Monday, June 30, 2014

New Xbox One job listing shows Microsoft is getting more hands on with developers.

There is a new job listing on Microsoft's careers website that shows they are hiring more people to do hands on work at development studios.  This could be standard stuff, but it could also mean a few different things.  I honestly do not know if this is standard practice for Microsoft or even Sony, but them hiring people to go out and problem solve with developers could mean a few different things.

First, the good.  It could mean that they are taking a much more hands on approach with all developers regardless of whether they are 1st party or 3rd party in an effort to get their games looking as best as they possibly can on the Xbox One.  This would obviously be a good thing and having talented people in the studios around the world would certainly help them master the Xbox One system and how to use all that eSRAM stuff we've been hearing so much about.  Admittedly I have no damn clue how it works so I will leave it at that.  All I know is what developers have been saying and that is that it is not exactly the most easy thing to use.

On the flip-side this could be a hint that things are much tougher than Microsoft have let on.  Developers could be having an extremely difficult time utilizing the current SDK as well as eSRAM and all that.  So much so that they are in need of specially trained employees from Microsoft to come and hold their hand in order to get their games to run at a quality we have come to expect on a Microsoft branded console.

I honestly have no clue what this actually means and obviously I am only speculating on things right now.  Hopefully them hiring more people to help out with the system is a good thing, but we will probably never actually know what is going on.  Anywhoo.  I have highlighted a few of the more interesting parts of the ad that brought me to the conclusions that I did.

Hope you enjoy!

Senior Software Development Engineer

Ready to work on some of the most advanced hardware on the planet and solve mind-bending game development problems on a daily basis? The Advanced Technology Group (ATG) provides consulting services that range from deep performance analysis to advanced code samples and white papers that enable game developers around the world to create cutting edge titles for Microsoft platforms. We are seeking a Senior Software Development Engineer with deep technical expertise in networking, multiplayer, cloud compute, and game/service interactions, as well as significant game development experience overall. You can be a key part of making Microsoft gaming platforms - including Xbox One, Xbox Live, Kinect, Xbox 360, Windows, and future offerings - a success.

Primary responsibilities include working directly with game developers to understand and address their technical problems; researching and developing incubations, samples, and white papers that illustrate advanced techniques; and collaborating with the Xbox, Xbox Live, and core OS software and services teams on both new features and optimizations. Other responsibilities include establishing strong engineering practices, driving technical issues raised by both Microsoft Studios and external game developers with the appropriate teams across Microsoft, working closely with the Developer Account Management (DAM) group, understanding the business needs of the platform, and speaking at game developer conferences.

Qualifications:
• 5+ yrs related work experience
• Experience in one or more of the following: Networking, Xbox Live, JSON, RESTful services, peer-to-peer and client server topologies, network security
• Experience in development role for games on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows PC, Windows Phone, and/or other consoles or mobile platforms 
• Past accomplishments in areas of problem solving, presentation skills and effective one-on-one and one-to-many communication are key to success in this role
The job entails some travel, typically four or five trips (typically of <1 week each) per year entailing ~10% of work time
• Experience in any the following areas is a plus: CPU performance tuning on one or more platforms; C/C++ compiler architecture; assembly languages; digital signal processing; Direct3D and general 3D graphics concepts
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