We catch up with our Rising Star 2016 programmers Rachel Cabot and Oli Shannon-Lepper to see how they’re getting on with their 3-month placements as Boss Alien interns in Brighton.
Have you been enjoying your internship?
Rachel: Yeah it’s been really good so far!
Oli: It’s been the best experience for me – I’ve really enjoyed it! Boss Alien has such an easy-going, family-like atmosphere. We also get free food and parties, which is always a bonus! They’re giving me big tasks to work on, so it’s a great experience.
Has it been quite different working in a studio than you imagined it to be?
Rachel: It’s pretty much what I expected, but it’s such a buzz working here and it’s so fun.
What have you been working on?
Oli: I’ve been working on bug fixes and push notifications as well as mobile specific features, including C#, Unity and Java. It’s great working here because you get involved with different programming languages.
Rachel: I’ve been developing and designing parts of their new IP essentially. I’m kind of working specifically in the UI space right now. I’ve been learning a lot, and I’ve been learning the ways of the studio.
What are your plans for the future, after you graduate from university?
Oli: Definitely to carry on working in the games industry! I’m keen to come back and work for Boss Alien after university.
Rachel: I’ll probably try to go back to Boss Alien. I do want to stay in games, as I’ve kind of figured out that it’s what I want to do now. I’m quite happy working in the mobile space to start off with, as I think it’s a good starting up point. As I start to get more experience, I’d like to look at some different spaces – like maybe console, and get in quite a good position doing interesting stuff there. I know there’s normally quite a big budget, so it’s easy to get lost in a project like that.
But there’s also a lot of really cool AR and VR work going down, so I’d like to try and get in on that, as I’ve got a HCI speciality in my degree. Then maybe in the future, if I found myself in the right circumstances, I couldn’t say no to starting my own venture, and maybe trying to break into the indie scene with some other people. If that opportunity doesn’t arise in the long term, maybe I’d look into moving to San Francisco and having a look at the games scene there, as it’s kind of an ambition of mine.
What advice would you give to other students at university?
Oli: Definitely get involved with competitions like Search For A Star and get lots of practice! There are so many tools available, many of which are easy to pick up and free to use, and so it’s worth getting as much practice in as possible.
Rachel: I would absolutely recommend doing an internship. It gives you more of an idea about what you want to do for the rest of your life than anything else ever could. So what are you doing? Go and get your internship right now!
Well, you heard them! Keep an eye on our jobs page for any upcoming internships at games studios, and don’t forget to enter Search For A Star & Sumo Digital Rising Star challenges for your chance of securing a job or internship with a games studio.
Thanks to Rachel and Oli for their time, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your Boss Alien internship!