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Cracking the Tech Career: Insider Advice on Landing a Job at Google, Microsoft, Apple, or any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

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13Getting into Gaming

Even among technology companies, gaming firms stand out for their high-energy, fun-loving environments. Super-sized arcade games, beers on tap at weekly happy hours, colorful offices, entire rooms dedicated to Ping-Pong—all are typical of gaming companies. In terms of culture, they've “out-teched” the tech companies. Their appeal to candidates is clear.

The Culture: Is It All Fun and Games?

Alessandra, from gaming recruiting firm VonChurch, suggests that the festive atmosphere is integral to the nature of the field: “Gaming means blending the creative with the techy. Technology firms are already young, fun-filled environments. When you mix in a highly creative workforce, this is what you get.”

Her colleague Katy Haddix concurs, but cautions that it's a work hard/play hard atmosphere: “You are expected to be full-seat-in, working 10 to 12 hours per day, plus the weekends when necessary.”

Long hours are a necessity in the casual gaming world. Casual games fly from conception to release in a mere two months. Finishing a project before a deadline is always a race, and in this industry, there is always a deadline looming. The work can't stop.

Moreover, your product is live 24 hours per day and may depend on another live and changing platform such as Facebook. Things could break at any time; someone needs to be watching it.

In the console gaming world, release cycles are longer, which reduces the stress level, but the hours can still be intense. The entire gaming ...

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