Aiming Developer Credo

Project-oriented Organization

The Importance of Interdisciplinarity

Division of labor is too clearly defined
Division of labor is too clearly defined
Team dynamic at Aiming
Specialists working together as a team

We have continued to challenge new fronts and new platforms in the midst of an increasingly fast-changing business environment.

Though the right solutions are seemingly impossible to find, as a company we must forge a path to proceed into the future. Attempts to divide labor into lines too clearly or enforcing distinction between ranks too strongly merely plant the seeds for failure. Such arrangements tend to simply allow for non-involved persons to place blame on a specific individual.

Cooperation from a variety of people with different skills is required to bring a game or service to the market. Among these include producers, planners, 2D and 3D graphic artists, UX and UI designers, scriptwriters, database masters, KPI analysts, marketing personnel, and customer service representatives. A multitude of professionals, each possessing specialized abilities, must work together, regardless of internal hierarchy, to make a joint effort in order for the project to succeed.
In essence, our work places great importance on interdisciplinarity.

Project-oriented Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements at Aiming
Seating arrangements at Aiming

This way of thinking is evident in our seating arrangements within the company. Game development is a series of trial and error and the product is only polished gradually over time. If a necessary adjustment or addition to the game cannot be made, at that point it is a failed project. Placing your faith in the game planner, offering your own ideas to the game design, thinking about the business-end of the game – individuals within the team must make their best effort to increase the overall value of the output which will be made by the group as a whole. There are no barriers simply based on areas of specialization.

Consequently, seats are not arranged to centralize specific job groups. Rather, teams sit together in one location, regardless of each person’s specialty, in order to best work as one group and strive toward their goals.

The Value of T-shaped Skill Levels and Study Groups

An organization that nurtures T-shaped skill levels among employees

Allocating tasks solely on the basis of specialties among engineers will likewise be the cause of failure in a project. It becomes very easy to point a finger at someone when a problem arises if project members have been divided into specific responsibilities such as server, client, and database engineer.

In terms of online game development, the server, client and database must operate together simultaneously in order for the game to function. At a minimum, we expect the engineer working on the client to have enough knowledge of server-side programming that he or she will comprehend whatever the main server engineer says. If that person is not even able to understand the other’s statements, then the discussion simply deteriorates into an argument.
Whether born out of personal interest or practical experience, knowledge of areas outside of one’s own field of specialty is very important, and in many cases, is useful in reducing tension with others.

At Aiming, we hold weekly study groups to provide members an opportunity to broaden their knowledge. Topics include 3D and game engines, the scalability of web services, source code management and deployment, infrastructure design and more. We offer a wide variety of subjects and encourage team members to join groups not directly related to their current projects in order to expand their horizons.

The Value of Curiosity

Game development at Aiming

The T-shaped skill level is a manifestation of curiosity. Curiosity is the ability to enjoy change.

If an engineer becomes too fixed on only using the languages, libraries and platforms which he or she is familiar, it is quite possible that the system the engineer creates will be inadaptable to future technology changes and will soon become out-dated. A specialist of “X” should not only possess knowledge of “X,” but “Y” and “Z” as well. Only then will he understand both the merits and demerits of “X.” Should “X” ever become obsolete, a true specialist is one that would realize so and move on.

The curiosity of individual members produces a climate that embraces new environments throughout the company. That climate not only creates a buffer against becoming obsolete, but also builds the foundation for the company as a whole to make new challenges.

The Virtue of Change – Agile Development