Dave Perry, founder of Shiny Entertainment, sat down with Valve's Gabe Newell to talk about how to shoehorn your way into the industry — and what's the industry going to look like in a few years, anyways? Are game degrees a waste of time? Is specialization going to be the name of the game, as in film ? And how can you avoid shooting yourself in the foot when trying to get said foot in the door? On specialization, Newell had this to say:
DP: Let's look several years into the future for a moment. Should I even bother learning today's skills? Surely they'll have completely changed by the time I get out of college? What kinds of jobs are absolutely 'rock-solid', and will undoubtedly still be around five to 10 years from now? And what new jobs do you think might exist that nobody has quite pinned down just yet? GN: Specialization and hierarchy are the norms in film production, and are antithetical to what needs to happen in the games industry. The reason for that distinction is that the game industry is more focused on invention than on repeatability/measurability. Programmers that can draw are going to be in much better shape than an animator specializing in putting talking mouths on cats. The solutions of tomorrow are not going to fall into the production or organizational categories of today.
It's a quick read and has some worthy tidbits if you're aiming for a development career. Valve's Gabe Newell on Becoming a Game Developer [GameCareerGuide]