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49% of devs feel industry lacks equal opportunities - IGDA

Survey finds one-third have negative view of the industry, but two-thirds are satisfied with their current job

The International Game Developers Association has released some findings of its 2015 Developer Satisfaction Survey, which gauged the attitudes of more than 2,900 developers on a variety of issues, from personal prospects to industry outlook.

When asked about the current state of the industry, 41.6 percent of developers said they had a positive outlook on it, with 33.5 percent responding negatively, and 24.9 percent holding a neutral view of it. While that's a somewhat generic question, the survey probed a bit deeper on specific issues.

For example, when asked if the industry provides equal treatment and opportunity for all, 48.8 percent of developers said no. Only 38.6 percent believed the industry had achieved such equality, while 12.5 percent answered that they were unsure. That ties into diversity, which 66.5 percent of developers said was an important factor in the industry. 16.4 percent said diversity was unimportant, while 17.1 percent were ambivalent on the topic. That's significantly different from last year's survey, when 79 percent of respondents said diversity was "very" or "somewhat" important for the industry.

Developers were almost evenly split about their own prospects, with the number viewing their opportunities negatively (36.5 percent) slightly outweighing those who were optimistic (33.7 percent) or neutral (29.9 percent) on the subject. Fortunately, they were more upbeat about their current positions, with 66.7 percent satisfied with their current job, compared to 17.6 percent who reported being unsatisfied, and 15.6 percent who were neutral. As might be expected, answers to a question about their current quality of life broke down very similarly, with 67.5 percent positive, 15 percent negative, and 17.5 percent neutral.

Respondents were also optimistic about their current employers, with 66.4 percent expecting moderate to considerable growth in the next three years, compared to just 11 percent projecting moderate to considerable downsizing.

A full summary of the Developer Satisfaction Survey is expected to be released during the IGDA Leadership Summit in Seattle, Washington September 2 and 3.

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Latest comments (9)

Yannick Boucher Development Director, 2K China2 years ago
We're gonna have to start talking specifically about ageism in this industry very, very soon. We might as well start now, in fact.
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd2 years ago
It's incredibly difficult to measure the equality of opportunity. In general there is unequivocal inequality, where an indication of an applicant belonging from a particular background alone has been shown to reduce their likelihood.

But because of the subjectivity of decision making and evaluating candidates against each other, it's near impossible to objectively reach a conclusion that doesn't risk a bias of it's own.

For example, should some study suggest women of equal skill are less (or even more) likely to get a job, how could we objectively determine the strength of their interview skills? If we use a human to analyse we run the risk of applying our own biases. So it is a really tough subject that without adequate methods of study will never uncover information of any positive practical use.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
It may sound crazy, but why not hire based solely on a person's actual requirements and desire to do a particular job, not their gender? Or if you're going to go the affirmative action route, set up a program where you train people who may be interested in a job who aren't as skilled (no matter the gender!) and see what happens. I'm gathering there's a LOT of new talent who may not think they can code but will find that they're quite good at it once they start learning and unlocking those skills.

Also, I know there are some classes specifically for young girls to learn how to code (which is fantastic). But I think those classes would benefit from being open to boys as well so everyone can learn to respect each other as they gain skills needed for eventually getting a job in the industry. Yeah, I know... crazy.

If you're only around a certain group in your learning environment, there's probably more of an adjustment period when moving into a work space if you go in thinking the experience will be as unique. It's unique all right... but in a weirder manner on a few fronts.

But hey, dogs and cats raised together (as well as other animals that seem like they'd be fine enemies) usually get along just fine. Humans need to step up their game a bit.
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd2 years ago
It may sound crazy, but why not hire based solely on a person's actual requirements and desire to do a particular job, not their gender
As countless studies have shown, subconscious biases always play a role in hiring. I don't believe affirmative action is of any use. The cause for the biases from employers and career decisions made are influenced heavily by the general reality presented by the various forms of media.

Running more classes just like the other classes results in zero change, and therefore cannot possibly address the issue so that doesn't make for a sound reason to not create gender focused courses and classes. If it attracts girls, then sure, but if it does not then it fails to address the issue. And chances are, they'll just be like every other class where it's 95% male. My college course was 10% women, and my uni course in Computer Science was 5% female. So no, running yet another class will only result in the girl(s) being the odd ones out and negative social forces will play the same role they've been playing for the last 20 years.

Again though, the perceptions portrayed in film and television contribute negatively against female involvement. As much as some people like to ignore it, there are differences between males and females and for this reason for us to address this we can only do so by acknowledging that males and females have vastly different emotional drives and concerns.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 4th August 2015 6:50pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
As countless studies have shown, subconscious biases always play a role in hiring. I don't believe affirmative action is of any use. The cause for the biases from employers and career decisions made are influenced heavily by the general reality presented by the various forms of media.
Which makes no sense, by the way (and this isn't a personal attack). Letting "media" or a handful of stats counted up to make it seem as if nothing needs to be done decide along with the reliance on faulty "subconscious" anything isn't doing much for progress. If you don't make an effort because aggregated data that can be manipulated for or against something says its worthless, nothing changes, no one learns and you always have conflicts that don't all need to be there.
Again though, the perceptions portrayed in film and television contribute negatively against female involvement.
Argh. Not a reflection on you, mind you, but I'm tired of hearing THIS argument even when I have to whip it out to defend certain types of media against misguided criticism. Using fantasy entertainment as a gauge of how reality works is backwards and silly. But we all do it, so I guess it's not going to go away as some sort of barometer.

And yes, the wimmins and mens are different. But that doesn't mean a shared goal on anything can't be reached when it comes to some business dealings. Perception and reality seem to be only a matter of talking to more real people than looking at ones that aren't. Differences aside, on a basic level no one is more or less worthy of being respected because of how they were born.
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd2 years ago
Letting "media" or a handful of stats counted up to make it seem as if nothing needs to be done
I never said that nothing needs to be done, I said that I don't believe in affirmative action.
Using fantasy entertainment as a gauge of how reality works is backwards and silly. But we all do it, so I guess it's not going to go away as some sort of barometer.
Like it or not, media influences perceptions and people generalize, filter and bias. It might seem backwards at first instance, but when you really think about it it's quite obvious why it happens.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 4th August 2015 10:36pm

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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 2 years ago
That ties into diversity, which 66.5 percent of developers said was an important factor in the industry. 16.4 percent said diversity was unimportant, while 17.1 percent were ambivalent on the topic. That's significantly different from last year's survey, when 79 percent of respondents said diversity was "very" or "somewhat" important for the industry.
I can't be the only one who's curious as to why there's such a significant change!
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd2 years ago
I can't be the only one who's curious as to why there's such a significant change!
I think that diversity has been pursued with too much aggression, painting the whole industry as guilty and therefore resulting in a somewhat defensive response.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 5th August 2015 11:44am

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Pretty sad when talking about an industry/job in which people at young ages dream about joining, upon realizing that dream, 60% of them have a poor or neutral outlook on that same industry going forward. Also a third of those employed by the game industry are not "happily" employed. Yikes. Being paid to do what you love is not even suppose to be a job.

Just goes to show what happens when you introduce too many MBAs, bean counters, and basic idiots into an industry, it becomes just another industry. Kinda sad but predictable. Money ruins everything.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 5th August 2015 5:17pm

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