This talk will walk through the process Valve (developer of Half-Life, Team Fortress, DOTA, Counter-Strike, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Steam) uses to create, iterate, and ship its products and how that same process can yield the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the software industry. The key takeaway is that what works inside of Valve will work just as well when you’re an undergraduate looking for your first job and should help you develop the ability to get where you want to go.
Mike Ambinder is a senior experimental psychologist at Valve who joined the company in 2008. He has a PhD in Experimental Psychology (with an emphasis on visual cognition) from the University of Illinois, and a BA in Computer Science and Psychology from Yale University. He is the author or co-author of 11 published research papers and has given over 60 invited talks at various conferences. His work at Valve focuses on the application of knowledge and methodologies from psychology to game design.