What does an XR Software Developer do?
Software developers are responsible for designing, building and testing computer programs.
The responsibilities vary according to the organisation they are working at, but typically their role includes writing, refining, and testing code.
Software developers often have to learn new programs and tools to keep up with the constantly evolving environment caused by technological advances – this is especially true in the field of extended reality (XR), where new hardware is often being released.
A software developer in the field of XR might develop applications or experiences, including entertainment, but also in wider fields such as learning solutions, healthcare, enterprise and more.
What’s an XR Software Developer good at?
- Technical Ability: developing software can require understanding complex systems and using technical languages to write code – this is especially true in the cutting-edge XR industry, where the tools are still being developed
- Communication: since you work with such complex systems, it is key that you are able to clearly communicate these to clients and colleagues
- Attention to detail: small errors when writing programs can invalidate it completely, so it is important to pay extra attention when doing so
- Problem-solving: problems are bound to arise during the development process, and it can be the sole responsibility of developers to tackle this
- Creativity: developers bring creative visions to life, and often must come up with creative solutions to problems
Where can being an XR Software Developer take me?
Employment of software developers is expected to grow much faster than other similar careers, which is logical following the massive increase in the demand for computer software. AR applications are becoming increasingly accessible and often embedded in social networks, so have already seen wide adoption. VR adoption is expected to grow also, once the hardware becomes more consumer friendly.
All XR companies will need many developers, so once you are appropriately qualified and experienced you may have the choice of working in fields such as education, entertainment, enterprise and more.
How do I become an XR Software Developer?
A degree is usually required to become a software developer, in one of the following areas:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Software Development
- Software Engineering
- VR/AR/Immersive tech specific degrees
This is not a complete list, but even if your degree is not necessarily directly related – there are trainee graduate schemes, where, if you show enough enthusiasm for the field you can learn on the job.
It is a good idea whenever approaching any employer to have a backlog of projects, sometimes called a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to develop and give employers an understanding of your expertise and areas you have already worked on.
To read more on portfolios, check out ScreenSkills guide to games portfolios.