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Last night I got the full tour of Maxis from Toby Roberts, a central leader in their IT operation. Met Toby through my friend Kat Sewell and we all went to grab dinner after. Man, what a cool place Maxis is! I cant even begin to describe the energetic atmosphere in those colorful halls. And I cant even begin to tell you all the cool shit they are working on because of the NDA I had to sign before entering. :p But lemme just say theres some awesome stuff coming down the pipeline.

Toby and I talked SAN strategies for a bit while a checked out their server room. Kat politely stood by as we dorked out on stuff like their new 100 TB tape library that can hit 600 GB/sec of transfer across its fibre channel connect. All the numbers get really cool at a place like Maxis. I checked out the machines that were building the next generation of games and then I got to see them being worked on in development, audio, marketing, art, and test. It was a lot of fun!

Toby tells me that there are maybe 4 development directors at Maxis, but more producers and associate producers, so DD may be a harder position to come by even though my skill lean towards that sort of role. He offered to introduce me to some Maxis recruiters and suggested QA wouldnt be the ideal place to start. I let him know that I thought would enjoy the experience and learn a lot even soit may not be the most glorious position but I could pick up some industry know-how while I look for a position in production.

Hes looking for Java and PHP gurus on his team…wish I had those skills, but I have only basic level skills in those areas. I’m an MS IT guru and pretty good with MS dev tools like VB, SQL, ASP, and VBA as well, but Maxis is more of a unix shop in the back room. But perhaps other game companies will have MS IT opportunitiessomething to keep my eyes open for. Even though I want to end up in production, getting into the industry is the first step!

And dont even bother to try and break into one of Maxiss serving or archive facilities. The security procedures are nuts. If the President is even in danger, he should hide out at a Maxis server drop. Its right out of spy movie with the hand scans and multilayer protections before you get access to the sanctus sanctorium of data.

Updated on October 4th, 2013

Some of the links were broken. I replaced them with working links to pages with the same or similar content as before.