GDC 2009 – CA Program

The GDC is upon us once more, and once again this year I was accepted into the GDC CA volunteer program. The GDC has thousands upon thousands of game developers and game industry professionals attend each year, making it THE premier event of our industry. For those of you who are trying to get your foot in the door, the CA program probably the best way to network you could possibly hope for. This is my 4th or 5th year volunteering and I plan to do it every year that I possibly can. You will meet so many amazing people and form friendships that can last a lifetime. An added benefit is that you never know if one of those people will one day turn into an in for a job opportunity. After all, the game industry (just as most things in life) is all about who you know.

In brief, when you sign up as a GDC CA volunteer, you are asked to do up to 20 hours of work over the course of the entire week and you are expected to be in attendance from the Sunday before the conference starts through the last Friday sessions. The exact work you’ll do is described on the volunteer page (http://www.gdconf.com/volunteers/index.html) so I won’t go into it here, but it’s pretty much basic stuff anyone with a friendly attitude can do. In return, you are given a free “All Access” pass (a $2200 value – nothing to scoff at), reduced hotel costs (about $100-$200 savings a night over regular hotel costs), and most importantly the networking opportunity of a lifetime. This is absolutely the best thing you can do for your career if you are a student or a newbie trying to break in. If you are lucky you may even have a chance to meet your favorite celebrity game developer while working at his/her session. Also, the CA leaders, Tim Brengle and Ian MacKenzie, are two of the most amazing leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They make the CA program feel like a big happy family and tirelessly work to make your job easy and fun. I can’t say enough good things about them!

Obviously, with the GDC already upon us, all the volunteer slots are already filled for this year’s conference. However, the volunteer applications open up between September and October of year for the next year’s conference, so in 6 to 7 months time you should keep your eyes peeled to the GDC site for this announcement. The CA program is one of the most fulfilling and amazing times I have every year. I always reserve one of my 2 precious weeks of vacation from work for it, and I’ve never been disappointed. What could be better than spending a fabulous week in San Francisco surrounded by fellow nerds and game makers, and more importantly my big CA family? Nothing! Trust me, once you try it you’ll never want to go another year without volunteering.

2 Responses to “GDC 2009 – CA Program”

  1. Jasmine Marie says:

    I agree, my school sent me to GDC this year and gave us Expo passes, which is understandable with the retail price of the full one – but I got just a little taste of the CA family and I now know for sure how I’m getting to GDC next year :o)

    Viva le volunteers!

  2. […] the hell out of the game. I was obsessed, just like I used to be with DotA. So when I went to volunteer at GDC last year, I decided to run a League of Legends tournament for all of the CAs. I contacted Jeff Jew […]

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