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Five Unique Answers to “How Do I Get a Job at ROBLOX?”

June 13, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


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BooksOur builders are passionate about creating top quality ROBLOX experiences, and many have asked us via Facebook, Twitter and ROBLOX games what it takes to secure a job here at ROBLOX HQ. The good news? This article will seek to answer that question. The interesting news? There’s way more than one answer. You see, ROBLOX is a unique combination of people from all walks of life, with different amounts of training in different fields. We share the same collective vision, though each of us do different things to achieve it. I thought it would be best to talk to a wide range of ROBLOX employees so that no matter which field you’re looking to pursue, you’ll have an example to follow.

Web Engineer Cullen Reilly (MacLir)

maclirInfluence: I grew up on USAF Missile Bases around a lot of engineers, so I was predisposed to engineering as a profession at a young age. I was exposed to and fascinated by computers, and pushing the capabilities of machines. In high school I started messing with coding–initially working to create more complex Warcraft III maps and behaviors. That’s where my interest in all this started.

High School: This may be somewhat ironic now, but English and Physics were my favorite subjects in high school, though my high school was pretty small, and didn’t offer many choices.

College: I narrowed down the subjects that interested me to physics and computer science before college, and I applied to schools where I could focus on either. After I got my acceptance letters I chose Computer Science as my major–it just seemed more suited to my interests than physics. I ended up majoring in Computer Science.

Favorite Course: Compilers and Language Design. It was my single favorite course in college. Learning to understand why language design decisions are made was and still is extremely useful knowledge. The 10-week format was somewhat overwhelming, but a welcome challenge. Generally, I’m fascinated with how things that I use every single day work, on a fundamental level. I think that drove my interest in those classes.

Advice: 1. Nothing looks better on a resume than personal projects that apply to your desired position (Hint: Build.) 2. You can never learn enough math.

gongfutigerTechnical Director of Physics Kevin He (Gongfu Tiger)

Influence: When I was in 4th grade my dad (who was a college Physics professor) was part of a summer camp initiative called “Programming by BASIC”. Essentially, the course was one week long and covered 17 basic statements of the BASIC programming language. I remember one BASIC game called “Dodge the Donkey”, and I was just totally hooked. When that week ended I found a book called “100 Computer Games Written in BASIC”. I started typing code from that book line by line into my computer to see what would happen. Years later, I’m Technical Director of Physics here at ROBLOX.

High School: Physics and a PASCAL programming course really reinforced that these were my passions.

Collision Phases Example

College: I ended up majoring in computer science, which came as no surprise to my family or me. My favorite courses were Data Structure and Algorithm, Computer Networks, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Digit Circuit, Discrete Logic, and Artificial Intelligence.

I had been indulging in programming and video games since my childhood–I actually entered a bunch of programming contests as a kid and won a few. I remember touring the science department of the university where my dad worked. It was awe inspiring, seeing all those robots and mechanical creations moving around. These memories made me determined to major in Computer Science.

Advice: It’s easy to find something you love, and it’s hard to find something that you’re good at. It’s even harder to find both. So once you do, stick to it.

reesemcbloxCommunity Manager Becky Herndon (ReeseMcBlox)

Influence: Since I like people, the Internet, and computer games, it made sense for me to combine those interests and see what happened. I got into the field of Online Community Management first as a hobby and later as a profession. It was a logical step at that point in my life–over 7 years ago–to try to grow my hobby into a vocation. Since I enjoy computer gaming communities and programming communities, ROBLOX was the perfect place to land this job.

High School: I went to a public Talented and Gifted magnet school–my high school life was like a junior version of the movie Real Genius. The experience was very humbling and inspiring. I particularly enjoyed English and History. I see reflections of that genius culture here at ROBLOX HQ among staff members–it’s great.

College: I went through a lot of phases in college. I studied Computer Science, Plant Science, and Digital Graphical Design before settling on English. When I was in high school I wanted to be an astronomer, and actually worked with planetary scientists during my after-school job. The profession itself turned out to be too isolated for someone as social as me, so I began pursuing more interactive endeavors.

Favorite Course: I remember any course where I was in a lab most fondly–be that a computer lab, science lab, or an art class, where all students worked in tandem on the same project.

Advice: Wanting to join the ROBLOX team is a great aspiration–there are many reasons why someone would want a job here. I suggest focusing on those reasons and honing your skills in one particular area. If you want to be a programmer, commit to learning your programming skills. On the flip side, if you want to join the team as an artist, refine your creative side. Working on specific goals will help you land your dream job, whatever that job actually is.

tarabyteContent Team Visual Artist Tara Byers (Tarabyte)

Influence: I’ve always been very fond of animation, whether it’s Disney cartoons or Anime. I decided early on that being an animator was the career path for me.

High School: Just like when I was a kid, I continued to be interested in art. Art classes were the only classes I took where I felt like I could creatively express myself.

College: I realized in college that while I love to watch animation, creating animation wasn’t as inspiring to me. I discovered that I really enjoy building environments in 3D, and found a passion for 3D animation in video games. Eventually, I changed my major to Game Art & Design, which led me into more modeling courses that allowed me to learn how to build environments, rather than characters.

Favorite Course: Modeling and Texturing for Low Poly Specifications. I learned so many tricks about modeling in that class–the projects were extremely creative, and I love that they were most open for interpretation.

Advice: Find what you like to do as soon as possible, and see how it relates to what you actually can do. An artist might want to look into retexturing hats and gear for practice. Making ads for groups or games also requires some artistic touches. And of course, building games gives you constant experience in level design, game design and coding. Find what makes you happy, and keep doing it. The more practice you can manage, the more ahead of the game you’ll be.

gemlockerTechnical Director of Rendering Simon Kozlov (Gemlocker)

Influence: The first time I saw a computer, I was hooked. They used to fascinate me as a kid. There was truly something magical, at least to me, about a screen instantly reacting to your commands. My fascination started with gaming, but quickly moved to, “how do I make these games?” I was fortunate to encounter a lot of people who helped me along the way–they donated books, answered simple questions, and showed me by example that making games can be really fun, once you learn the ropes.

High School: I grew up in Russia, which has a rich culture of math and Computer Science competitions, so I was neck-deep as a teenager. I was kind of on my own though–I ignored training as I thought it defeated the point of a competition.

Fabric of Reality

College: I ended up pursuing a physics major with a specialization in computer programming. I was into computer science and programming way before college, so when I went to an actual university, it was strange finding my path. There was no pure Computer Science degree from the university I attended, so I had to choose: either physics with a computer science specialization or math with a computer science specialization. I had a great physics teacher in high school who really showed me how interesting physics could be, so I went with that.

Favorite Course: Advanced Math. Calculus, algebra, differential equations. Computer Science wise, I learned much more from practical experience and books I read on my own free time. Don’t underestimate how important math is, however–it’s brain exercise, pure and simple.

Advice: If you want to be a software engineer, study math, and do as much coding as you can, in any language. Take on any project, even if it scares you. Keep practicing and learning from each unique project. We’re always looking for interns, you know.

Did this help answer some of your questions?

Honestly, we want to know. We’ve got an entire office full of ROBLOX employees that are more than willing to tell their stories–enough to fill 10 of these articles. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!