JUCE Development Career?

jobs

#1

Hi everyone,

First off, thanks for taking the time to read. I am interested in learning to develop audio plugins, and perhaps pursuing a career in it. I graduated from school less than a year ago with a B.S. in Computer Science, with a minor in Music Technology. I currently work as a software developer for a bank, but my wife is interested in travel nursing, which would land us in a new location every 3-6 months. With that in mind, I am looking for some type of remote career. Also, I have been searching for ways to combine my passion for music and programming, and figure this could be a viable option.

The forums on this site seem to be a great resource for JUCE developers, and I was hoping some of you could speak to plugin development as a career? I currently live in Charlotte, NC, and cannot find a job related to this field anywhere near me. Are there certain cities that these jobs are concentrated in, or are there a lot of remote opportunities?

Thanks in advance for the help!


#2

In my experience, most of the work available in this field resides in places like Berlin / London / Los Angeles / New York / etc. You’ll most likely have to jump in to this kind of job in the city, and work your way toward remote work. Get started with your own professional-grade JUCE projects first, perhaps releasing them online, and then join a team that will benefit from your skill set.

Just one mans opinion.

Cheers,
Bruce


#3

I’ve been remote only juce developer since about 2014, before that I worked at Mackie / LOUD Technologies Inc. Originally most of my work came from people I knew from my Mackie days, but lately it has been transitioning to work found via the juce forum. I have a few open source vst plugins, a open source juce module and a few closed source free plugins. None are professional grade, but they do show off some interesting ideas, and they have generated some leads.

I recommend being active of the forum, so that if an employer looks at your profile they’ll see you’ve actually been using juce. And post code you’ve written to GitHub. Audio Dev is a pretty niche skill and there aren’t a lot of developers, so if you know what you are doing, it’s fairly easy to get a job. The tough part is getting that initial experience, you’ll probably need to do that on your own time unless you get lucky.


#4

I also have been working remotely as a developer for ~1 year (although not in audio) and in my experience the best way to get remote opportunities is mostly via your existing network (previous colleagues, people you know etc.). I don’t think it’s particularly easy to get hired remotely by just sending over a CV to someone who you never met before, unless you are applying for one of those rare “completely remote” organisations (I’m not aware of any in the audio/music field) OR you are already an established developer with a strong reputation and many years worth of experience, completed projects etc. (you get the idea)

As others said, it’s very important to start creating your own “portfolio” (code on GitHub, use blog, forums etc.) to showcase your skills but also (perhaps more importantly?) to show that you are genuinely interested in a field.

But anyways: don’t get discouraged. If you see something that interests you, try to apply. Then talk to them , be honest and explain the situation. You never know what happens… Worst case they will say no, but at least you tried! :slight_smile: (and maybe you get some advice/insight too)


#5

Unlike banking, aerospace, automotive, and a ton of other industries where producing commercial grade software at home in the evenings as a self-focused training exercise that an employer would consider relevant at interview isn’t really all that feasible, this is one of those rare industries where it’s practical to learn it at your own pace in your spare time and create credible examples of the quality of your potential work.

If it really fires you up and you’re a strong coder then finding the time and learning this stuff fairly quickly isn’t out of the question. Juce solves a lot of the quirky irritations that just suck up time where supporting cross-platform code is concerned and in my opinion makes the plugin development process way more simple than it used to be. You’re really just learning how to use a well documented SDK and some audio programming essentials a lot of which will have already been covered in forum posts when you’re stuck.

So I’d say give it a go under your own steam to prove to yourself it’s for you, and if it turns out you’re good at it and enjoy it then most likely you’ll be able to confidently apply for some remote work and talk intelligently about it all even if you’re not where the main hubs for this sort of stuff are and see if it works out for you. If you take the more time consuming and creatively challenging route of making your own plugins and selling them online you may find people start coming to you and offering work if they’re genuinely good products (but by then you’d probably be way too busy with your own ideas to take any of it on). Good luck.


#6

:+1:


#7

I’m going to chime in here, as I’m at the start of this career path (I graduated last month and am currently consulting at Roli / Juce) and can provide some input that has helped me along the way so far…

  1. You MUST have finished code that you can show people. The first thing anyone will ask you is “can you show me something you’ve made?” Some people are really social-media averse, but my YouTube Channel is not only what landed me this job I’m doing now, but also has to me getting numerous job offers from other companies. I will be the first person to tell you that I’m not the strongest coder, but I have plenty of material that people can have a look at.

  2. It’s SO important to be where the demand is, especially if you’re just getting off the ground. If you’re in NC and there aren’t any jobs doing what you’d like there, then your portfolio has to be really strong, because that’s all people have to go on.

  3. I think it’s really important to be part of a community. There, of course is this community, and I have my own of over 600 developers of all skill levels and backgrounds on Discord. I think I have a few people from around there in the group! Get to know people and assimilate.

  4. You really must have an internal commitment to being good at this. Even though my role with Roli is more marketing/engagement based, I still go to C++ courses and try to study at least an hour a day, and do my best to keep on top of the channel and community. People really like to see that you love what you’re doing and are committed to clean code and great products.

There’s a lot more I can say, but I don’t want to hog the thread. If you need any advice feel free to drop me a line! Good luck and hope that helps!


#8

Thanks Bruce! Really appreciate the info.


#9

Sounds like good advice. I’ll be starting the tutorials on this site, so I’m sure I’ll be active on the forum. Thanks!


#10

I appreciate the advice!


#11

Ok cool. Seems very interesting so far, I plan on developing and doing tutorials to get some experience and build some basic plugins. Thanks!


#12

Thanks Joshua, I’ll be sure to do that


#13

I’ve been working remotely for 18 years now, about 16 of those as a professional developer (I’ve actually never worked in an office in my entire life, other than a single week during my stint contracting for iZotope where they thought it’d Increase Shareholder Value if I sat in their building for a week; they were puzzled by my habit of keeping the office door closed and the lights off, but in truth I’d already gone completely feral by that point), and in my experience, getting work in this field is way more about connections and networking than your CV, unless you want to work for NI or Ableton or something. I never went to college at all, and 100% of my contract work has come about by knowing people in the business.

Speaking as an employer, I could give three and one half metric shits where you went to college and for how long. There are exactly three things that concern me:

  1. Are you annoying in Slack?
  2. Have you made some dope shit?
  3. Can I afford you?

Anyone that runs a plugin company can tell pretty quickly if you can pull off whatever it is they’re trying to do. Code examples are fine, but I’m not going to go try and compile rando dependency-laden Github code. Working plugins are best, and be honest about what you don’t know.


#14

Brilliant.

And this too - the number of people i have spoken to who have nothing or almost nothing as evidence for their skills …


#15

@zulam
I’ve been exactly where you are about a year and half ago. I should say you’re at the right place considering your career aspirations.
I used to work with internet security, although it was a nice job at a nice company, it was way off my passions and aspirations for audio and music tech.

So I’ve made an open source plugin (as recommended here), and started answering this forum’s job postings. Within a month I was employed as a remote fill-time JUCE developer, seriously, it was really fast. After that I’ve switched to contract jobs, and now I’m going back to full-time.

There are just so many amazing opportunities you can seize in this community, as long as you share what you’ve got (opinions, feedback, advice and some code), I’m pretty sure you’ll have plenty of jobs! :wink:


#16

Whilst it’s a little embarrassing to promote our own conference on here, I have to add that the jobs board at ADC, coupled with actually being able to speak to many of the people who posted the adverts, is a really fantastic resource for anyone looking for employment.


#17

Funnily enough so did I :wink:


#18

It is indeed a very interesting field, and there’s a lot of money in this game.
But audio is :heart: !