What It Takes

We’re thrilled to bring you another in-depth edition of ‘What It Takes’. Here at Santa Monica Studio, we are hiring amazing talent. With team origins spanning the globe, we are home to over 200 world class creatives who bring with them a wide array of individual talents. If creativity and strong collaboration is a mantra that rules for you, we think you’ll fit right in.

In today’s ‘What It Takes’ article, we focus on the Technical Architect position (LINK), which we are currently seeking candidates for. This position will analyze, design, improve and build great systems to help our creatives build great games. To help better explain what we are looking for, we are chatting with an awesome Santa Monica Studio Creative: Senior Staff Programmer, John Calsbeek to get his thoughts on the Senior UI Tools Programmer role. Check out the interview below and please share with those you think may be interested:

Recent "What It Takes" Features:

What does it take to be a Technical Architect at Santa Monica Studio?

Calsbeek: I think the most important part of the role is communication. There's a lot you need a lot in terms of technical chops and experience, but once there's an architecture that is defined, a core part of the role is communicating with a lot of the other programmers. The Technical Architect's role would be making sure all the programmers continue to be on the same page because it's such a collaborative effort that only works if everyone's bought in - that's a major part of the role!

What key impact will this role have on the studio?

Calsbeek: It's an important part of laying the foundation for the places for our games as we move into the future. Because our games continue to evolve and be very different than ones in the past, the role of Technical Architect is to allow us to continue to make great progress with our games moving forward.

Is it important for a potential Technical Architect candidate to understand the current trends and landscape of games? Why?

Calsbeek: Yes, definitely! The reason for this is that it's important to specifically understand the current landscape of game technologies. It’s important to understand the things that are being done by other studios for the current crop of games and observe and analyze the technical decisions where they have succeeded and failed because we want to make sure we are also employing many of these good ideas at our studio whenever we can as well - a key part of the Technical Architect’s role at the studio.  

Could you discuss your thoughts on the relationships that the Technical Architect would be expected to have with the broader team?

Calsbeek: With the broader team, a large part of the role would be working with content creators on workflows. He or she would help define the technologies that work best for the workflow and define the workflow in a way that it will be best served by the technology. There’s a very tight relationship between what we can support technically and what makes sense for the artists and designers on the ground. That's a huge part of the collaboration.

What are some tools that you think Technical Architects should have in their tool belt and be able to demonstrate proficiency in?  

Calsbeek: Like I mentioned before, social tools, like communicating with team members, are important. Software-wise, the important things for this role would be broad familiarity rather that a specific tool to be familiar with. A great candidate would be able to quickly learn and articulate the pros and cons of tools that exist out there as well as other game engines that exist out there.

Any other pieces of interesting advice that you would give to potential Technical Architect candidates?

Calsbeek: I do! Less of a tip and more than a fact. The Technical Architect position is essentially part of a big initiative for us. It's not so much a position where we say, “Here, we made all these technical decisions and your job is to carry these forward into the future.” We're actively changing many things about our technology, and this is an important role in defining that. It's quite an exciting opportunity for anyone that joins us as a Technical Architect. Good luck!    

topics: Internal
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