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Developers, Company Culture

Meet the Female Game Developers at AppLovin

by Sarah Alvarez on Mar 6, 2020

It’s Women’s History Month, and we at AppLovin thought this would be a great time to shine a light on some of our female game developers who help bring our amazing playable mobile ads to life. 

I sat down with three women on the SparkLabs team, all of whom are graduates from the University of Santa Cruz, majoring in varying levels of Computer Science, with AppLovin as their first job out of college. While all three of these women have been playing games throughout their lives — ranging from the classics like Zelda and The Sims, to Call of Duty and Animal Crossing — not all of them knew they would end up in game development as a profession. 

Danielle Fisher, Game Developer at AppLovin, had no intention of getting into game development. In fact, she was pursuing a mechanical engineering degree until someone gave her a book and C++. Deterred by stories of overworked employees and no job security, Fisher thought a career in gaming would lead to burnout — and then she learned about AppLovin.    

“The idea of working on a new project every week was really appealing to me,” said Fisher. “It’s like a new learning experience every time, and it not only keeps things exciting, but helps me continually grow my skill set.” 

And it’s not just getting to work on a new project that keeps work exciting for this team — it’s the fact that they are making a real impact on the business, propelling them forward. At AppLovin, the ability to take ownership of a project and build something from the ground up keeps the SparkLabs team excited and motivated.

“I thought I would just be coding to a mock that a designer created,” said Kellie Knight, Senior Game Developer at AppLovin. “Here you actually get to have more of an opinion and be involved in the design cycle, because game design and coding are married in our process.”

One of the most important aspects of AppLovin’s culture is being open to collaboration — like involving our game developers in brainstorming, which has proved vital to the creative process. This collective thought process allows even small inklings to evolve into something wholly new that can be created and tested as an ad. 

“Here, I’ve been given space to learn my own style of coding,” said Yuvika Dube, Game Developer at AppLovin. “Even looking back at my work from a year ago, I can tell how much I’ve learned — especially the animation and visual effects components of creating a playable ad.”

Our game developers are given the freedom to evolve their coding style, which showcases the overall welcoming vibe that AppLovin instills in the employee culture. Something that felt pretty great to hear in this discussion was that none of these women found it a fight to pave their way in the mobile gaming industry — an often male-dominant field. These women didn’t experience a fight for equality, but rather, a space where they were accepted and challenged to grow. The SparkLabs team has found the sought-after secret sauce:  Employees who help each other out at work, and care about one another on a personal level as well. 

“I was prepared to face adversity being a woman in the gaming industry,” said Knight. “Surprisingly, I’ve never felt discriminated against in my career — and since joining  AppLovin, there has never been a moment where I felt like I was unequal.”

I would argue that the entire AppLovin team feels supported by the organization regardless of roles, gender, or title, and we are particularly proud to be bringing more female representation to the gaming industry. 

Do you want to learn more about what it takes to be part of the team? Check out SparkLabs.

Sarah Alvarez is a Manager of Communications at AppLovin