Role: Senior Tools Developer at Epic Games
My name is Joakim Lindqvist and I work as a Senior Tools Developer at Epic Games, where I work primarily on Unreal Engine and its devtools, which are tools for other developers. It includes e.g. our code building system "Unreal Build Tool", how we then schedule compilation, cooking, and so on, on different computers in our CI (continuous integration) system, just to mention one thing. I also work with a lot of other tools in Visual Studio and other IDEs (integrated development environments).
After my dissertation I got a job at DICE, where I worked with testing and CI systems. I worked closely with the Frostbite team and quickly became responsible for those things there. As Frostbite grew and grew (over 10 years), I got bigger and bigger responsibility for these systems, not only in how they are used, but also furthering the development of them. When I then had the opportunity to work with this for Epic and have the opportunity to influence all the developers who work with Unreal, it was an offer I couldn't refuse!
I have always known that I would work with games - already as a 6-year-old I was convinced that games were what I wanted to do. I had no idea how to make them or what I could do, but games were my thing. I started playing around with web and html in middle school and seriously learned to code in lower secondary school ("Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days" was my first book on the subject). As our final project for upper secondary school, me and some friends did a game with teachers from gscept as mentors - so my choice of university was a given by then.
As for tips on how to get started, it's about a few different things. In part I recommend starting to play around and create something as soon as you know you're interested. Try building simple 2D games in Unity and learn some scripting, or build a mobile app to learn coding.
Furthermore, I would recommend not to stare too blindly at certain specific areas. Everyone wants to do graphics programming when you start, but there are many interesting areas - so have an open mind. It's often quite easy to change paths, once you have become good in at least one area.
As for the education itself, I would just say - take it seriously and make an effort. All the courses at gscept will come in useful in the future, even if it doesn't always seem like it at the time.