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Job Overview: Video Game Programmer

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If this excites you, you might just make a good programmer Riebart / Flickr

If this excites you, you might just make a good programmer


Also called: Coder, Engineer, Developer.

A video game programmer uses a programming language like C++, C#, or Java, to instruct the computer on how to take all of the art and other content and turn it into a working game.

Programming is by far the most technical job in the industry. Most programmers start by getting a degree in computer science, but if you’re a good self-starter then you may be able to learn on your own and try for an entry-level programming job at a game company. I know many successful programmers who do not have a computer science degree, but it’s a difficult way to start out. (You’d better hope you have a great game developer resume!)

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On a given day as a video game programmer, you’ll do things like:

  • Read documentation or talk with the team about how a given game feature should work
  • Plan your approach to coding the game feature by talking with other programmers, drawing diagrams, researching, etc.
  • Use special software called an “integrated development environment” (IDE) to type your instructions as “source code”
  • Run the game to test your source code and make sure it works as intended, and make changes/fixes if it didn’t work
  • Receive bug reports from the QA testers, and attempt to fix the issues that they’ve discovered

The job of video game programmer requires deep technical know-how, focus, and patience. But if this job sounds right to you, then it can be extremely fun and rewarding. Also, programmers generally get the highest salaries in the game industry, so your hard work will definitely pay off.

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If you’ve been thinking about taking some programming classes or getting a degree, just type your zip below for free info on programming schools near you.

Image: Riebart/Flickr

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One comment on “Job Overview: Video Game Programmer
  1. bruno says:

    Hi, i have reading out and i will definitely bookmark your site, just wanted to say i liked this article.

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