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Lead Developer - Job description

What is a Lead Developer?

The Lead Developer guides and technically supervises the creation of a video game.

Under the authority of the Director or the Technical Director and in collaboration with the other team leaders (graphics, level design, sound...), he/she takes into account the clients' needs, carries out a technological watch, sets up and participates in the production strategy, pilots the testing phases and makes the necessary arbitrations.

He is responsible for the quality, maintenance and optimization of the code.

He/she supervises the writing of technical documentation. He/she participates in the recruitment of his/her teams and supports their development.

What are the Lead Developer's missions?

Design and framing of an IT development project

  • Analysis of the customer's request and realization of a technical feasibility study to design an IT project
  • Elaboration of the project specifications by analyzing the risks and the technical and budgetary constraints
  • Presentation of a prototype of the envisaged solution to the customer, by arguing the choices made
  • Allocation of technical and human resources in accordance with the specifications while respecting the balance
  • Realization of the supervision of the project by being the internal and external interface

Definition of the technical strategy of an IT development project

  • Realization of a watch in order to identify the technological evolutions to implement the technical orientations
  • Definition of the project's orientations by carrying out a study of the technical positioning: technologies involved (VR, AR, simulation), qualification of the technological environment
  • Proposal and follow-up of the acquisition of operating licenses (software, hardware) to integrate the latest versions into the IT project

Management of the development of an IT project

  • Supervision of the development of an IT project to meet the specifications
  • Control of all resources assigned to the project

Management of the development teams of an IT project

  • Supervision and animation of the production teams by communicating on the project and its objectives
  • Monitoring the development of the skills of the members of the team by conducting annual evaluation interviews and by validating technical training to help them progress
  • Identify the skills needed to carry out the project and participate in the recruitment process, by preparing technical tests and the interview process
  • Welcoming and integrating new employees by ensuring that suitable equipment is available and that the necessary adjustments are made for people with disabilities

Validation of the quality of an IT development project

  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of IT project processes by ensuring compliance with technical specifications
  • Organization of tests and implementation of error correction by his/her team
  • Supervision of the writing of the project's technical documentation (specifications, data structure, communication, between modules, etc.) in order to guarantee traceability and updating
  • Suggesting areas of improvement to resolve malfunctions and anomalies
  • Management of technical support activities to ensure maintenance and customer care
  • Supervision of training activities for future users of the developed project
Twin Cores

Twin Cores

Graduation project | Class 2022

Hide the Corpse

Hide the Corpse

Graduation project | Class 2022

Who are the main contacts for the Lead Developer?

The Lead Developer can interact internally or externally with :

  • Lead Game Artist
  • Lead Level Designer
  • Lead Game Designer
  • Producer
  • Production Director
  • Technical Director
  • His team of developers (gameplay developer, engine developer, specialized developer)
  • Service providers (hosting, development)

What are the other titles for the Lead Developer position?

Job titles may vary from company to company, but they all imply a leadership role on the software development team and development expertise.

Proposed job titles include the term "programmer" or "developer", combined with technical expertise
such as:

  • a programming language: C++, OpenGL, Python, C#
  • an engine: Unity, Unreal Engine
  • a platform: iOS, Android
  • a specialty: Tools, 3D rendering, VR, AI

There are also some "Engineer" titles such as "Design and Development Engineer" or "Development Engineer".

Type of jobs available:

  • Gameplay Developer / Rendering / Tools / Engine / C++
  • Lead Developer
  • Lead Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Graphic Engineer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • IT Engineere
  • Technical Director
Game Story

Game Story

Stéphane PONTADIT, Game Programmer on the game « Komrad »

Game Story

Game Story

Ilyes Ouhabi : Game Programmer on the game "Super Chicken Catchers"

Game Story

Game Story

Hugo Nadellec : Game Programmer on the game "Deprecated"

Which training to become a Lead Developer?

ISART's Game Programming program, offered in Paris or Montreal (5 years), is accessible after high school, outside of the Parcoursup program.

The program includes a solid scientific foundation, as in an engineering program, and allows students to acquire technical and scientific expertise related to video games:

  • Mastery of production pipelines, technologies and issues in the digital and video game industry, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, big data
  • Improvement on specific subjects such as physical simulation programming

As well as mastering cross-disciplinary skills: basic science modules, specialty courses, humanities, introduction to research.

Students apply their knowledge through numerous projects, to be developed alone or in inter-curricular teams. They learn to make production choices, find solutions, manage deadlines and stress, and communicate effectively.

Through teamwork, they develop a good knowledge of other production professions (game designer, game artist, music & sound designer, producer) and discover their constraints.

The mandatory internship or work-study periods allow students to develop their first concrete professional experience, explore various career options, experience different professional environments and work on different projects (independent games, AAA, platforms...).

Learn more about how to get into the school and the Game Programming program (post high school diploma) on the Admission page.

What skills are required to become a Lead Developer?

The Lead Developer's activities give him a hybrid profile.

Both a coach and a manager, he or she is also a technical expert in the technologies used: programming languages (C, C++, C#, Python, etc.), software (Unity, Unreal Engine, Visual Studio, etc.), computer environments (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.), and game resources within the framework of a video game project (3D models, animations, interfaces, visual effects, audio, etc.).

His/her missions involve an excellent understanding of the technologies and issues of the digital industry and the challenges related to virtual reality, artificial intelligence and big data.

The Lead Developer job also involves skills in :

  • Project management: setting deadlines, defining priorities, monitoring progress, solving problems.
  • Communication: ability to communicate clearly and effectively with team leaders, teams, clients, service providers, to convey complex ideas in a simple and understandable way.
  • Ability to solve complex problems.


Game Programming master's

Nicolas FONTES

Nicolas FONTES

Alumni | Game Programming



Alumni | Game Programming


What are the career paths for a Lead Developer?

After several years, the Lead Developer can become senior or develop his professional career towards the following professions:

  • Technical Director

  • Technology Consultant

  • Founder

  • Executive Producer

Define and oversee the company's technology, lead development teams, ensure projects are up to standard, create the necessary tools and functionality.

Provide advice on technology solutions to be implemented, system architecture and development best practices.

Create his own video game studio, his own software development business, using his experience as a Lead Developer to lead a team of developers and to manage projects.

Ensure the development strategy of the studio and projects







What are the most interesting business sectors for a Lead Developer?

The role of Lead Developer is important in many areas of activity where companies depend heavily on computer systems and software for their operations. They can work in many public or private sectors and in structures of all sizes.

In the video game industry, they work in development studios. They can also work in companies that produce games and can act as service providers for other companies.

The IT development expert can work in all types of companies operating in the digital sector, covering various fields such as mobile, Big Data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and augmented reality.

Among the most interesting sectors of activity for a lead developer are video games and real-time simulation.

Many other fields are looking for developers such as health, banking, insurance, energy...

How to become a Lead Developer?

  • Obtain the Game Programming diploma from the ISART school in Paris or Montreal - Lead Developer”
  • Get a job as a Developer or Programmer to start your professional career
  • Develop your professional network to make yourself known and create opportunities
  • Keep abreast of the latest trends
  • Develop skills in communication, conflict resolution, decision making and project leadership/management

More information on the Game Programming admission exam (in the 1st or 3rd year of the Bachelor's program, depending on test results), on the Admissions page.

Professional testimonials

Amandine DOBROWOLSKI | Performance & Compensation Specialist | UBISOFT


The strengths of ISART students are the training, the corporate experience and the projects!"

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Anne DEVOUASSOUX | Executive Producer | KYLOTONN


"I was impressed by the quality of finish of the projects I was able to test. ISART Digital students show true technical and creative mastery. The quality of finish on the work is professional level."

Cover_Avis Pros_Kylotoon