Monday, 23 April 2012

Be Adaptive or Be An Adept

Handing an enormous licensed game to ONE person to design is a bad idea. 
History teaches us so.

The reason we have elements of game design undertaken by specialised teams or individuals is so that this never happens again - 

"Bury me! Bury me DEEP!!"

Whatever your career goals are what you have to ask yourself is

 "am I happy just being an artist?" (insert whatever job you like here)
"am I content just knowing 3ds Max?" (replace with whatever skills you have here)

One day those skills may become obsolete. Or they may not be enough to get you a better job.

I you feel you have more to offer then I suggest you try your hand at a number of different things. 
We've spent the first half of our lives learning new skills, why should that practice stop when we get a 'proper' job? 

Having a broader set of skills is much more useful to a company (and yourself) than specialising in only one area of expertise. 
But by proving yourself indispensable to a team in a key role, your position can shift to a 'specialised' one. 
Being able to facilitate the needs of a group is proof you have immense value. 

A popular practice is to move through a company trying new things, picking up what you can from one area to the next. 
Learning all the best techniques from your colleagues to stream-line your own work flow, etc. 
I've heard that it is better to learn new skills at work than at home. Simply because employers like to see how you used your skills in a job related scenario. 
Whether there is any validity in this I don't know but I can understand their wanting to see relevant work in your portfolio. 

The best course of action is to become competent in a range of related areas. But finely hone your favoured subject. Or to put it another way, be able to use your collective acquisitions to excel in your chosen field of expertise. 

As an investment for the future most companies expect this kind of personal growth and development  through their ranks. Valve certainly encourages this kind of business model. 

Every employer is on equal standing with the next. An individuals worth to the company is evaluated using a 'peer assessment review' and an annual 'stack ranking review'. 

Valve actively employ "T-shaped" people. 

To sum up that is someone who is both a generalist and a specialist.  

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