Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Game developers say success hinges on more than just programming skills: Interpersonal skills also key

Date:
May 5, 2014
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Aspiring game developers may want to bone up on their interpersonal skills. A new study finds that game developers need a suite of non-programming skills -- including communication skills -- that are considered less important in other fields of software development.

Aspiring game developers may want to bone up on their interpersonal skills. A forthcoming study from North Carolina State University and Microsoft Research finds that game developers need a suite of non-programming skills -- including communication skills -- that are considered less important in other fields of software development.

"We wanted to evaluate which skills are important to game developers versus other fields of software development," says Dr. Emerson Murphy-Hill, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and lead author of a paper on the work. "These findings could influence how we teach aspiring game developers."

Murphy-Hill and two co-authors from Microsoft Research conducted in-depth interviews of 14 experienced developers, including some not employed at Microsoft. These developers had at least two years of experience as game developers and at least two years of experience developing other types of software within the previous 10 years. The researchers used information from these interviews to create a survey that asked programmers about various aspects of their jobs, including which skills they found to be most valuable in their careers.

The research team then surveyed 364 Microsoft developers: 145 game developers, 100 developers who worked on Microsoft Office, and 119 developers who worked on other Microsoft products.

Game developers stood out in several ways.

Almost all of the game developers reported that the ability to communicate with non-engineers was "highly valuable." Similarly, game developers said that their work required a "more diverse team," drawing on expertise from artists, writers, and other non-engineers. Not surprisingly, game developers were more likely to value creativity on their teams.

Game developers were also significantly more likely to report using what they term an "agile" approach to software development -- embracing an iterative process in which a project's design is frequently modified during development.

"One of the ideas that came out of this work is to include non-programmers in computer science group projects, so that students can get used to that dynamic," Murphy-Hill says. "Similarly, these findings highlight the importance of helping students develop their interpersonal communication skills, since that would be valuable for them professionally."

The paper, "Cowboys, Ankle Sprains, and Keepers of Quality: How Is Video Game Development Different from Software Development?," was co-authored by Thomas Zimmermann and Nachiappan Nagappan of Microsoft Research. The paper will be presented at the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, being held May 31-June 7 in Hyderabad, India. The research was supported by Microsoft Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Game developers say success hinges on more than just programming skills: Interpersonal skills also key." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505104401.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2014, May 5). Game developers say success hinges on more than just programming skills: Interpersonal skills also key. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505104401.htm
North Carolina State University. "Game developers say success hinges on more than just programming skills: Interpersonal skills also key." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505104401.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Will Need To Squish These Bugs In iOS 8

Apple Will Need To Squish These Bugs In iOS 8

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) As users rush to download the latest version of Apple's iOS software, they're running into bugs plaguing battery life, WiFi connectivity, and more. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins