This past week I was with the ETC first year on the west coast. We visited LA and San Francisco to see some entertainment companies to learn a bit about what they do. The places I saw include Thinkwell Design, BRC, Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, IWerks, Rhythm and Hues, Pandemic Studios, Pixar, ILM, Electronic Arts, and Reactrix. A few places I didn't see include Rockstar Games, Naughty Dog, Disney VR Studio, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
Seeing these companies was a lot of fun. Some of them were really cool and we saw some neat stuff, most of which I'm not allowed to talk about. Seeing how cool places like Rhythm and Hues, Pixar, and ILM are makes me questions if I wouldn't want to do movies after all, like I believe I did when I was younger. On the other hand I don't think I'm well trained enough. Computer graphics hasn't exactly been my focus. I don't know DirectX really, I haven't written my own renderer, or anything. I've not graduated from baby game engines like Alice or Panda. I took Graphics I but I don't even remember that much. I like to say that I know enough to know what kind of questions they'd ask me in the interview and I know that I don't know the answers. The more I think about it, if I try to answer what my specialty is, I don't think I have one. What have I been doing for the past 4-5 year? And how am I ever going to get a job with such a mediocre skill set? So although the trip was fun, it does leave me a bit diappointed about my chances of getting a job at any top tier place in any business.
The other good part of the trip was my first visit to San Francisco. I've often grouped SF with Boston as a city based on the way people talk positively about it, size, and several other things. I thought that if I would be happy anywhere on the west coast it would probably be there. I'm glad to say that it was a lot of fun. With our free days, I did a lot of walking around. I went and saw Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf, the Cable Car museum, and several other things you can see in my pictures
. It is very well laid out and I really felt I had figured the city out. Maybe I'll be back there this summer if I can find a job.