Want to make decisions about future technology? Travel the world? Meet with the people who control what products are coming out next year?
Dan Amerson is off to buy a small gift with North Carolina significance – as is customary when meeting with executives in Korea. Dan is speaking at a conference in Seoul next week. Next month, he will be off to a trade show in California. Dan’s work is his passion and his passion has afforded him the opportunity to travel, to learn more about other cultures, and to meet interesting people.
Dan paired his bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in economics and now works as one of two technical directors at Emergent Game Technologies, a worldwide leader in 3D videogame engines. Dan and fellow ’01 alum Shaun Kim, the other technical director, have moved up the ranks from software developers to key "players" in the organization in just eight years.
"I’m in charge of my future. I’ve been with this company for a while and I get to make important decisions about the future of our product."
"The gaming industry is interesting. It’s a very young industry. As recent as 5 years ago, a degree wasn’t even required. Hiring managers cared more about side projects and direct experience tinkering with games. It’s been shifting and now a bachelor’s degree really is required to get a job in gaming."
Dan attributes much of his success to the opportunities he had being a part of the computer science program at NC State. According to Dan, the program is comprehensive and exposes students to a lot of different topics. But he says some of the most important aspects of his time at NC State were his access to the top-notch faculty and being able to participate in their research projects. "Having undergraduate research experience on my resume is what got me noticed by interviewers."
An avid gamer, Dan’s work lets him keep up with the latest in gaming technology. Emergent Game Technologies provides middleware. They write software libraries that they sell to other gaming companies for use in a lot of different games.
"I still play a lot of games – more than my wife would like. I tell her its 'market research.'"
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