I worked at Rockstar Games full-time (Less than a year)
Flexible hours and dinner service for those working overtime. Great location and lots of company benefits.
Sometime you get contradictory instructions on what to do and what the pipeline is due to working internationally.
Advice to Management
Specify job tasks and provide up to date instruction resources for job duties. Clarify how much autonomy is desired when reporting or fixing issues.
I applied online. I interviewed at Rockstar Games (Andover, MA) in April 2017.
I applied online at Rockstar New England for an entry level Engine Programmer position and was contacted much later to take an online coding test. The test was with Codility and was not too bad, your standard kind of coding questions you usually see in interviews. They require you to complete the test in C or C++, and it is basically their way of gauging whether or not you can actually solve a problem and code the solution.
The next day I was contacted to set up a Skype interview. The Skype interview was with their AI team and they told me that they did not have an Engine Programmer position open but were considering me for an AI Programmer position. This was fine with me as I was also interested in that kind of role.
The Skype interview focused on basic C++ and OO programming ideas and a little bit of 3D math. The problems they ask are very applied to AI problems, and giving good examples when you explain a concept helps.
A few days later, I was emailed to be brought on site for a series of interviews with different teams at Rockstar New England. First I talked with the technical director. I was then interviewed by 3 groups of 3-4 people asking very technical C++, AI, and 3D math questions. Then I had an interview with two producers at the studio asking more behavioral/experience questions trying to gauge culture fit. The day wrapped up with an quick talk with the technical director again asking how things went and laying out what the rest of the process looked like. If they decided to move forward with me, they next step would have been a Skype interview with the team at Rockstar North. From there a final decision would be made and approval would have been sought to make an offer. I was emailed about 3 days after the on-site interview about their decision. They decided not to move forward with me.
This is a very difficult interview because these guys are the best at what they do. They make it clear that if you work there its not a regular 9-5 kind of job, its your life, so you better be passionate about what you do. The technical director told me that they would look for what I don't know and focus on that in interviews to see how I solve problems I've never seen before. I am not sure what specifically wasn't up to Rockstar par with me, but I felt like it was 3D math.
The best advice I can give you to prepare for this is:
- Know your C++ inside and out. Further, don't just know concepts but write it like crazy so you can write compile-able code on a whiteboard without trying.
- Know your 3D math and how to use it for game problems. Strong emphasis on this. I felt like my coding skills were at the very least OK, but it had been years since I had to solve new types of 3D math problems and apply ideas in new areas.
- Be passionate about what you do. There is no easy route in or into this industry. This job and this kind of work is very demanding. If you expect a normal 9-5 job this won't be it. Be passionate. work hard to make great things, and it will make a difference.
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