Game Programming Apprenticeship

Sumo Digital
Sumo Sheffield
9 days ago

With a rich history of developing multiple AAA franchises such as Little Big Planet and Crackdown, as well as contributing to genre-defining titles like the Forza Motorsport and Hitman series, Sumo Sheffield’s vast development experience spans multiple genres and platforms.

As winners of the TIGA Star Employment Award for 2021, recipients of the GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work Award and listed as one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work for in 2021, Sumo Digital has enjoyed 18 years of stability and growth since its formation in 2003 and continues to strive for excellence across every single project.

The team have a track record of working on some of the world's biggest and best games and received two BAFTAs for their work on Sackboy: A Big Adventure. As the scale and exclusivity of projects continues to grow, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the Sumo Sheffield family!

The Apprenticeship.

The Sumo Academy’s game programming apprenticeship programme provides an alternative pathway into a career as a game programmer. Previous game programming experience is NOT required, and applicants need only demonstrate their learning potential as game programmers. English apprenticeship programmes can only be used to train someone for a role in which they have not already been trained. Therefore, students of game programming degrees should apply to our undergraduate placement scheme or directly for junior industry roles instead.

Graduates of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science degrees are particularly well placed to train as game programmers, but applications are welcomed from any background with previous professional experience and/or a proven aptitude for programming.

Duration: 12-24 Months

Salary: £16,500 per annum

Hours: 35 hours per week

Location: Sheffield (Covid-19 Restrictions Permitting)

The Appenticeship Experience.
This programme will follow the newly approved Level 7 Game Programmer Apprenticeship Specification co-developed by Sumo-Digital. As a Level 7 programme, this provides apprentices with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours to support their pathway into senior, technical roles as programmers within the games industry. While each apprentice’s individual journey will vary, this will typically include:

· Significant training and support in C++ programming: the primary language used in game development.

· Training and support with the Unreal Engine.

· A placement on one of Sumo’s game teams.

· The chance to work on published products developed by the Academy: ttps://

Although an apprenticeship doesn’t guarantee continued employment beyond the end of the programme, our apprenticeship experience is designed to provide you with the best possible opportunity to make a competitive application for a junior programming role within the Sumo Group once you complete the apprenticeship.

Key Requirements:

To be considered we need from you:

The Application Process.
We’re looking for candidates who have huge potential, but who don’t have all the usual prerequisites for gaining employment in the videogame industry. We’re not asking for prior qualifications or a portfolio of work, so we do need to be sure that our apprentices have an aptitude for learning how to code. That means we need to ask applicants to undertake some self-study and complete a series of aptitude tests before considering them for the programme. We’ve done as much as we can to make sure that these tests are accessible and fair to all, but we know that not everyone has the time and resources to devote to such a time-consuming process. If you come from an underrepresented group and need more support, then please consider applying to our Diversity Internship Training Programme first.
Rest assured that you will be judged on your potential – not how much you have learned previously. In fact, if you have too much previous experience in game programming then you would be ineligible to apply under English apprenticeship rules. However, it’s equally unlikely you’re going to succeed if you haven’t done any programming before, and we would encourage applicants to spend time exploring our free C++ game programming tutorial resources before making an application. If you find these resources too difficult then try learning some Python programming first and consider applying to the apprenticeship programme next year.
Application Timeline.
If your initial application is successful, then you will be given access to some training materials and invited to take part in some aptitude tests. These online tests assume that you have engaged with the training materials and must be completed within the testing window which includes two weekends to accommodate applicants with existing commitments and responsibilities. The content of the tests will be based on games which are made using the PlayBuffer C++ framework which is freely available here.
There will be two tests in total:
A Short C++ Test

This test will contain relatively simple C++ questions which must be completed against the clock.

An Open-Ended C++ Task

In this test you will be given the C++ code for simple 2D game and asked to add some additional functionality. You will have two days to complete the task.

Final Interview.

Candidates who are successful in making it through to the final round will be invited to attend an interview at Sumo Sheffield (COVID restrictions permitting).

What We Offer:

· Annual Bonus & Annual Salary Reviews

· Electric Car Scheme

· Salary Sacrifice Pension Scheme

· Flexible Working

· 27 Days Holiday, including your birthday a duvet day and Christmas

· Holiday ‘buy and sell’ scheme

· 5 Paid Learning Days, including 1 volunteer day per year

· Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses, The Gnomen Workshop, GDC Vault and more

· Enhanced Mat/Paternity & Adoption pay

· Free Life Assurance - 4x Salary

· Free Income Protection Scheme -up to 75%

· Free Dental Insurance

· Supportive Employee Assistance Programme with confidential 24/7/365 helpline & app

· Access remote GP, Mental Health, Physio appointments & medical second opinions

· Additional flexible benefits scheme

· Cycle to Work Scheme

· Mental Health First Aiders

· Payroll Giving Scheme

· Game & Book Libraries

· Long service & project completion awards

· Wrap Parties

· Alternative Travel Prize Draw

· The Sumo GameJam

· Great family events

· Studio clubs, inc. running, board games, film…

· Life Drawing

· Yoga Classes

· Free fruit and drinks

· Employee Referral Bonus

· Career Development

· Relocation Support to the UK

· Visa Sponsorship

Where do we stand on diversity?

At Sumo, we want to enable everyone to bring their full, authentic selves to work every single day. We acknowledge that the games industry is far from perfect and a global organisation with people all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds, we know it’s part of our duty to provide everyone at Sumo with a safe, accepting and affirming working environment.

We encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

More about Sumo Sheffield

Sumo Sheffield is located just outside the city centre in Sumo Digital’s HQ, just off J34 on the M1 and a stone’s throw from the city’s primary shopping and leisure complex. With a multi-building campus comprised of industry-leading facilities, an onsite gym and subsidised canteen, Sumo Sheffield provides everything needed for all teams to create the world’s best games.

Sheffield is the fifth largest city in the UK and is easily accessible by road and rail from Leeds, Manchester and the Midlands. The city enjoys a wealth of facilities to suit a wide array of interests, including:

o World-class sports facilities

o Iconic theatres and galleries

o Multiple retail and shopping experiences

o Diverse and renowned restaurants and eateries

o The award-winning National Video Game Museum

More about Sumo Digital

Sumo Digital is an award-winning international family of studios. Recent releases from Sumo Digital studios include: BAFTA-Award winning Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, Control Ultimate Edition on Google Stadia, Apple Arcade Award-winning Little Orpheus, Hot Shot Racing, WST Snooker and Spyder.

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