Generalist Programmer

The Generalist Programmer is a flexible member of the development team who can work across two or more specialisms. 

As games become more complex, there are an increasing number of specialist coding areas, such as physics, AI, game engine and networks programming. As a Generalist Programmer you can draw on your experience in more than one area.

That could mean you lead on a range of programming in a small studio, or move around and provide backup when it’s needed in a bigger team.

Also referred to as:

Unity/Unreal Programmer

You’ll love this role if you’re into:
  • Coding
  • Being Organised
  • Maths
  • Designing things

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Most people working as a Generalist Programmer have a degree in engineering, games or computer science. Above all, you should be someone who loves technology, coding and problem-solving. 

As a professional, you will be maintaining more than one specialist area in the game development process. Responsibilities will vary from game studio to game studio so having a wide range of coding expertise and the ability to multitask is important. The most popular game creation engines use the coding languages, C++ (Unreal) or C# (Unity), but languages like Java and HTML5, are also used depending on the game type. Check out our guide to programming languages for more information.

Working in the games industry is highly competitive and you’ll need to make sure your CV stands out to employers and course leaders. 

As a Generalist Programmer, your CV should outline previous experience, demonstrating a range of programming skills and achievements. For more general ideas on developing your CV, see our top tips page.

Whatever role you are working in, it is essential that you understand the game making process. You can head to our build a game section for first steps; join a regular game jam to build up your skills & network; or start modding others games to gain experience.  

Education pathways

Where are you in your games journey?

...the most rewarding thing is feeling like I'm working with other developers who love their craft
Matt Griffiths - Programmer, Bird at SkyRead the full story
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