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: 18-24 Months

Salary: £19,965 per annum

Hours: 35 hours per week

Location: Sheffield

The Apprenticeship 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 in C++: 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 ( Zool Redimensioned )

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

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must demonstrate a strong aptitude for programming through our interview process.
  • You must not already be enrolled on another apprenticeship, or in full-time education which would overlap with the apprenticeship.
  • You must already have a valid and eligible residency status for the full length of your apprenticeship.
  • You must have not received significant prior training as a game programmer – your prior learning in programming and game development must not exceed more than 50% of the knowledge skills and behavior set out in the occupational standard for a Level 7 Game Programmer.

In practice, this final condition would typically exclude graduates of game programming degrees from taking this apprenticeship. Graduates of Computer Science degrees without experience in game development might expect to have the length of the apprenticeship shortened to 12 months (the minimum length for any apprenticeship).

To Be Considered We Need From You

  • A current CV.
  • A covering letter explaining why you want to join the apprenticeship programme.
  • A completed version of this C++ tutorial for beginners. Depending on your previous programming experience, this might take you anywhere from a couple of hours to a weekend. However, working through this will tell you a lot about whether you enjoy game programming if you have never done any before. It is only necessary to attach your “ MainGame.cpp ” source file to the application.

Without all three components, your application will not be considered.

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 that are made using the PlayBuffer C++ framework which is freely available here .

Initial Application Window: 4th – 22nd September 2023

Aptitude Tests: 8th – 14th October 2023

Online Interviews: 18th – 20th October 2023

Final Interview Days: 28th and 29th October 2023

Expected Outcome: 6th November 2023

Expected Start Date: 22nd January 2024

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 a 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).

Tagged as: Computer Science, Mathematics, Motorsport, Physics, Unreal Engine

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