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How To Be A Virtual Reality Developer

How To Be A Virtual Reality Developer

Virtual reality is pretty much the next big thing, as it has been for about 20 years now. Being the “next big thing” for so long just shows how much hype it has and how challenging it has been to make virtual reality a practical reality. Much of that work falls on developers who are doing all they can with current and bleeding-edge technologies to push the envelope ever forward.

You can be a virtual reality developer too, but only if it truly is what you’re looking for. Being a part of technology’s next big leap is an exciting prospect, but you must be able to actively contribute to it. The road to becoming a developer is something that one must be able walk and stumble through without loss of enthusiasm upon reaching a milestone.

Requirements

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Virtual Reality Requirements

    Of course, the foundation is to be a developer in the first place, whether you’re a programmer, 3D artist, or so on. You must have the core skills needed to take that next step in getting into virtual reality(VR). Experience with working in a team and working on projects is also a recommended pre-requisite, since you should be comfortable working in such conditions. VR is fairly similar, but with more unfamiliar and unusual hardware to deal with.

    Creating 3D environments in a computer is one thing, but making them for VR has its own set of challenges, many of which are still being solved. The most obvious application is in video games, so it helps greatly if you’re a game developer. However, developers from other fields are also valuable as they can bring ideas and potential solutions from other perspectives. Whether it’s film, architecture, engineering, interior design, mathematics, chemistry, medicine, or so on, each of these fields will be able to benefit from the advent of VR technology.

    The most important requirement is to have the desire to come up with totally new ideas and work with them persistently. Creating new technologies is basically problem solving, and nothing substantial comes out if those working at it won’t persist even when hope seems lost. This is the fate of all who embark on new frontiers like this.

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    Current Developers

    The most famous name in VR right now is the Oculus Rift, being developed by Oculus, which is now owned by Facebook — the social media giant snatched the project up for $2 billion. They’re at the forefront right now in VR technology, spearheading the movement to the future.

    Other major efforts include the Sony PlayStation VR, also known as Project Morpheus. As the name suggests, this one is definitely gaming-focused. There’s also the Microsoft HoloLens, which has been previewed in E3 2015. As for the mobile market, the Samsung Gear VR is being developed in partnership with Oculus to bring VR to smartphones. Apple has also tossed their hat in the game, having filed a patent for their own set of head-mounted VR goggles.

    As Tesla is with the electric car, these companies are pushing virtual reality forward, and you can aim at getting a job in one of them to become a virtual reality developer. These are prestigious companies that are known to be havens for other like-minded developers who are passionate about their fields.

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    If you’re more into making VR games, then you should join companies like Valve, who are also developing their own VR with SteamVR. There are also quite a few game development companies that are actively developing for VR, including nDreams, Reload Studios, Crytek, Uber Entertainment, and many more.

    You can also get yourself an Oculus Rift Development Kit and make games with it. This is a more grassroots approach that will take a lot of effort to pull off; being an indie game developer can be a hard life. However, if your passion is in making games, then this could be the way to go for you. You’ll definitely be considered a VR developer when you come out with your own VR game, especially if it’s good. There are a brave and ambitious few who are doing just this, and you can join them if you really have the heart and drive for it.

    Conclusion

    Becoming a virtual reality developer is challenging and fascinating, and time can only tell whether it will soon take over our world or if it needs even more time to pull that off. Whatever the result may be, there are a whole lot of really smart people who are constantly working on it tirelessly, trying to bring the virtual world into our peripheral vision.

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    As a virtual reality developer, you know you’re doing your part in changing the world for the future. That’s quite a reward in itself, and the journey is indeed a very interesting one.

    Featured photo credit: Virtual Reality Developer via flickr.com

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    Vincent Sevilla

    Web Designer

    How To Be A Virtual Reality Developer

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    Published on October 8, 2019

    How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

    How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

    The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

    The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

    By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

    1. Define What Success Is for You

    There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

    Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

    2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

    Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

    Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

    3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

    It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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    By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

    4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

    A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

    One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

    5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

    You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

    Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

    6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

    If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

    Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

    7. Pick Up Some New Skills

    Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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    By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

    8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

    Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

    If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

    9. Make Yourself Indispensable

    Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

    It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

    10. Get Off the Fence

    People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

    If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

    11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

    If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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    Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

    12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

    If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

    Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

    13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

    Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

    Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

    14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

    Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

    A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

    15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

    The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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    Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

    16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

    Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

    Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

    17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

    It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

    Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

    18. Join a Professional Organization

    The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

    Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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    Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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