpose is to be able to experience the challenge and joys of creating a game while having the chance to meet and learn from your peers.

    Some popular game jams:

    Global Game Jam happens at the start of the year in multiple places around the world. Outside of COVID it’s in-person only and collaboration is heavily encouraged.

    If you prefer to participate online, Ludum Dare happens twice a year in April and October and has an interesting system where participants critique each other’s games at the end of the jam.

  • Show your passion for games, both as a player and an engineer. Game have very particular problems to solve compared to the rest of the industry, being interested in those is a huge advantage.

  • Prepare for the job interview by using a website like to practice the kinds of technical questions you may be asked.

  • Have projects you can talk about in detail, either personal projects, game jams or from your studies. Read up on the techniques you have implemented, eg. rendering, AI, memory management, control systems etc, so that you can talk about what you have done as well as what you haven't done yet and why. Be knowledgeable but willing to learn.

  • Focus on the basics: spend time understanding relevant data structures and algorithms and their performance implications, and core maths and physics concepts, and implement them in simple games that show what you know. Read around the topics so you get a broad understanding of common approaches to common problems, even outside the “standard” gamedev topics like AI and rendering - things like database design, data compression, networking, DSP and others all have applications in games.

    Thank you to our engineers for sharing their tips - that’s James Peter, Jeroen, Nuno, Chris, Mitch and Sean.

    And if you're an Engineer looking to start a new chapter in your career, check out our current vacancies here: We'd love to hear from you!

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