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IGDA: Valve is the #1 place developers want to work
IGDA: Valve is the #1 place developers want to work
August 19, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Data culled from a recent survey conducted by the International Game Developers Association suggests that most developers would choose to work at Valve over any other company, even their own.

The IGDA surveyed more than 2,200 developers in partnership with researchers at the University of Western Ontario and the M2 Research organization. When asked about which company they'd most like to work for, survey respondents chose Valve more often than companies like Nintendo, Double Fine, or Activision Blizzard.

More interestingly, the developers surveyed also chose Valve more often than options like "my own company" and "my current employer," suggesting that the Dota 2 developer currently holds a remarkably positive reputation in the industry.

The company also has a reputation for playing things close to the vest when it comes to publicizing details of how it operates, though more anecdotes about what it's like to work at Valve have come to light since a Valve employee handbook was made public in 2012.

So what's it like to work at Valve? Former Valve economist-in-residence Yanis Varoufakis shared details last year about how Valve handles its employees; former Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth subsequently spoke publicly about her problematic experiences working within the company.

Of course, this isn't the first time we've reported on the IGDA's Developer Satisfaction survey; back in June we reported that some results of the survey suggest the diversity of the industry is (very slowly) improving, even as its members continue to struggle with crunch and work/life balance. You can download a summary of their report on that survey from the IGDA website.

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Michael Joseph
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and let's not forget the most obvious reason... salaries and bonuses.

p.s. consider posting an anonymous salary to glassdoor for the company you work for.

Maria Jayne
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Money is obviously important but I think the main attraction is that they sound very different to how other developers are run. No doubt the lack of reliance on doing what a publisher wants would also be a big draw.

Of course different isn't always better, some people need more direction to flourish than others. I feel the people working at valve typically flourish if they are capable of making their own decisions and motivating themselves to achieve them. Such an environment would be attractive to everyone, even those that are not like minded.