This man has the best job in America
Don't hate Mark Dochtermann just because he's happy.
NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - Mark Dochtermann, 34, director of technology, Electronic Arts: "When I saw my first computer, it was love at first sight. As a kid I spent a lot of time on a Commodore 64, writing my own programs, figuring out games, hacking.
You can learn an awful lot about programming doing that. I majored in computer engineering but never thought I could work in the game industry -- it was a dream job.
After college I sent one of my creations to a small game company. Next thing I knew, I was their programmer.
Since then I've built a career in the "first-person shooter" category with games like Duke Nukem 3D. During the tech boom, when others left games for the money in start-ups, I stayed.
I make a good living, and I'd rather work on a game I don't care for than write code for a financial company. I'm building a product that entertains. Unlike engineers in commerce or aerospace, I can push the envelope without someone getting hurt.
Still, there's stress. The worst is a bug or defect. And you can't waste time tweaking that last whiz-bang feature, given the market pressures.
But there's no better feeling than seeing your game on the shelves.
Today I manage a team of 65. The hours remain a challenge, and I still do a lot of coding. It's important to work with the group, and it's the best way to stay on the cutting edge."