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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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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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