Valve announces Pipeline educational programme

Valve announces Pipeline educational programme

Valve is hoping to attract bright new talent to the company with Pipeline, its educational outreach programme.

Valve has announced a programme for getting schoolkids involved int the game development industry, dubbed 'Pipeline,' in the hope of getting an infusion of fresh blood into its ranks.

The aim, the company has explained, is to 'establish a connection to the world of teenagers that are asking many questions about getting into the gaming industry,' providing answers to said questions and - not-coincidentally - giving the company a handle on which bright-burning stars of the future it may want to recruit following their graduation from academia.

'There are two main reasons that Valve is creating Pipeline,' the company explains on the programme's website. 'The first is that we are frequently asked questions by teenagers about the videogame industry. "What is it like to work on videogames? What should I study? What colleges are best for preparing me? How do I get a job in videogames?" Pipeline will be a place where those questions can be discussed.

'The second is that Valve is running an experiment. Traditionally Valve has been a very good place for very experienced videogame developers, and not so good at teaching people straight out of school. Pipeline is an experiment to see if we can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them in the skills and methods necessary to be successful at a company like Valve.

The announcement of Pipeline comes at an interesting time for the company. Former Valve hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth, part of a surprise round of layoffs which saw the company's ranks decimated, has been vocal in her distaste for the company's supposedly meritocratic flat-hierarchy business structure. In an interview with Jenesee, Ellsworth claimed the company was full of 'hidden management' cliques that resulted in infighting, paranoia and the inevitable 'witchhunt' in which the company rid itself of 'troublemakers' who failed to ingratiate themselves to the truly powerful.

With Valve's image of being a haven for developers sick of the bureaucracy of traditional software houses being tarnished in this way, the company may have to work harder to attract new talent - and Pipeline could well be prove to be a smart move for the company in that regard.


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Corky42 15th July 2013, 11:10 Quote
Can only be seen as a good thing.
I'm probably showing my age or ignorance hear but aren't
"What is it like to work on videogames? What should I study? What colleges are best for preparing me? How do I get a job in videogames?"
All question that career advisors should be able to answer ? or is career advise no longer provided to school children ?
Gareth Halfacree 15th July 2013, 11:16 Quote
Originally Posted by Corky42
[...] All question that career advisors should be able to answer ? or is career advise no longer provided to school children ?
The only career advice a career advisor is qualified to give is on the subject of becoming a career adviser. Everything else is second-hand at best. A company with considerable success in the field of games development and publishing, on the other hand...
SMIFFYDUDE 15th July 2013, 16:10 Quote
Career advice is a total waste of time, ticking boxes on a sheet of multiple answer questions about personal preferences is about as in depth as it gets.
Phil Rhodes 15th July 2013, 17:01 Quote
Couldn't agree more. I was told I should join the military, which is just about the most laughably inappropriate advice they could possibly have given, and I knew that at the time. Like many things it's a sinecure.

That said, I'm alarmed that people actually need telling what to study to get into games. Google is the greatest single information resource the world has ever known, and it's simplicity itself to look up job ads and evaluate the requirements. It's also blindingly obvious that computer game programming requires computer science and mathematics, even without having looked it up. If today's kids need telling that...

abezors 16th July 2013, 00:19 Quote
If they're anything like the "career advisors" I talked with at various points between high school, GCSEs & A levels, they have probably caused more harm than help. I was one of these kids dying to know more about game dev & design. But all the way through ages 13-18 they told me it was unrealistic and to aim for something way below my station.

They are useless, often trying, but never inspiring.
Saivert 16th July 2013, 12:28 Quote
Unfortunately many kids think getting into game development is easy. But it does require a lot of effort and time spent.
You need to be highly motivated and determined to make it. Sadly passion alone doesn't cut it. I myself have the passion for video games, but I just lack skills in math and computer science. I only have basic programming knowledge.

career advisors are more about trying to get kids into some kind of job instead of them ending up on the streets and becoming criminals. High aspirations has no place then. Driven people don't need advisory in the first place. They can manage themselves just fine.
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