Apple is investing in additional VR savvy, with more job postings trickling out of the multinational tech giant’s own internal job site. Although Apple hasn’t left us with many clues as to what they might be working on at their Santa Clara campus skunksworks, the particular position of ‘VR/AR Programmer’ may offer valuable insight into just how important the burgeoning technology is soon to become to the company.
Three of the new job postings listed earlier this week—Game Engineer, App Engineer, and Senior Software Engineer—admittedly sound commonplace for a corporation that not only manufactures a slew of devices, but also maintains its own closed-source operating systems. Digging a little further into the listings however reveals a light peppering of requisite experience in VR.
But where these listings seek candidates to “create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems,” the position of ‘VR/AR Programmer’ clearly requires the applicant to have at least developed and “shipped a VR application, product, or game” and will go on “to develop software and tools that use VR and AR to push the state of the art to enable development of Apple’s next generation of products.” The position’s focus is undeniable.
All four jobs had sequentially been taken down from Apple’s website and already presumed filled by established software gurus, but in a strange turn of events, were all reposted to the site on December 4th, along with a conflicting ‘Posted’ date. Mistakenly removing the postings isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, but all four?
A plausible explanation for this could be that Apple only featured the listings as a professional courtesy to any would-be applicants, meanwhile having a few experienced VR hands already in mind to fill the early leadership positions. It’s an oft-used tactic in the ‘hidden job market’ which is used to gauge the potential talent pool and generate a stack of resumes for consideration in future openings—and considering the imminent launch of Samsung’s Gear VR, it could mean Apple is playing a quicker game of catch-up than we initially thought.
There’s also another variable at play here, which might explain why the job postings reappeared so quickly. Despite the self-serving nature of this next sentence—the media might have been a driving force to reinstate the posts. Although several websites covered the disappearance, the entertainment and technology website Venture Beat actually emailed Apple for clarification on why the posts had gone missing so quickly. No response, of course.
Speculation aside, its good sign to see another company with manufacturing expertise and a global distribution chain take VR seriously. In the meantime though, we’ll be waiting on those “next generation of products,” and hoping they don’t cost as much as an off-contract iPhone 6 Plus.
Note to Apple: You guys might want to list your jobs on the SVVR job board, I’m sure you’ll find a bunch of good candidates.