Games Industry Guide: Programmers

Skillful programmers are the backbone of any developer team and we are lucky to have some of the best in the industry. We asked them for their best advice on how to land a job in the industry.

 Application & Portfolio tips

  • Include links to your GitHub (or similar) in your application. It’s a great way to view your work.
  • Include a snippet of code (max a few hundred lines) that illustrates your level of programming. Make sure to explain what problem you are solving.
  • Be specific about what type of programming you’ve been doing and for how long. For example web, scripting, managed-code or native-code.
  • Explain your contributions to the projects you’ve been involved with and add some details of how you did it. For example, how did you handle rendering 10,000 characters on screen? What tools did you use? How is your game’s load/save system done? We would love to hear this kind of stuff.
  • Include links or footage to any hobby project you think is relevant.
  • While not relevant to all game studios, some will expect a minimum of a 4-year university degree. This shows that you can commit to a long-term project and is especially useful when trying to get an initial foot into the industry.
  • You can use failures as an opportunity to show what you have learned. It is a strength to be able to constructively critique your own work and show how you’ve grown from the experience.
  • We want to see what you did, not what you know. For example, don’t just say “I have knowledge of X”. Instead, be specific “I reduced time to render the user’s buddy list by 75% by implementing prediction algorithm”.
  • Studios may put emphasis on programmer’s social skills, so if you happen to have those, make sure to point it out!


Ylva is a programmer here at Arrowhead, in this video, she shares her thoughts on tools and programming languages as well as how to keep learning and finding inspiration.

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