Yes, there are jobs in Virtual Reality!
Virtual Reality is new, it’s exciting, and it’s a great industry in which to start a career. However, new and exciting fields are paired with complexity and unexplored pathways. At Marxent, we have discovered some key ingredients to building a strong VR team along with valuable insight into forging a career in Virtual Reality.
Working with Virtual Reality teams
It takes a team to build a Virtual Reality product, and at Marxent, we’ve implemented small but focused teams that include:
- UX/UI Designers: UX/UI Designers create roadmaps demonstrating how the app should flow and design the look and feel of the app, in order to ensure user-friendly experiences.
- Unity Developers: Specializing in Unity 3D software, Unity Developers create the foundation of the experience.
- 3D Modelers: 3D artists render lifelike digital imagery.
- Animators: Animators bring the 3D models to life. Many 3D modelers are cross-trained in animation, which is a highly recommended combination a 3D candidate to possess.
- Project Manager: The Project Manager is responsible for communicating deadlines, budgets, requirements, roadblocks, and more between the client and the internal team.
- Videographer: Each project is captured and edited into clips to make showcase videos for marketing and entertainment.
When VR projects involve implementing hardware or environmental scanning, a Computer Vision Engineer is an asset on the team. Their job is to look ahead of the game, ensuring the team is up-to-date with the latest technologies, wearables, platforms, and softwares. The CV Engineer provides things like image classification, segmentation, and feature extraction.
Recruiting Virtual Reality candidates
Few colleges offer a Virtual Reality degree, so how do companies ensure they hire the correct team members for VR projects? At Marxent, we built our own skills test, pre-interview questionnaire, and interview questionnaire. Experts from each team created skills tests for 3D Designers, UX/UI Designers, and Unity Developers. Our skills tests are straightforward, with limited instructions and a time restraint. We’ve designed them this way on purpose, ensuring the candidate is able to complete projects and demands identical to those they will receive in the workplace.
The pre-interview questionnaire
Our pre-interview questionnaire asks how the candidate likes to work, what their favorite apps are, who their favorite superhero is, and more. This helps us understand how the candidate works and who they are as an individual, so we can ensure they will be happy in the workplace. For example, someone who prefers to work alone or requires a lot of supervision will not be a good fit at Marxent. However, someone who enjoys teamwork, respects deadlines, is willing to go the extra mile, and doesn’t mind nerf guns is a better match. Great skills are not all we are looking for; we want candidates to join the team and contribute to our workplace culture as well.
Scenario questions and teamwork values
Our interview questions are primarily focused on scenario questions. When creating and working with new technology, members of the team can expect to run into blockers (road blocks), limited time, creeping deadlines, and questions that have never been answered before. We ask candidates how they would handle situations that we have experienced before to ensure they truly value teamwork and are able to think outside the box.
These tools have been a successful process for hiring effective and skillful team members. Although, the team-building process doesn’t stop with great hires – when working with VR, you will need to always be a step ahead of the game, meaning constant training, cross-training, and quick advancement.
How Virtual Reality training works
Not sure how to gain the skills needed for a career in Virtual Reality? No sweat. There are endless resources out there to gain new skills. Here are some of our favorites:
- Train Simple: Learn how to be an expert in Adobe Video, Web Design, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Muse.
- Unity 3D Training: Live trainings, workshops, tutorials and more.
- 3D Max Training: Tutorials on how to create models, rig and animate characters, build game props, and more.
- Code Academy: Learn Python, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and more
- iOS Programming: iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 4th Edition (available on Amazon)
- Android Programming: Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 2nd edition (available on Amazon)
Once you’ve got your resources, your team, and sharpened skills, it’s time to assemble the team. This part of the process is crucial for effective VR project development. At Marxent, we have daily stand-up meetings with our teams to talk about what we did yesterday, what we are going to do that current day, and any blockers we have. These stand-ups help the team communicate and understand how they are contributing to the overall goal. Stand-ups also promote ownership among employees, and when team members feel ownership they are more likely to go the extra mile to ensure success. Valuing teamwork, individual ownership, and strong communication are the secret ingredients to successful VR teams and they’re also the qualities we find in strong VR candidates.