I read that Xbox is now used more for music, movies and TV than it is for video games. Considering that change, what are some of the new job opportunities on the Xbox team?
-Hunting Always Large Opportunities
First of all…props for pointing out that Xbox is more than just a gaming device. Sure, 7 years ago, when you wanted to spend all night blowing up aliens or sniping people from a super-secret bunker, Xbox was the best way to join your friends in a high-powered digital death match. However, when we launched Xbox 360, we knew it would become much more. Today, Xbox is delivering movies, music, live TV and an amazing User Interface made possible through Kinect.
That said…the actual job opportunities are pretty similar. There are just more of them! We are still hunting for the same core tech skills sets including Software Development Engineers (SDEs), Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs) and Program Managers (PMs). The LIVE Ops team hires Database Engineers and Systems Administrators. Game Designers and Producers are always needed for 343 Industries and Turn 10. Only now, instead of just looking for people who are passionate about games, we’re looking for people who are passionate about entertainment in general.
Some of the more noticeable differences are in Microsoft Studios. A few years ago, you would see job descriptions to work on specific games in a specific studio. Now, it’s more about content; content beyond first-party gaming.
Take this open Visual Designer position, for example. This person is going to be working very closely with our creative design team. But, if you read the job description, you’ll notice it doesn’t say anything about gaming. The job description states that the candidates need to be able to think “Big Picture.” Part of this is because Xbox isn’t just about games, anymore. The people we’re hiring can no longer have an attitude of “how can we make Xbox a better gaming console?” We need to think of how to be a better gaming console AND how to better deliver HD movies AND how to deliver live entertainment effortlessly. It’s a complete package.
Granted…we’re still working on our own projects. We want people like Executive Producer Kiki Wolfkill (Conan O’Brien’s new best friend) delivering a tremendous Halo experience, not worrying about how ESPN looks. But, in general, we want people who love entertainment. Not just games. Not just movies or music. Not just User Interface. Entertainment as a whole. That’s the real difference. Other than that… the opportunities remain largely the same, just in larger numbers.