It is rapidly approaching 11 years between my entry into the tech industry interning at Pandemic Studios and founding an indie game development studio to build Enhanced Wars. Although it is still early days in my career, I think I have at least gained a modicum of insight worth sharing. When one of my mentors asked me to speak at the college course I credit for setting me on the path from enthusiast to professional, I saw an opportunity to reflect on my time in the industry and codify the lessons I wish I could go back in time to teach my youthfully arrogant college self. It is not like I am not still making missteps regularly; I hope that 40 year old me is telepathically beaming back his list through time to send some wisdom my way. But it feels like a good time to share the top 7 lessons I wish I knew on my first day as a tech intern:
1) It’s a small world after all
The industry is small. Remarkably small. The sort of small that only becomes apparent when you have been working in it for a while. In the past year and change that I have worked as a monetization consultant to help fund Enhanced Wars, I have been recommended for gigs by people I worked with 9 years ago I did not expect to work alongside again. I have been able to pay my rent thanks to jobs I was referred to by people at EA that I am certain I aggravated at one point or another. I have walked into meetings to instantly regret the actions a younger, more abrasive self thought were completely justified at the time.
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