Something that came up a couple times in private discussions was, how do you find a technical artist. It seems a huge number of job openings are for technical artists.
First question, what do you look for at the senior level? How important is scripting/coding skill compared to experience and non-coding skills. I'm thinking specifically someone younger but with more coding experience than what I often see in lead/senior roles, that is someone who recently made the switch from a Lead position, for example. What do you look for, and how do you look for them?
Second question, what do you look for in junior/mid-level TAs? Do you test them, and if so, what is your test like? What other skills do you look for, what constitutes relevant experience, etc?
Third, where do you look for junior/mid-level TAs? Are you more likely to look in your studio at other disciplines, or hire from the outside? Where do you hire from?
And fourth, how do you train TAs? How much freedom do they have to do what they want to do versus what they may need to do (say, the guy hired for optimizations who may want to write tools)? How fast do you throw junior guys into the higher-level mix of designing and writing tools and pipeline?
With TA being such a hot job, especially at senior level, and that we're probably going to hire a junior TA, I was curious how other people handled this. I got a sample TA test from someone today and thought it'd be useful as well to see how other people are testing them (I know Seth mentioned Bungie tests applicants as well).