What was your first job in the gaming industry?
My first job in the gaming industry was with Mythic Entertainment. I was brought on board to be a forum manager and eventually wiggled my way onto the engineering team as that was my background prior to Mythic.
Did you find it difficult to get your first job given that you had no prior experience?
No I did not, but I also wasn't interviewing for a position that required prior industry experience. I came in at a much lower level than I am now and worked hard to move up and gain that experience that I lacked coming in the door. I did, however, find it easier to break in by being involved in a gaming community. My leadership experience in the Drunken Friar forum community helped get the attention of the Mythic Entertainment staff and eventually landed me the interview.
What sort of training or education did you complete in advance of applying for your first position?
I was extremely unprepared, but also quite young. Were I to do it all over again and try to come in as a software engineer, I would want my Computer Science bachelor's degree and have a portfolio of games and/or game libraries that I have created to show off my skills. I think that it is important for candidates trying to break into the industry without experience to have something on-hand to demonstrate what they are capable of.
What is your job today?
Today I am the Lead Software Engineer of Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. I head up engineering for server as well as client and make all technical calls regarding its progression.
For someone interested in starting a career making games today what is the main piece of advice you would offer them?
Be passionate and practice practice practice! It's one thing to come to the interview and say "I want to make games." You need to show us what you can do. What is acceptable as a demonstration of one's skill and passion will vary for each individual's discipline within a game company.