Technical and Professional skills
In this course we’re using some definitions for the different kinds of skills needed in games development jobs.
Our developers, studios and recruiters agree that there are two categories of skills used in game development, technical and professional. Both technical and professional skills can be learned and improved over time with practice and training. Here’s a definition of what they are:
Technical skills are practical skills that are specific to your discipline. These might involve specific software packages that individuals usually learn and apply by themselves. Examples include code languages, game engines, development tools and specific techniques used in games development such as Agile development methodologies. They can include skills that you might not think of as development, including analytics packages and understanding of commercial models used in freemium games which can have deep impact on a games development (and are much in demand from studios). These skills are typically developed through training, and repeated application in day to day development, improving as you gain more experience on the job.
Professional skills are interpersonal skills, often focused on working with other people and getting the best out of teams. These include teamwork experience, creative problem solving, willingness to learn, analytical and listening skills and negotiation. Developers in every role will use these skills daily in their interactions with others in the development team and wider studio. These skills are highly desirable for studios, but they can be learned, and in larger companies can be supported with training (this is especially common for particular roles, such as for producers and designers). However, professional skills are mostly developed through experience, trial and error.
When do I need these skills?
Some of these skills are needed as soon as you start, but many, especially some of the professional skills, are developed over time. Each studio’s requirements are usually set out in job descriptions, but, as we will see, few expect a candidate to demonstrate all of them at entry-level.
How do I identify these skills?
As you prepare for a career in games development, it’s important to learn to identify the professional and technical skills needed for development roles. We’re going to show you how that’s done over the next few steps.