The Road to Mastery: Building Expertise and Thriving Careers in Full-Stack Game Development

Embracing the dynamic reality

Reskilling alone is insufficient in the face of skill shortages, limited investments, and rapid changes. Instead, organizations should adopt an employee development approach that recognizes the dynamic nature of jobs and the potential for individuals to reinvent themselves. Building employee resilience for short-term and long-term perspectives becomes vital for businesses to enhance their own resilience amidst constant change.

The transition from an age of production to an age of imagination has reshaped the requirements for business success. Innovation, entrepreneurship, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and collaboration have become increasingly essential alongside traditional skills. Organizations are under pressure to adapt their business models to embrace this age of imagination while simultaneously addressing their team’s demand for up-to-date skills and capabilities. In other words, teach them exactly what they want to learn. 

In fact, specialists see companies as the primary entity responsible for their development, surpassing the perceived responsibilities of workers themselves, educational institutions, governments, and professional associations or unions. Many companies have accepted the challenge and do their best to meet those relationship aspirations their teams have. 

Hiring Passion And Learning Mindset

When seeking engineers to join our Unity3D Department, we prioritize individuals with experience in client development on Unity3D. While additional experience in backend development is a valuable bonus, it is not mandatory. Our interviews follow a standardized approach with a predetermined set of questions. However, it’s important to note that candidates are not confined to selecting options A or B; the questions are designed to stimulate discussion and encourage thoughtful responses. In live conversations, we not only assess the candidate’s knowledge but also evaluate their soft skills. Rather than relying on provocative tactics, we employ cleverly crafted questions to observe their reactions and answers.

We realize that candidates may not possess all the answers, and in such cases, we inquire whether they would like to learn those answers. Demonstrating curiosity for new knowledge, even during the interview stage, holds significant value for us. In essence, apart from possessing fundamental technical knowledge and skills, we seek individuals with an insatiable appetite for acquiring knowledge. Moreover, it’s hard to miss the unmistakable spark in the eyes of passionate candidates during the initial moments of our encounter. To me, a candidate’s enthusiasm carries more weight than mere experience in any specific technology. 

Assessing experience solely based on a CV is nearly impossible, as one can include anything they desire. If a candidate exhibits true passion, we will gladly welcome them aboard. The technical aspects can always be improved through collaborative efforts, unlike moral and ethical considerations.

Practical Application of Knowledge

An organization that genuinely values its employees and their aspirations typically offers a diverse range of learning opportunities. One straightforward example is the implementation of a bonus system. In our case, our team members can use their accumulated bonus points to obtain subscriptions to renowned e-learning platforms like Udemy and Coursera. Personally, I find this initiative remarkable as it allows individuals to enroll in courses without spending their own money. For many, this aspect holds significant importance.

Another noteworthy aspect I’d like to emphasize is the nature of the projects we undertake. Frequently, we receive turnkey projects that enable us to deeply explore and immediately apply new technologies. To me, this represents genuine growth — a fusion of theory and practical implementation within a single endeavor.

Within our Unity3D Full Stack Innovecs Games division, we adhere to specific architectural approaches and standards. These guidelines are implemented through packages or small modules of code that we maintain and utilize across all projects. Employees who possess a comprehensive understanding of these aspects assume the role of the project leads, assisting new team members and their peers in comprehending the architecture, exchanging knowledge, implementing these standards universally, and driving continuous improvement. Leads consistently refine approaches, update packages, and ensure that the latest updates are integrated into other projects.

Thanks to our Learning and Development department and its dedicated team, our company has unified all essential materials, resources, and capabilities into a comprehensive system that empowers each employee’s professional development. We boast projects spanning all stages of application development, encompassing client-side, server-side, DevOps, and cloud solutions (AWS and Azure). Working with us, individuals gain the technical expertise necessary to tackle projects of any complexity. Our employees contribute to the development of our product packages and shape our architecture and tools, which serve as an internal asset accessible to everyone — an embodiment of our collective efforts.

Designing Individual Development Plan

The implementation of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) ensures that employees do not merely come to work to fulfill their hours and receive a salary but to actively grow and progress in one or more areas. Typically, we conduct meetings every six months, or more frequently if needed, to identify the specific areas in which employees seek improvement.

In this regard, it is crucial for us to establish a connection between the company’s goals and the individual’s ambitions, finding common ground. We aim to align the IDP with the project’s interests, the company’s objectives, and each individual’s personal aspirations. Employees set their goals based on these three pillars, and we provide assistance in refining their plans to make them as engaging as possible, always considering the given framework. While routine tasks will inevitably exist, we strive to complement them with informative and exciting elements.

Currently, our focus lies on cloud certifications. While the certification document itself serves as an important qualification confirmation, its primary value, in my opinion, is that it enables individuals to truly immerse themselves in the technology, explore its intricacies, experiment, and gain hands-on experience to understand what works and how it can be applied to projects.

To establish a strong connection among stakeholders and ensure the healthy development of all parties, transparency, and directness are essential. When it comes to the interview stage, we have the opportunity to demonstrate our company’s direction and requirements through thoughtfully designed questions. We convey the core concept to candidates: our objective is to nurture independent developers, preparing them as autonomous individuals capable of creating any game project. It is imperative for employees to be open and honest about their knowledge and areas for growth, as this forms the basis for us to make a meaningful contribution to their development.

Each milestone achieved within the IDP represents a tangible outcome. It could be a written article, a completed test project, or a hands-on demonstration. Additionally, individuals have the freedom to independently create sample projects—small endeavors that are not necessarily published but serve as examples or showcase specific functionalities—and subsequently share their insights with others.

Motivation Through Inspiration, Self-Sufficiency, And Ownership

As managers and leaders, one of our primary responsibilities is to lead by personal example. We dedicate time to explore new technologies, thoroughly study them, and then provide hands-on presentations to our team members. We also showcase the experiences of fellow teammates who have acquired the skills to create various aspects of a game independently, regardless of the technologies involved.

In many engineering projects, different technologies are employed for the client and server components. This often leads to significant time spent on communication between the client and server teams when implementing game features. It is common for one team to be unable to guarantee the immediate readiness of their components due to other priorities. Additionally, there is a chance that the desired functionality may not work as expected or that requirements may change while one of the teams is in the development phase. When a has a clear idea of how to implement all parts of a game feature (client, server, DevOps), they gain a sense of empowerment. This perspective in itself serves as a driving force.

We motivate our team members with engaging tasks and technologies, particularly when it comes to engineers working on game development. Our aim is to foster full-stack developers in the true sense of game development. This means our engineers are capable of handling all aspects of game creation, including the client side with Unity3D, the server side with .NET, DevOps, and deploying infrastructure in the cloud.

Within the framework of Innovecs Games, we organize hands-on sessions where engineers and QA professionals are invited. These sessions provide an opportunity for individuals to share their knowledge, discuss specific technologies, and help others overcome challenges.

To foster an ownership mindset, it is critical to avoid restricting employees to isolated development tasks. We facilitate direct and open communication channels between our teammates on all projects and the product owner, enabling them to interact directly and receive tasks without the need for intermediaries. Individuals who grasp the scope of their responsibility proactively seek out and explore avenues to successfully complete their tasks, and should they require assistance, we are readily accessible to offer guidance and support.

I believe ownership primarily comes from an individual’s personal sense of responsibility, which is often shown during the probationary period. If we notice a lack of responsibility, we’re there to provide the necessary help and tools to nurture its growth.

Cultivating A Dynamic And Thriving Ecosystem

To promote a culture of innovation, organizations need to take proactive measures in creating well-defined career paths that encourage long-term commitment and a deep sense of dedication to the company.

Nurturing employee engagement and satisfaction requires offering ample opportunities for professional growth and skill development. Businesses should prioritize comprehensive learning programs that offer a wide range of experiences, both within the office and through external resources.

It’s our duty to recognize and embrace employees’ desire to shape the future of the company. By establishing a collaborative relationship where both the organization and its employees have a voice, businesses can effectively tackle challenges, reap benefits, and drive success. 

Placing a strong emphasis on learning initiatives, career pathways, and training programs not only helps in attracting and retaining top talent but also builds a forward-thinking and competitive work culture that appeals to clients on a global scale.

If you need assistance in building a product from scratch or supporting the existing one, drop us a line to discuss details, and we will reply within 24 hours.