What does a generalist programmer do?
Programmers work at the heart of the game development process. They write the code that controls the game, incorporating and adapting any ready-made code libraries and writing custom code as needed. They test the code and fix bugs.
As game development is increasingly complex, there’s an ever-growing body of specialist programmers. Just as important are generalist programmers who are chiefly concerned with identifying the most stable and efficient means of coding and seeing the scripts are clean and reliable. They also need to be able to turn their hand to whatever is needed, such as writing code that makes better use of the available storage within the graphics engine, for example.
Generalist programmers work with the QA technicians to identify weaknesses in the system to write more reliable code.
What’s a generalist programmer good at?
- Maths and physics: use advanced mathematics, understand physics concepts like collision and particle dispersion
- Programming: pick up script languages easily, write clean portable code
- Knowledge of games engines and platforms: understand graphic integration, collision detection, data transformation, database management
- Communication: work with the specialist programmers, keep detailed technology documentation to record changes made to the engine
- Timekeeping: take instruction and work to deadlines