Roll Call Interview Series - Ev Amitay (Senior Programmer)
Role: Senior Programmer
Years at Roll7: 1
Favourite classic game: Monkey Island III, Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Diablo I
Pets: Three plants. Two of them are plastic, but Ev reports that they’re all looking green and healthy, so he must be doing something right.
Hi Ev! Would you like to tell me a bit about what you do at Roll7?
Hello! I’m a Senior Programmer.
And what exactly does a Senior Programmer do?
It’s a range of things, really. So, the first thing is programming, obviously – I write code for the games we make. Specifically, my role at the moment involves quite a lot of prototyping, which is essentially just talking to John (our Creative Director) and implementing his crazy ideas…
It’s definitely very cool to get to see those ideas come to life. You also work pretty closely with the design team, right?
Yes – I think a big part of the Senior Programmer role, specifically, is being able to see things from a design perspective, and to work closely with the design team to make their vision a reality.
So it’s actually quite a creative role, is that fair to say?
Yes, definitely. You have to be able to understand things from a technical perspective, sure, but it’s really about using technical skills to bring the design elements that the team have worked on to life. I guess I would call it design oriented coding. I spend quite a lot of time creating tools that allow the design team to build their ideas themselves, so it’s important that I have a clear understanding of what their thought process is and what sort of functionality they’ll need to bring their ideas to life.
Right – yes, that makes a lot of sense. I had never realised what a creative and collaborative role programming really is, that’s really interesting to hear. What was it that made you initially decide to get into programming as a career?
I had – I think this is pretty much what everyone says, right – I had always been interested in games as a kid, and I thought for a long time that it would be a cool career to get into. But I was actually a web developer first, and it was only when I moved to the UK that the games industry really opened up to me as a career possibility.
Ah, ok – yeah, there’s a pretty healthy games scene here, I guess.
Exactly. So, after I moved here, five or so years ago, I started working in UI - which is pretty similar to what I had been doing as a web developer, in many ways. And then from there I ended up getting more interested in making gameplay elements, so over time I shifted into doing that.
Nice! OK, so, another question: you’re pretty well known among the team for being super efficient at work – what’s your secret? Do you have any tips for how to improve efficiency?