Career Advice - How Do You Become a Unity Developer That Gets Hired
Creating a video game is exciting, and becoming a game developer is one of today’s most rewarding careers. With the growing opportunities in mobile development, virtual and augmented reality, software engineering, developers will be an in-demand career now and in the future. If you're considering getting into software game development or game design, you already know that.
Developing games is hard, but gaming engines like Unity simplify the process. Unity is a beginner-friendly gaming engine used by small and big gaming studios. But how do you become a Unity 3d software engineer or a programmer? Most importantly, how do you get hired as a Unity developer? This article will discuss how to use Unity and the steps you need to take to become a successful Unity developer.
Unity is a popular game engine responsible for over 50% of games released on mobile, PCs, and consoles. In 2021, 71% of the top 1,000 mobile games were created using Unity. Game developers prefer Unity compared to other game engines because it’s easy to use, has extensive documentation, and is widely supported by a great community.
Unity uses C#, one of the easiest programming languages that even beginners can quickly learn. Transitioning from another language is also easy because C# is based on the C language. And, even if you get confused, Unity’s extensive documentation includes scripting references that explain everything you need to know. There are also countless video tutorials and online courses that will help you get a grasp of Unity.
Another reason to choose Unity is its availability across multiple platforms. You can develop games for over 25 platforms and technologies such as Android, iOS, Microsoft, Xbox, PS5, and more. The game engine is also compatible with low-end computers, so novice Unity developers can create casual games without needing a powerful computer setup.
Source - Brainmobi
Being a Unity developer is a much sought-after skill. Unity started with mobile game development but has soon expanded to accommodate multiple functions across various exciting industries. You can use Unity for game development (especially mobile game development), AR/VR development, training simulations, digital twins, and more. Industries like automotive, aerospace, and film use Unity and hire Unity developers.
Source - Statista: Leading game engines used by video games developers in UK / Percentage of Game Engine used. | 2019
When you become a Unity developer, it will not only be easier for you to create games that can be played on multiple platforms but you'll also be learning a skill that is in high demand by employers.
Start with the End in Mind
Understanding and becoming a developer is a process that takes years to
master. To become successful, it’s important to know what drives you. Do you
want to be an indie developer and launch your own game or work as a
full-time unity game developer in a big gaming studio? Are you passionate
about building new features for metaverse environments? Or do you want to
future-proof your career in general?
Interview with Stephen Huang on how developing Unity indie games looks like with a small team.
There are a lot of things you can achieve when you become a Unity developer, but the path towards that goal won’t be easy. There will be challenges along the way as you hone your expertise. Having a goal that motivates you will help you push forward and overcome these challenges.
What You Need to Become a Good Unity developer
As a Unity developer, you must think of creative out-of-the-box ideas and manifest these ideas to other people. Do a quick search for Unity developer jobs and make a mental note of the skills you need to become proficient at. These are the skills you should aim to develop as your train to become a Unity developer.
Unity developers depend on the Unity engine to create functional applications. You should be able to create complex prototypes using the 3D Unity software following integrated game physics.
A good Unity developer should be confident with:
- The Unity Editor and scripting using C# Programming Language
- Understanding game development principles
- Handling the basics like meshes, animations, materials, and game objects
- Optimizing and rendering performance
- Using good programming practices like working with Git
- Working with teams (A good Unity development course simulates team working environments.)
You’ll find these qualifications and requirements in most job descriptions for Unity app developers. As you learn how to use Unity, keep the above-end goals in mind. You should achieve these proficiencies to succeed.
Take a Deep Dive by Building Simple Unity Projects
If you have zero background in coding and web design, learning how to use Unity can take a bit more time. But if you’re already proficient with object-oriented programming languages, algorithms, and data structures, you can learn the platform in under a week. Ultimately, the best way to understand how to use Unity is to start building simple Unity projects. You can start creating a casual game and learn the different functions of Unity as you move along.
Download and install the game engine and tackle your first few projects. You can build simple AR/VR applications or develop mini 2D games like Tetris. Every week, Circuit Stream hosts a free workshop on XR Design, AR/VR, and Unity Development. Use this as a chance to learn how to use Unity and develop killer projects. We also give our Expert Career Advice on how to start a career as a Unity developer.
When you’ve installed Unity, get familiar with the basics. Explore the Editor and learn how to use the Unity library asset. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Unity YouTube Playlist to learn everything from downloading and installing Unity to understanding the Unity Editor and Unity Asset Store.
Unity is free for individuals, and you can easily download it to start exploring the game engine. It also has free downloadable projects from the Asset store that you can play with and explore.
Plan Your Learning Framework
You can learn how to use Unity by yourself by following and jumping around different tutorials. There are thousands of pages and video tutorials on how to get started. However, it's better to take a paid course to accelerate your learning journey and learn with community support. These courses are designed as a step-by-step guide to building your Unity skills. You can either take a full course curriculum on game development or join bootcamps.
Game development bootcamps are designed to help students quickly grasp the concepts and build profitable careers with the skills they’ve learned. They can transform a complete novice into an expert within a short time.
Did you know Circuit Stream’s Unity Developer Bootcamp comes with private community and career services?
Keep Developing Your Portfolio and Market Yourself
Certifications are important. It’s a sign to the employer that you’ve reached a baseline skill level in development or design. However, certifications are not enough. A portfolio is also crucial for employers to gauge your skill and for your talent to grow.
Make sure you are leaving a trace of your work on Github. For extra points, try “building in public” by showing your talent. You can do it by:
- Publishing your progress on a newsletter, website, or social media feeds.
- Showing off your project by making videos on YouTube.
- Show off your projects in private communities (Discords, private groups) or publicly (Reddit)
- Show and talk about your projects live on podcasts, webinars, social collaborations
- Make a projects reel and publish it on Vimeo or YouTube — Check out the projects by Andrew Alderete
Publish your game on itch.io, talk about it on LinkedIn posts, and engage in niche communities. Ask for advice from people who walked the path before you.
Many hiring managers are lurking in places where they expect talent to emerge. Every HR manager is on LinkedIn, while the sophisticated ones use niche Discord communities. Recruitment teams also ask their in-house team if they’d recommend someone.
Always remember that no one knows how good you are if they can’t find your work or hear about it from someone else.
Apply for Jobs, Ask for Help, and Don’t Give Up
It’s impossible to be ignored if you keep delivering work and showing it off. Rinse and repeat. Build bigger & better projects and be proactive. Seek feedback and be confident about your work.
Think of your job hunt as a game itself. Each social media post gives you more experience points and brings new pairs of eyes to your work. The goal is to get the right pair of eyes to it.
When Indika posts on LinkedIn, people notice.
Ask your friends and colleagues to repost and (re)share your work. Use their social circles to get in front of people you can’t reach.
Straight from the source
Jerry Medeiros, Director of Education, shares his advice on how to become a great Unity developer:
Starting a new career in game development is both exciting and scary. There is always a lot to learn, and it takes a lot of practice to become good at it. To be successful in this endeavor, one needs basically two things: passion and dedication.
Successful developers are extremely passionate about what they do, and they completely dedicated themselves to it.
Dedication to acquiring knowledge, and passion to use the knowledge on things you believe will always keep you moving.
The most sustainable way to get started is to find a problem you are passionate about and dedicate time to building something to fix it.
Interesting Unity Statistics
Did you know:
- Unity Developer salaries are averaging $95,000 salary per year
Download Unity Game Development Bootcamp Syllabus