Get That Job: How to be a senior producer

Bigpoint’s Shawn Lord on how you can bag that career leap
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What is your job role?
I am a senior producer on DarkOrbit Reloaded at Bigpoint in Hamburg, Germany.

What qualifications and/or experience do you need?
Producers benefit greatly from having had real hands-on experience with development teams and products. A significant portion of the role relies on a producer’s ability to adapt situationally day-to-day and communicate effectively with disparate disciplines, while maintaining a clear long-term vision for the team and product.

As with any, more formalised skillset, leadership, situational awareness, game-specific business acumen, and other production-centric skills can all be learned through years of study and practice. There’s no single correct path to getting here, but they’re all rooted in a love for people, products, and organisational success.

How would someone come to be in your position?
Individuals who find they have as great a passion for the people, processes, and business behind games, as they do for the games themselves, will likely end up in a production or similar leadership role.

Whether they start in customer service, quality assurance, design, art, or tech – any individual that pushes themselves to learn about all aspects of game development, while constantly looking for ways to improve their area of influence and provide leadership – can eventually become a producer.

If you were interviewing someone, what do you look for?
I look for people that have a passion for making great products and services, communicate clearly, have an entrepreneurial mindset, and display a confident presence – but also demonstrate adaptability, empathy, and lack of overt ego.

What opportunities are there for career progression?
After spending time managing and leading teams, it’s possible for Producers to apply their abilities to challenges of greater scale. Over time, producers may find themselves leading multiple products, franchises, studios, or even companies under the guise of executive producer, director, or even C-Level job titles.

Why choose to follow a career in your field?
For me, it’s impossible not to want to know how everything works and contribute to the improvement of all aspects of the organisation. I feel production is a privileged role, in that I get to work with a great diversity of people and situations.

If you love the variety and constant challenge that comes from leading disparate creative individuals in an ever-shifting business environment – you should strongly consider a career as a producer.

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