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Video Game Programmer Job Description

Kundan Pandey
If video game designers are the professionals who are the masterminds behind the amazing games, it is the video game programmers who make the games run smoothly.
Evolution of technology has led to tremendous growth of the video gaming industry. From the simplicity of games during its nascent years to the present high tech era, video games have seen a remarkable overhaul.
Growth in the video gaming industry has opened new vistas of opportunities. Bachelors in computer science or more specifically, in computer game development courses have been able to find opportunities to work as video game programmers.
Apparently, the job description of a video programmer chiefly consists of writing programs and ensuring that the written programs run the games smoothly.

Who Exactly is a Video Game Programmer?

Essentially a software programmer by education, video gaming programmers write codes for several types of video games. To ensure that the game runs smoothly, without crashing, a video game programmer takes extreme care to write the codes, minimizing errors.
The task of a video game designer and a programmer is quite different. The video game designers are concerned with the basic designing of the video games and the contents associated to it. The video game programmers, however, work upon every minute detail of the game.
In a car racing video game, for instance, the course of the entire game may be designed by a game designer but it is in the hands of programmers to give more depth to the game. He may set limits on the car speed, add more obstacles in the race and provide several other interesting features to the car during racing.
A video programmer works on all the technical aspects of a video game. The more sophisticated a game is, more challenging is the task of writing codes for the game to run effectively.
Apart from writing programming codes for the specific video games, the job description of a video game programmer also includes working upon the visual aspect of the game. The programmers must be aware of the correct codes so that the motion of several characters in the games appear correct.
For example, the movements of the legs of a horse or hands of soldiers while operating a gun must appear correct and this will only be possible if the codes are written without any mistake.
Besides the above duties, a video game programmer has to work as a team player. He is required to work with graphic designers, sound artists, game developer and designers to bring life to the games.

Video Game Programmer Education

Bachelor's or master's degree in computer science or computer programming is essential to obtain for an individual to become a video game programmer. There are many colleges that have courses dedicated to video game programming in the recent years and interested candidates can complete such industry oriented courses to gain an edge in the employment field.
Those students who make extra efforts to learn different types of computer programs and enhance their skills during their computer science studies are at advantage than other students.
The journey from an entry-level programmer to an experienced and skilled video game programmer requires two to three years of dedication as during this duration one is able to advance to multi-language programming skills.
Besides these, aspirants who wish to make a career in this field must have a passion for understanding and playing games as only through that, they can learn to be more involved in the entire software programming. Game programmers who have years of work experience try to shift to managerial positions by pursuing management related courses.
After all, to run a video game developing company one requires dynamic leadership qualities with creativity and technical expertise as the must have personality traits. A management degree trains students to face the challenges that a managerial position offers in a company.
Video game industry is open to people who're really passionate about computer programming and want to prove their technical skills. Video game programming is an entry-level profession and one has to work smartly to make a mark in this profession.
Video game programmer job information is published in classifieds as well as on the Internet job portals. Students with good command over C++ and JAVA can get entry in video game programming work. Internships and active participation in inter-collegiate projects related to gaming or programming also helps to impress the employer.
Giving shape to a virtual world by the skills in programming, forms the unique and challenging aspect of a video game programmer's job. When it comes to salary prospects, the video game industry has a lot to offer to its workers.
The salaries of video game programmers can be anywhere between US$40,000 to US$70,000 in the first few years of work. Lead programmers, who have good work experience are paid more and they also share more responsibilities. At entry-level, a college graduate can expect to make US$ 40,000 - US$50,000.
Just like other professions, work experience, job location, education, skill sets and market conditions are determiners of the earning potential of a video game programmer. Candidates interested in this field must prepare themselves adequately as knowledge and skill sets are the major virtues that can enhance the prospects of success.