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LEAD PROGRAMMER

LEAD PROGRAMMER: THE VIDEO GAME HANDYMAN

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Fiche métier jeu vidéo : le lead programmeur

Clearly, this position is for someone who is passionate about video game development.

 

THE LEAD PROGRAMMER'S MISSIONS & PROFESSION

De facto, the Lead Programmer supervises the video game development project. He / she plays a key role in the creation of a video game, supervising, organising and coordinating all the development process within the project.

To this end, he / she supervises a team of developers and programmers, and ensures that each mission is carried out successfully and that all specifications are respected.

His / her knowledge, responsibilities and skills are therefore extensive and, above all, cross-disciplinary.

Thus, he / she must :

  • actively participate in the design and production of video games within a multidisciplinary production team;
  • develop with a game engine and various complementary technologies;
  • prototype game mechanics;
  • program optimized software components suitable for the constraints of real-time interactive animation;
  • integrate game resources such as 3D models, animations, interfaces, visual effects and audio files.
  • The Lead Programmer carries out architecture and development decisions, manages the development of complex functionalities and ensures compliance with technical specifications.

REQUIRED QUALITIES & SKILLS

The Lead Programmer is in a way the handyman, as he is required to master the different programming languages and tools necessary for the game development.

 

In addition, he must also :

  • monitor the quality and manage a team;
  • demonstrate pedagogy, rigour, diplomacy and a solid sense of analysis;
  • have an excellent culture in the field of video games;
  • display an analytical, innovative and critical spirit with regard to the quality of the gaming experience;
  • be comfortable with subjective notions such as target audience, gameplay;
  • possess the necessary managerial skills.

Given his / her busy schedule, he / she will work long hours and invest himself / herself to ensure that the project meets all graphical and technical requirements.  


CAREERS & PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Lead Programmer mainly works for private video game development companies. These companies may be of varying sizes, independent or under the direction of a publisher.  

Becoming a Lead Programmer is possible upon completion of appropriate courses. A game designer's training, such as the one offered at ETPA, is highly recommended. 

This profession is also accessible after several years of experience as a video game programmer.  


Remuneration: Between 32k€ and 42k€ (minimum 20k€; maximum 86k€; median salary: 34k€)  


The Lead Programmer may have a solid career path in the world of video games, but his / her profile, experience and knowledge will enable him / her to work in other fields as well. 


After a few years as a Lead Programmer, he / she may turn to positions such as technical consultant, functional analyst or even Project Manager.