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4 Months At Jagex

A short update about what I've been getting up to at Jagex.

4 months ago, I accepted a life-changing opportunity to work for Jagex, a studio I've aspired to work for since I played RuneScape when I was younger. I thought I'd update my blog since it has been a while.
Ashley Smith

Hello internet, sorry it’s been a while. While I don’t really know how many people actually read this blog (probably 0 since I hardly post at the moment!) I thought I’d at least update my website with my current impression of my time at Jagex and how much fun I’ve been having.

My first month

Funnily enough, in my first month we actually had an off-site meetup where I had the opportunity to meet everyone on the team, introduce myself and just bond. This was so so important since it really helped solidify that I was part of the team. It was easy to gauge that everyone was simultaneously well-skilled at their jobs while also very relaxed when it came to being friendly — I found a lot of joy in approaching everyone and learning a bit about them.

I’m not going to talk about what we’re working on, but all I can say it has been exciting. I started off with small bug fixes while accelerating into my current position where not only am I depended on to carry out important tasks but I am also in a position where I feel like my opinions are both heard and wanted.

What I’ve learned

Aside from technical skills, I have learned a lot about skills that are less about ‘me’ and more about ‘us’. On my previous project, I was given a task and I did it. In this project however, there is a lot of emphasis on communicating ideas before we even start the workload — queries, potential hiccups, advice, we try to resolve as much as we can before someone starts to implement something. Even during development we try to bring everyone else ‘along for the ride’ so that anyone can get involved.

Right now I’m learning about trust in the sense of how to trust other people to do what I’ve talked about above. We’re all still learning how to work with each other, and so while my communication skills have been described as ‘above and beyond expectations’, it is now my turn to trust other people to communicate and give me the chance to get involved in whatever they’re making.

In terms of non-skill things I’ve learned, I’ve also learned how important it is to have a good relationship with your lead. We’re quite a small team so I like to think I’m on great terms with everyone, but most importantly I enjoy talking and working with my manager. He makes sure I’m happy and comfortable with whatever I feel comfortable sharing and it’s really nice having 1:1 sessions with him every week just to talk about my growth, any concerns I have and just general fun things. I didn’t really have this kind of leadership or guidance in my previous job, and while it may be normal to have a manager, I am certainly not taking mine for granted.

What’s next

Obviously I’m staying put, but now that I’m getting more comfortable with working as a professional game developer (how cool does that sound?!) I’m going to try and get back into the swing of working on personal projects. Currently, my languages of interest are Rust and Scala. Both have hints of functional programming, but are also quite popular. I don’t really have a goal in mind in terms of why I’m learning these languages, I just need to satiate my need to keep learning. That isn’t to say I’m not learning at Jagex, but I miss developing on Linux.

Upcoming posts

I know I haven’t written any posts lately, so I want to commit to some ideas that I’ve been thinking about. Expect to see posts involving a review of Outer Wilds, a game that has stolen my heart and renewed my faith in the games industry and the indie game scene, a post about NixOS, my current distribution, and finally a brand new page on the website that’s like a roadmap of my life. Not sure how soon I’ll get around to working on that last one if I’m doing some personal projects.

Thanks for reading!