A career in video games is something we all dream of, and that’s exactly what Devin Slauenwhite gets to do. Devin grew up and went to school in New Germany, and started his journey in tech with his Computer Science degree at Acadia University. Before jumping into tech, he thought about business and accounting – but ultimately he chose IT and couldn’t imagine doing anything else – Devin is now a Senior Programmer at Hutch.
In early 2000’s, our school still had old Macintosh computers from the early 90’s, and I’m not going to lie, our computer courses were pretty boring. I was a stereotypical computer nerd – I enjoyed video games, basic programming, you know, anything techie. I went to university knowing computers were going to be the next “big thing”. Not having any clue what to do after graduation, I decided to take a leap of faith. Honestly, the gaming industry wasn’t even on my list – but here we are – I’m now a Senior Programmer at Hutch Games Canada, and it’s awesome.
“Before I chose computer science, I thought about going into business and accounting – I liked business and math – but I’m glad I chose tech.”
Hutch is a mobile games developer based in London, UK – but there is a small team of five here in Mahone Bay. Our focus is mobile racing games. We work with the newest technologies and I’m trying to keep up with it all, as it changes constantly! The newest technologies, flexibility, and problem solving – these are the three things I love most about my job. Getting to play with the latest tech is great.
Hutch has a great company culture. Their views of what work should be like are inline with mine. We can work two days outside of the office and three days in the office. Hutch wants you to be happy at work and happy when you’re not working – we have a beer or ice cream on Fridays – depending on the season! We do tech lunches, where we talk about new tech, what we have going on, and share knowledge.
In the next few years, I’d like to be right where I am. My wife and I love living around here, I work at a job I love, and work for a great company. I’ve been lucky, a lot of people I went to school with moved out west, and are working in Vancouver in the games industry, and they want to come back here. I’m skipping that step, and I’m where I want to be right now.
“My wife and I love living around here, I work at a job I love, and work for a great company. I’ve been lucky, a lot of people I went to school with moved out west, and are working in Vancouver in the games industry, and they want to come back here. I’m skipping that step, and I’m where I want to be right now.”
Nova Scotia has changed a lot since I started working in the tech sector – awhile back, there were only a handful of companies I knew about. Now, there are lots of game studios in Halifax. Nova Scotia has become quite the spot. For high school students who want to get into games development, I loved my time at Acadia University. They specialized in video games and worked with local companies. But university isn’t for everyone, it’s hard to tell people what route to take because there are so many avenues to get to the same spot.
My advice would be to learn about the different companies that are around Nova Scotia, or in Canada – look, learn, and contact them. You have no idea what is around unless you look. You’d be surprised to hear that 80 people are working in Lunenburg on video games. Find something you enjoy, something that interests you – that is the secret.
These days people are spoiled for choice – there is so much available on the internet. There are tons of websites designed to help kids learn about programming – with no shortage of opportunities, you just need to find the one that fits with what you love to do.
About Hutch Games Studio
Hutch is a games studio based in Central London. Hutch creates racing games for mobile. Founded in 2011, the company has released 8 games including Smash Cops, MMX Racing, Hot Wheels: Race Off and MMX Hill Climb with over 150 million players across the world. When Hutch launches a game, it uses player feedback and most critically data to figure out how to make each game the best it can be.