Ask anyone with even a passing interest in game development what their dream job would be, and I can all but guarantee that the majority would love to work at Valve. The trouble is, save for a small minority, no one's really sure where to start, with Valve or otherwise. Game development seems to be a notoriously difficult industry to break into; this is due as much to the sheer volume of interested parties as it is the inaccurate perceptions held by many about the industry.
See, the problem is, there doesn't really exist a single, comprehensive source of information about game development. Career counselors likely haven't been adequately prepared to coach students, and most High Schools don't really offer a great many resources for younger students who want to break into the field.
Valve, it seems, is looking to change that.
At Valve's Bellevue, Washington headquarters, a team of student interns are working together to develop an initiative known as Valve Pipeline. Essentially, it's going to function as a website devoted to answering questions that potential developers (and Valve employees) may have about game design.
"There are two main reasons that Valve is creating Pipeline" reads the website. "The first is that we are frequently asked questions by teenagers about the video game industry. "What is it like to work on video games? What should I study? What colleges are best for preparing me? How do I get a job in video games?" Pipeline will be a place where those questions can be discussed."
The initiative, Valve explains, is an experiment borne of the fact that, while the studio has traditionally been a great place to work for more experienced developers, it's not a great place for people who are just starting out.
"Pipeline is an experiment to see if we can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them in the skills and methods necessary to be successful at a company like Valve," it continues. "We want to establish a connection to the world of teenagers that are asking many questions about getting into the gaming industry. We look to answer many of these questions, and are willing to reach out to the community to give them the information they need."
More information on Pipeline is not available at the current juncture, but those of you who are interested can go here to sign up for a newsletter. Further details should be revealed sometime within the next month or so.