Saturday, June 26, 2010

So... I Got a Job

But it isn't making MMOs. After my post about the interview with 38 Studios, there was a flood of haters posting about how'd I'd never get the job and blah blah blah, and yadda yadda yadda, so I kind of didn't bother bringing everyone back up to speed when I moved on. Besides, there may still be something along the MMO lines that may come to pass in the future, and the LOL JOKES ON YOU BITCHES punchline would have taken way too long to hold out for. Besides, I need to buy diapers and crap. Well, actually, the diapers are needed *for* the crap. See wut I did ther?

At any rate, I've got a job doing "teh ITs" again, but this time for a digital arts college out in Emeryville, CA. Emeryville is a pretty happenin place, IT wise. We got Pixar down the street, SendMail started up here, I'm pretty sure Sun (makers of Java) planted their feet down here, and Seagate is still around... somewhere. It's a funky little industrial area, and Ex'pression (where I work) is literally a stone's throw from the freeway, so it's like a 12 minute commute from where I'm staying at the moment.

Superfluous apostrophes aside, Ex'pression is actually a really sweet gig, and while I was originally shopping around for something temporary that I could just use until something better came along, it's good to know that if nothing better *does* come along, that I'm in good hands for a long term commitment. Anyone keeping track will know that one of the main reasons I left Japan in the first place was the lack of any long term longevity. Being offered the same one year contract over and over meant that I'd never earn a raise, and at any point the Board of Education could just cut us foreigners off, and cancel the English program. That wasn't horribly likely, but the last thing I wanted to see was my son in Japan's elementary school system, and then suddenly find myself out of work. It was always a possibility.

So I came back home for something long term.

I haven't given up on the gaming side of things, though, and this job offers a few bonus perks that I couldn't get doing IT work for a bank or whatever. Were I to leave it for a gaming gig, I also get the feeling that they'd be cheering me on, rather than upset that I left. They honestly see themselves as a stepping stone for greater things, for students and employees alike. It's a really good vibe... I don't know how else to put it. They want you to succeed in life, and pursue your ambitions. I *get* that.

The college itself is a crash course in "digital art creation", which spans from music to video to 3d modeling/animation and gaming. Students pay like 80k up front (don't quote me on that, I fix the computers), and smash through a 2.5 year course of intensive study. The classes aren't some one or two hour lectures followed by homework, either. Every class that I've seen so far is like 8 hours long, with tons of hands on stuff on real equipment. We have two giant green screens, a full motion capture studio, all kinds of high end rigs, and a heptagonal recording studio. Think Dr. Dre in the soundroom behind the glass, while the band plays in the studio, but the studio has seven windows looking in on it, and there are seven Dr. Dres behind seven different windows looking in. Rather than just have a teacher show kids how to mix it all down while the kids' eyes glaze over, they're all doing it themselves in their own booths, and then they listen to the various masters afterward to see who got it and who needs more help. We actually invite random bands from the area to come perform so we have all different styles of music to expose the students to. The kids get the practice, and the band gets 7 free master studio mixed CDs to choose from.

On top of all of this, I can sit in on any classes for free, since I work here (assuming there's space, of course). Unreal Development Kit crash course? Python scripting workshops? O HAI.

To be honest, I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to sit in on any yet, but it's coming up on my third week, and I'm getting more used to having a full work schedule again. I may start looking at the weekend classes, and pick a few to soak up.

Anyway, the teachers are awesome, the students are... well, students... and everyone loves Ixo when he comes to fix their printer or install Maya 2011. Win win win.

Hooray me, I gotta go to work. The Phone Closet CALLETH!

Yes, that's the actual phone closet (well, one of them). Yes, I actually know what all those wires do; that's what they pay me for. ;)


Klepsacovic said...

Beware of the inevitable lightning storm which causes all the wires to come alive and eat you.

Sephrenia said...

Gratz Ixo. I really hope it gets better and better for you :)

Stabs said...

Wonderful! Well done you and I'm sure the experience you gain will open doors to you should you decide to pursue a MMO career later on.

Kiryn said...

That's awesome! My best friend actually just graduated from there last year. She said it was pretty awesome but some of the classes are at really weird hours, like there are classes that start at 10pm and later.

It's seriously weird what a small world this is.

Jong said...

Grats mang!

Why are there so many haters that come to your blog?

oshin said...

Sounds like a sweet job, and you can get your self some really nice relevant experience.

One thing I would be careful about in the gaming industry is the sweatshop atmosphere alot of places have going on, to get that next game out etc. As its such a popular industry to work in they have no shortage of bodies to do that stuff.

We Fly Spitfires said...

Awesome, mate! Huge grats! Look forward to more secret photos :P

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

Hey, congrats. :) May not be your dream job yet, but you've still have time to get in.

The important thing is to stick with a plan to achieve your goals. Learn all you can. Maybe pick up a few other skills during the nights and evenings. It's a lot of work, but if you want it then go for it. :)

Tesh said...

Congrats, Ixo! Sometimes I wish I'd learned IT stuff. It's more stable than the game industry. ;)

Nothing's quite the same as working on games, but after seeing a friend just recently leave our game company for a better paying and more stable job doing "boring" programming work, I can't help but think that sometimes... I wish I were doing something else. Too many long grindy work weeks get to you, y'know?

Still... it's good for the soul to see something you work on make people happy. That's what I get out of my job, at least.

*ahem* Please pardon the moment of sappy introspection.

Many well wishes to you! I'm glad that the universe has seen fit to give you the means to purchase diapers. :)

Larísa said...

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself there (even though I knew about this already since I just had to write you since I wondered how things were going.)

One step at a time. Just don't lose your long-term vision! I expect more. But you know that.


Hatch said...

Congrats Ixo! Since most people go to dozens of interviews before getting hired, I'm not too worried about your game design career that you didn't get the first one out of the gate . . . the fact that you got the interview at all puts you 1,000 steps ahead of all the haters anyway (who are just jealous because they tryhard to get that kind of job and can't even get the interview).

Fortune smiles on you that you're working somewhere that let's you take classes in the field for free. Definitely take advantage of that. Sounds like a great environment, and making a good living at the same time is awesome.

Glad to see you back and hope you blog a bit more now that things have settled down.

I also have to share that my captcha was "irlogin".

Anonymous said...

From one IT professional to another, all I have to say when I look at that closet is


Good luck Ixo, sounds like the absolute best job you could have landed for yourself at this stage. Doing what you know with an open opportunity to learn what you want to know. I'm sooo jealous. :)

Rich said...



Cap'n John said...

Gratz on the new gig. Good to see a few of my online buddies successfully making for-the-better changes to their life.

Mike ... said...

I'll second Bri's comment! I thought our closet looked bad but that ... that's horrendous.

Oh, and /grats on the new gig.

Dink said...

Grats Ixo! We're here to support you (tho not in a jockstrap way). Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

It feels like in guild chat someone you like finally says "Ding! 80- finally" and teh ppl start gratzing around. When you get a raid spot (your dream job) we will be gratzing again.

Anonymous said...

Uh thats me Silkworm btw the last comment. I had to use ktunnel to get around the company firewall and somehow I can not write a name. I can only post anonymous. Anyway gz again.

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