Thursday, November 20, 2008

EA - Electronic Arts and Careers for Kids

I just had the most interesting conversation with a guy who make games for a living. Computer games. He was a programmer who helped create the FIFA series of video games. He recently left EA, and I asked him why leave Electronic Arts? They are among the biggest and best in game design. They make NHL, NFL and FIFA video games just to name a few of their big titles. He replied "to start a new company."

I asked him what advice he would give to younger kids looking to get into game design. While he didn't specify any particular school subject, he said math was a strength of his, and there is lots of math in programming.

What he emphasized was that kids who want to make games should take some programming courses, and then complete a project. It doesn't have to be fancy. They have to start something and take it to completion; The ability to finish what you started.

Also he said you need to have communication skills. These games are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the team for FIFA had about 150 people working on it. Communication skills and teamwork are key.

Finally when I asked how he felt about the future of programming and he thought it was really good. Games are semi-recession proof. They provide a lot of entertainment for only a little money, and people are always buying games.

Food for thought.

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