All too often we conceive of art and science as living in two separate worlds. Arts and humanities in one silo and science and technology in the other. But nothing could be further from the truth – and in fact, technology is often the driving force behind the evolution or emergence of nearly all of humanity’s artistic endeavors, so much so that the educational keyword STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) has been altered to STEAM, allowing entry for the arts as a critical component of a well-rounded education.
For today’s software developers, the arts provide some of the more unique and exciting career pathways in the technology sector. Some of today’s top arts, entertainment, and media companies are seeking the best and brightest developers to help see their creative visions to fruition.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at how the marriage of art and technology is driving career opportunities for software developers in mediums like television and film, podcasts, graphic design, and animation.
When it comes to scripted television production, you can’t get bigger, more profound, or agile than Netflix. The company has morphed from its early beginnings as a DVD rental service to a media giant with perhaps the most diverse and creative slate of original programming. But with such a bevy of IP comes the need to protect it, and an internship like Netflix’s Security Software Engineer opportunity is a prime example of how today’s developers and coders can put their skill to use in the digital entertainment space. This brand of opportunity requires fluency with the programming language Python and as well as with public cloud storage systems like AWS.
Software developers can also expect to further hone their programming and coding skills through exposure to such programs and platforms like AWS IAM, Access Advisor, CloudTrail, and other services to better understand a program’s overall security and work to identify and correct potential breaches or deficiencies.
As far as broadcast networks adapting to the online streaming and digital access game, CBS Interactive is considered the gold standard, and any programming or coding internship with this progressive outfit would be a homerun in terms of better understanding how technology influences and responds to art. Enter an internship opportunity CBS Interactive as a Software Engineer where budding developers and coders will design, debug, and troubleshoot coding and performance optimizations such as memory usage, rendering, and file size optimizations.
Such an opportunity requires a specific and robust set of skills and experiences, such as contributing to large codebases, working with game engines and frameworks, and developing native applications for IOS and/or Android. In addition to fluency with these development and coding languages, such a position in television also requires experience with data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented programming.
You’d be hard-pressed to identify a faster growing entertainment medium right now than podcasting. Spotify has quickly established itself as the premier platform for podcasts of all stripes, from breaking news to sports to narrative/scripted audio shows. It would stand to reason that a medium dependent on mobile devices would require sophisticated coding and programming work. Spotify’s Senior Backend Engineer and Android Engineer positions are excellent opportunities for a developer and coder to experience just how powerful the podcast form is and how they can use their skills to further this artistic platform.
As a Senior Backend Engineer with Spotify, coders and programmers can expect to gain intimate knowledge and experience with Java services that serve millions of users each day in a DevOps manner. This of course requires a high level of acumen with Java but also means developers must have high levels of fluency with Linux as well as system design, data structures, and algorithms in order to help the sound engineering team build and scale the backend systems that power Spotify.
With the Android Engineer position, you’ll also need in-depth experience and knowledge of Java systems along with Kotlin and open source experience. It goes without saying that developers will need some understanding of Android operation and capability, but programmers and coders can expect to use their app development talents and interest to better understand how Spotify can be leveraged, troubleshooted, and optimized in the Android sphere.
If your passion is graphic design, then Adobe is the temple and the power, and the software development and program opportunities within Adobe present a variety of unique, challenging, and ultimately rewarding career pathways for software developers and coders looking to stretch the bounds of what they’re capable of achieving.
- Product development: Considered the leader in digital marketing and digital media, product development from a coding and programming side offers the ability to work at the intersection of content creation, data science, and experience delivery. These engineers develop, build, and maintain desktop and mobile products that help content creators and managers archive and deploy their creations in a fast and effective manner.
- Cloud technology: At the bleeding edge of SaaS delivery, software developers and programmers will deploy their coding prowess to combine Big Data, analytics, cloud management, and digital content under a unified cloud platform that outpaces and outperforms anything else in the tech marketplace. These engineers will work as part of a dynamic, collaborative team the code is open and knowledge-transfer and sharing is just a part of the game.
- Research labs: Software developers and programmers as critical players in the research lab may not be the first thing that jumps to mind, but with a company like Adobe engineers explore such concepts and principles as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and content intelligence to better understand how new-to-market products can be true disruptors. It’s programmers and coders who apply their backend engineering to make the theoretical a reality.
There are maybe a handful of companies who, when you think about them in terms of software development and programming, you conclude: Yeah, that makes sense. And without doubt, Pixar is one of those companies. Opportunities for programmers and coders within this animation juggernaut abound. Whether it’s the design and production of people or objects, scenic components, or even sound effects and dialogue, backend designers and programmers are the engine that drives Pixar’s creative and unique storytelling.
- Software Engineer (Characters and Crowds): Tasked with making Pixar’s lively and diverse cast of characters and backgrounds come to life, this level of software engineer works with a variety of coding and programming tools and platforms such as Python, UNIX/Linux, 3D content applications, parallel computing and GPU programming applications to help animators bring their wildest creations to life. Appreciation for the importance of long-term code health, peer review, automated testing, and documentation and an understanding of practical software performance are also key elements of this backend position.
- Software Engineer (RenderMan): Pixar’s industry-leading rendering software, RenderMan, is a critical driver in what makes Pixar such an imaginative animation studio. To help facilitate this level of imagination and ingenuity, these software engineers must possess practical knowledge of multi-threaded, SIMD, SIMT or GpGPU development, especially CUDA; extensive analytic, debugging, and problem-solving skills; experience working in a Linux, macOS or Windows environment. An understanding of these coding language and skillsets help animators create the shapes, contours, colors, and landscapes that Pixar has built its reputation on.
Your place in all this?
As you can see, software developers and programmers play a large role in not only shaping today’s art and entertainment, but in many ways they’re just as influential as the artists, animators, and actors that help bring these worlds to life. Core programming and coding competencies create a career path at the intersection of art and technology that is all but guaranteed to continue growing, evolving, and adapting our technological achievements fuel our creative abilities and vice-versa.
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