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#1
How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/13 19:03
PVB Elite
Joined 2011/7/1
Germany
1150 Posts
CoderContributorTop10 PosterLong Time User (8 Years) App CoderPVBCC 2013 Entry
I wanted to tell this story for a long time but never got around to it until now.

Around 2014 I wasn't very happy with my then job. Being forced to travel to strange countries, layoffs happening once in while and a certain pointlessness in what I was doing are just a few of the reasons why I felt I needed to change.

So I started sending out CVs and went to some interviews. When I went to the interview for my current job they asked me to prepare a 15 minute self-presentation. They said it was less about my skills but more about who I am as a person. The company is known as one of the best employers in my area so they only pick people that fit in.

However, for 5 minutes of that presentation I would talk about the Virtual Boy, this community, Faceball and some other related things. From their reaction I could tell they really loved that part. They gave me an already signed contract before I left which I signed shortly afterwards.

I've been working there for roughly 1,5 years now and things are going great. So in a certain way my Virtual Boy changed my life for the better.
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#2
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/13 19:24
Nintendoid!
Joined 2013/3/25
218 Posts
Long Time User (7 Years)
I think it's safe to say everyone secretly loves the Virtual Boy, but due to peer pressure and fear of the strange, everyone defaults to hating it.

Congrats on the new job. :)
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#3
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/13 20:37
PVB Elite
Joined 2013/6/17
Canada
1210 Posts
Top10 Poster10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (6 Years)
Wow, cool story. Never underestimate the power of the Virtual Boy =P
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#4
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/14 18:53
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1466 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
I have a similar story. I work for a company that remanufactures electronics for the agricultural and earth-moving equipment industries (things like dashboard displays and engine/transmission controllers). When asked during my interview about experience that would make me a better candidate for the job, I mentioned repairing VB displays to make them better than they were originally engineered. I don't know how influential it was in getting me the job, but most of the interviewers did want me to go into quite a bit of detail about the process.

It's a great job, too. I've been there less than a year and I've already gotten a promotion, two raises, and three bonuses, not to mention the many benefits and perks.
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#5
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/14 20:11
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/25
USA
1507 Posts
PVBCC 1stCoderContributor#3 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App CoderPVBCC 2010 EntryPVBCC 2013 Entry
Similar story here, though it was 8 years ago. I had gotten a pretty good job straight out of college (same place I was working part-time during college), but we weren't getting much interesting work, so it got a bit boring.

After a year or so, I decided to apply for jobs at three different companies, and got full day interviews at all three (basically a series of back to back 30 minute interviews with a different engineer... plus a "lunch" where they send you with a couple engineers that basically keep the interview going while you're eating :-P ). Some people like to grill you on stuff, but most are like regular engineers, which just want to talk engineering and get an idea of what you've done, what you know, etc.

So, anyway... whenever they'd ask what I'm working on, I'd always ask "At work, or at home?", and go into what I did at work, but explain that the work isn't very exciting... then start talking about all the reverse engineering, programming of games, reprogrammable cartridges, etc... and that was shortly after I had made my VB FPGA video adapter, so I walked quite a few of them through the development of that. One guy asked if I had any code samples, so I pulled up some of my homebrew VB code.

Oh, and when I wrote my resume, I originally wasn't planning to put anything related to my hobbies on there, but a friend of mine convinced me to, and after having been through the process, I'd highly recommend it. The resume gets you in the door, and that gives the interviewer something else to ask about (rather than coming up with generic questions to ask).

Anyway, I ended up getting offers from all 3 companies, and when I was on the fence about two of them, the one place (who I work for) upped their offer to make my decision easier. :)

Since I've been there, I've interviewed some people as well... I always ask about hobbies, hoping to hear stories like mine... but unfortunately, I haven't come across anyone like that yet (most "cool" projects have been robotics that they did in college). Though if they're into video games, my favorite interview question is "how do you beat Ganon in Legend of Zelda?" ;)

So, anyway... I definitely think the VB helped me get the job by giving me more experience in engineering related stuff, setting me apart from others (as someone who's really "into it"), and helping me stay relaxed and interview well, since it's something I'm so comfortable talking in depth about.

DogP
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#6
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/14 21:33
Administrator
Joined 2000/1/8
Germany
2521 Posts
Highscore Top10Highscore Top ScoreCoder#1 PosterHOTY09 1stLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder90+ Game Ratings
These stories are amazing, guys, thanks for sharing! Here's an unfinished "private projects" page of my resumee. I ended up not including it in the resumee I sent out... Well, got the job nevertheless, but I think I would definitely include some of my private tinkerings the next time. ;-)

Attach file:



jpg  resumee_private_projects.jpg (689.86 KB)
1_56c0e49af15a8.jpg 2480X3508 px
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#7
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/17 14:22
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2013/8/23
USA
301 Posts
Long Time User (6 Years)
Sadly I can't use VB knowledge at my job directly, but the attention to detail and systems thinking associated with fixing bad units helps keep my brain sharp.

On the other hand, 2.5 years ago I was starting to get back into my old systems for fun. When the Virtual Boys all had weird flickering displays, I looked to Google and found this site. First, that brought back memories of 2002 when I would frequent this site and that other one run by some guy named Ferry I think? I was amazed how much had been uncovered in a decade.

Then I read the solder fix tutorials and said "I've never soldered before, but screw it!". Eventually I got the technique down and fixed all the systems I had. Later I was eyeing my top loader NES and said "I should do that composite video mod!". Eventually I got back into my old hobby of taking electronics apart and seeing what I could upgrade without destroying anything.

Now I do this stuff all the time, mostly on a small scale for myself or local game stores with big supplies of busted consoles. But, it's funny to think that I'd completely forgotten how much I loved to tinker with electronics as a kid...and really only got back into it because of the VB's display issues. I'm glad too because when I'm in a groove I can fix enough displays or do general console work at a level that sustains my gaming habit :)

There's some extra appeal in having an unofficial "per diem" job like this!
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#8
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/17 14:29
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2013/8/23
USA
301 Posts
Long Time User (6 Years)
One more thought...I rarely use this word, but those of you who put VB work on real resumes or brought it up in real interviews- that's the most "balla" thing I've heard in a long time :)
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#9
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2016/2/28 5:21
VB Gamer
Joined 2005/12/1
Brazil
18 Posts
Long Time User (14 Years)
Hey!

I read the stories and like it very much! Congratulations for the jobs & VBs knowlodge!
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#10
Re: How my Virtual Boy got me a better job
Posted on: 2018/10/24 8:48
Nintendoid!
Joined 2004/10/25
USA
100 Posts
CoderLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder
Sorry to bump an old thread but I felt I had to put up my own story. About 8 years ago I got a job making video games from my VB connection.

About 12 years ago I was frustrated with my job programming for the government and decided to follow my dream of doing videogames. So I dusted off RealityBoy and sent out a bucketload of resumes. I actually got a few callbacks and one semi serious interview out of the effort. One was for a startup doing iPhone games, I blew that one by asking if there really was enough of a market at $2 a game to make a profit :)

Anyway due to a sickness in the family we moved to be closer to my inlaws and the videogame dream seemed dead. Fast forward a few years and the company I worked for was just a few months away from shutting down when out of the blue a game company called me up and asked for a face to face. They had seen my website and thought I would be a good fit, even though I was on the opposite coast from them.

I think the moment I got the job was in the interview when my future boss handed me a marker and asked me to outline how the virtual boy works. He grilled me for half an hour then took me to lunch. I got an offer the next morning.

I agree with DogP, never be scared to show off your nerd skills. Real developers want to know you have the passion. I always mention the virtual boy on my resumes and would hire anyone who could show me that much interest in there own work.
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