Meet Kev, our Senior Software Engineer, based at our Brighton Studio, BossAlien. Kev joined us in 2015 as a freelance content creator on the design team for an unreleased game. Since then, through the opportunities at NaturalMotion, Kev was able to work on design tools and more technical work where he made the leap into becoming a full-time Software Engineer. Aside from his day-to-day work as a coder, he is also one of the leads for one of our employee resource groups ‘zGaming’ – connecting colleagues through games. Where colleagues will meet an hour a week, outside of work, to connect and have fun. Kev talk’s about his experience at NaturalMotion, highlighting how the culture promotes inclusiveness.
Continue reading to find out more about Kev’s experience at NaturalMotion and his advice for those wanting to get into the industry!
What is your role within NaturalMotion and how did you get here?
I’m a Senior Software Engineer, but I started as a content-creator on the design team, using tools provided by the coders to create levels for an unreleased game.
My previous jobs had been programming jobs, but this was the famous foot-in-the-door! I was fortunate enough to know a lecturer from my university who knew the then General Manager of Boss Alien well enough to point me in the direction of an informal “chat” / job interview!
Over time I started contributing to design tools and doing more technical work, before making the leap to full time Software Engineer once we started a new project.
What are your biggest accomplishments working at NaturalMotion?
Aside from my day-to-day work as a coder, I also help to lead one of our employee resource groups: zGaming. Our mission is to connect our colleagues through games – Make Games, play games! Especially with the pandemic, connecting with each other on a more human level has been more important than ever, and I’m really proud that we run our Friday Gaming Hour every week and help us all to have fun together, not just work together.
How would you describe the culture within NaturalMotion
As an organisation, NM really seems to recognise the importance of being able to be yourself, there’s no judgement and it feels really inclusive. There’s an honesty and an openness from our CEO that I haven’t experience in other companies. He really takes the time to get to know each person, despite the challenges of their being so many of us now!
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the industry?
Two things: Build a portfolio, and network! The candidates who rise to the top of the list are always those who have playable games on a portfolio website. The size of the games is not important, but the ability to stick to something to the point where you can “publish it” on the web is a real selling point. Take part in game jams, they’re great ways to get working software quickly!
As for networking, It can be awkward and uncomfortable at times, but there’s such value in going to industry events and talks, etc. and finding someone you can talk to. The best question you can ask: “Is it ok if I ask you for some advice?” and if it is: “I’m not in the games industry but I’d really love to be! What advice can you give me about getting my foot in the door?” People are friendly and asking for advice is often a great way to remove that first hurdle (maybe introduce yourself first!) when starting a conversation. Who knows, maybe they know someone who’s looking for someone.