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Flipping the switch: How I went from student to sales guy to Unity 3D Augmented Reality developer

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to work with computers and 3D digital media. I was enthralled by video games, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Any time that I encountered media with a 3D element, I wanted to learn how to do it myself. I started college as a Computer Science student but found that academic Computer Science didn’t really click with my interests. So, I went and looked to what interested me as a kid. Before I knew it, I was training to become a 3D Artist. Ironically, I find myself today in a job that is an amazing marriage of computer science and 3D art. I’m a Unity 3D Augmented Reality Developer here at Marxent Labs, and I love every day in this office. However, my journey into this role didn’t start with art or as a developer.

Getting my foot in the door

I got my start here at Marxent as an entry-level sales assistant.  I didn’t have any sales experience but the only open jobs were in sales and my passion for and education in 3D design and gaming were enough to get me hired. Initially, I handled inbound leads and tried to help potential clients scope out custom AR projects. All of this was a huge challenge for me in the beginning.  Quickly, I learned how to apply my hard CS and 3D art skills towards educating potential clients and the sales process became much more interesting and rewarding. All along, however, I knew sales wasn’t where I wanted to stay. I wanted to be in the trenches, getting my hands dirty and actually developing the AR projects that I was selling.

What does it take to jump disciplines at Marxent?

It takes a clear goal, persistence, initiative and commitment to jump disciplines at a company like Marxent. When I joined Marxent, I didn’t have the portfolio to be hired directly into the AR development team but I knew that I wanted to end up there. I set that goal even before I was hired. Working in an AR sales role was highly motivating. I was so close to my dream, yet on the other side of it looking in. I knew that I just had to make it happen. Seeing the end result of the projects I sold, and watching all of the other major projects getting shipped strengthened my desire to become an AR developer. So I set out to make it happen.

Dreams don’t make themselves

I loved the projects that I was selling but selling them just wasn’t enough.  I wanted to build them – actually create and execute. How could I get there from a sales role? How would I get where I wanted to go at Marxent? These questions bugged me for months. I knew that it was a possibility, but I also knew that no one was going to lay it out for me necessarily or hold my hand along the way.  No one was knocking down my door offering training or asking me to transition. It was my own personal dream and I wanted to make it happen. Finally, I found my answer. I would have to take initiative, get out of my head and start asking questions so that I could figure out the pathway and finally, I would need to invest in myself to make the move.

A community ready to help

I decided to talk to one of our senior AR developers and just point-blank asked him what I would have to do to get onto his team. The support net here at Marxent is tremendous, and he was happy to offer up guidance that led me to taking a Unity 3D skills test. A few weeks later after some really late nights and way too much caffeine, I had successfully worked my way through the test. Within a few days, I was presented with the opportunity to move from sales to the development team.

No one is stopping you but yourself

Marxent is really unique in the sense that there really is no one, other than you, stopping you from getting to the place you want to go. I’ve learned more in my first few weeks as a developer than I ever would’ve thought possible. So, if this kind of work interests you, and you would like to learn from an incredible team, come join us.