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.

Mark Dochtermann
Mark Dochtermann

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."

 Top of page

Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?