Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please contact our Academy with your question.
Chronos Global Academy has evangelized immersive tech and pioneered Virtual and Augmented Reality even before we launched as a company in 2015. We have given demos to several thousands of people. We were also the first organization in the world to offer a successful VR/AR program to the general public. In the process of interacting with people, we have heard a wide variety of questions about VR/AR. Here we list the questions which we think are most relevant.
Both VR and AR are experiential, which is one aspect that makes them so powerful. You must try each one for yourself.
We have shared VR and AR with thousands of people, and we can never tell ahead of time which medium a person will prefer. People tend to prefer one over the other, and sometimes people love VR and don’t find anything remarkable about AR. Other times people try AR claim they like it better than VR.
In truth, one isn’t better than the other. In some ways they are the same, and in other ways each serves a different purpose. VR is geared more towards entertainment and AR towards enterprise applications. Having said that, VR absolutely can be used for training, education, and even enterprise applications. Similary, AR can be and is used for entertainment. There are some pretty amazing games available for platforms like Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap.
The dangers of VR are the dangers that exist with any medium or device. TV can be considered dangerous, for example, depending on what you watch, how much, and how you look at it. And then there are people who watch TV all day and week long, and don’t find it detrimental or dangerous. It’s up to each person to decide what is good and appropriate for themselves (in terms of content and quantity), and their children. The same can be said of smartphones.
When it comes to children, our Academy is a lot more mindful. We are very selective of the content that we share not only with children, but adults as well. We are an educational organization, and so we focus on content that is quality and done in good taste.
Young children in particular, are more likely to be scared of a simulation – not knowing that it isn’t real. I do not recommend letting a young child play a zombie game or even first-person shooter. Having said that, there are people that do, much like there are parents who would hand a gun toy to a child and not see any problem with it. We would never do that, and we as mindful of virtual content as we are of anything physical. Once something enters your mind it cannot be removed, so it’s important to monitor the games and experiences that children are playing.
When it comes to our program for youth, we have focused on teaching students 3D modeling, so they are not doing any VR during the sessions. We will add weekend sessions that are extra-curricular activities for those who want to do VR. We recommend to parents that they come with their children during those sessions.
The answer is no. No knowledge of computer programming is required for you to become a VR developer.
Having said that, it’s helpful to have basic knowledge of C# programming before you take our VR certification course. It’s for this reason that we have people apply for our certification course first. When they apply, we determine what their knowledge is and if it’s sufficient for them to succeed in the 3-day intensive certification course. If they don’t have the necessary skills, then we let them know where they can get this basic knowledge quickly. We are currently developing a course that will teach basic programming so that students can make the most of the certification course.
I’d like to explain a misconception that exists in the VR/AR industry. We use the term VR developer, but a more appropriate term is VR designer. When working with Unreal Engine (which we have experience in), the person can use blueprints for creating the logic of a game or app without the need to write any code (UE4 is C++ based). When using the Unity physics engine, the person is required to write C# scripts. The coding is minimal, but a basic knowledge is necessary – plus basic knowledge of programming is super helpful and something I think everyone should have even if they are not a developer.
When creating a VR or AR experience, you are more focused on the architecture of the app/experience: creating a 3-dimensional world, deciding which assets to use, incorporating mechanics for interaction with the world and objects. This aspect makes you more a designer than a developer in the sense that your job is not to be looking at or writing code. Your job is to understand a game engine (which does most of the heavy lifting) so you can design the game or experience that you envision.
A person cannot become a developer in 3 days. What they get in 3-days is a great deal of curated knowledge for development, and they learn skills that reportedly have saved people 6 months to a year of learning VR development on their own.
We can save people time by guiding them through a proven process of learning, and making it so they can gain the necessary skills in record time. We would train people even faster if we could, and we try. Once students learn the fundamental skills for development, they must keep practicing. Over time they will become so good and competent, that they then can be considered a developer.
Learning VR/AR development is similar to learning a new language, or how to play an instrument. You cannot become a musician in 3 days. I also would not recommend trusting a program that claims you can become fluent in a foreign language in 3 days. What you can do in 3-days, however, is to immerse yourself in an intensive program through which you start training your mind on a new skill. But like any trade, or sport, or even a hobby, to become really good at it you must practice a lot; ideally every single day.
What we provide students, besides the foundation knowledge which allows them to build apps and experiences of their own, is a certification that shows they have learned the foundational elements that a VR developer needs to know.
In addition to a proven method of teaching VR/AR development in record time, our Academy has a VR/AR lab in Downtown Seattle which is a great environment for students to make fast progress. The atmosphere in our lab is conducive to production, collaboration, tutoring, and instruction.
Students not only have access to valuable knowledge that is otherwise hard to acquire, but they also get to be part of a group of like-minded people when they take our course or make use of the lab. Students often make friendships this way and end up talking about their projects and ideas with each other.
Plus the lab has all of the equipment that a person needs for development. Some people aren’t mentally or financially ready to make the investment in hardware that is necessary for doing VR/AR development. By using our lab first, they get acquainted with the different software and hardware required, which helps them make a decision. Our lab has a variety of high-end VR and AR headsets which students can use and experiment with, and all of the software one needs for development.
This is the case with many people. We recommend in that case that you take our CGA VR/AR Development 101 course. That course is introductory, and it lasts only 1 day. It gives you a great overview of what is required to develop for VR and AR, the equipment that exists on the market, and it has a lot of high-level information that will bring anyone up-to-speed in the industry very quickly.
If after that you decide that VR or AR is for you, then you can take the next course for development which is the CGA Unity Foundations. That course will make certify you as a VR developer. If you want to go into AR development, then that course is a pre-requisite before you can take an AR course offered by our Academy.
If you take the intro course and decide that VR/AR development is not for you, then your investment was very minimal in terms of time and money – and hopefully very valuable nonetheless.
We recommend the intro course for people who aren’t sure if they are ready to go into VR/AR development because the next [certification] course requires a more serious commitment of time, and it’s an intensive course.
Can anyone become a VR or AR developer? What if the person doesn't have an IT or programming background?
Anybody can become a VR or AR developer if they put their mind to it.
For some people it will be harder than for other people. As mentioned in the previous answer, it takes at least one year for an ideal candidate to become a VR developer. If they have a condition that is less than ideal, say, a job and/or family that consume a lot of their time. Then that person will need to be more focused and discipline given they have less time available to practice VR development. It may take them more time, but they can still do it. One key ingredient to learning anything well is consistency. It certainly helps when you have great mentoring and the ideal environment with the proper tools.
It’s the design of our programs to make it possible for anyone to get into the VR/AR industry. We know it’s possible, and it takes more time for people who do not have a background in computers, or who the propensity to do it. Again, that’s true for anything you do. If you were super tall as a child, people ask if you were going to become a basketball player. As a tall person, you certainly have a propensity to become a basketball player. But being tall does not make you a basketball player by default. Similarly, there are short players who are great at basketball or other sports. What makes them great? How much they practice and apply themselves is one important aspect. And passion is something we cannot teach: passion is a natural thing that people either have for something or they don’t. You can discover passion in someone (or yourself), but you cannot create it or fake it.
We have trained people with no background in the computer industry. It’s a lot more work on both the instructors and students, and it takes a lot more time. And it can be done. I say this because have done it before. Of course it’s easier to work with people that already have some knowledge and practice, and/or the propensity to succeed as a VR/AR developer.
That depends on the person, of course. I’d rather answer the question “how long does it take to create a VR developer when you have the ideal candidate?”, which is a similar question.
The ideal candidate is someone who is very dedicated, works hard, and applies themselves in learning and practicing what they learn.
The answer for me is one year. 365 days. I have seen it first-hand. But it’s not something that everyone can do. The person must have a number of characteristics, which include being intelligent, highly-dedicated, and disciplined.
We get this question a lot. Many people tell us they would be willing to pay a lot more money for our courses if we could guarantee them a job at the end.
No, we can’t promise or guarantee anyone a job. And that’s for a number of reasons that I’d like to explain below. What we can do is connect them with jobs that we know exist. We work with some staffing agencies in order to connect our students with jobs in the VR/AR industry, but we never guarantee student a job.
First, no one can really guarantee you a job. When a company offers you a job it involves factors that go beyond just having the skillset for the position which you are applying. Companies will judge you on a number of other things, including your character, attitude, references, etc. In many cases companies will even judge candidates on aspects they are not supposed to, such as age, ethnicity, appearance, etc. For this reason alone we couldn’t honestly promise anyone a job.
Second, the VR industry is still small as we approach year 2020. The number of positions for jobs like web development and mobile development is still astronomically higher when compared to jobs available in the VR industry.
Having said that, do not be discouraged. I do believe there are bigger opportunities with a growing industry then there are with others. The market for mobile apps is pretty saturated today. The growth in users of mobile devices is linked to the growth of world population. VR/AR is still an untapped market, and that’s where the opportunity is. But the person needs to have the mind and the means to invest in a new career before the jobs appear in mass. If both happen as we predict, then for a time there will be a lot more jobs in VR/AR than there will be qualified candidates. And that is a fantastic place to be if you have the skills for doing VR/AR development: that’s when multiple companies are calling you everyday rather than your knocking on their door and having to compete with thousands of other candidates for one single job.
No. All of the projects and work that students create we consider Intellectual Property, which belongs to the students. We consider it unethical to have students pay for tuition and then not have ownership of the projects they create.
When people come our way and become students, they often have a project in mind. The courses we teach offer them a lot of valuable knowledge for them to accomplish their project. Students likely will not have time to complete a project of their own during an intensive course. That’s why we make our VR/AR lab available to students, through a monthly membership. All of the courses we offer and lab membership are very inexpensive. We try to reduce the cost of entry to VR/AR development as much as possible in order to maximize the number of people who will enter the industry. Despite the low cost of everything we offer, we still think that students projects should belong to them, that is, the author should own their work.
We have several graduates who are living their dream. We have former students that are working for the the VR company of their dream. One of our instructors went to work for Tesla Motor doing VR work. We have former students who have formed their own VR company. Others have spearheaded a VR/AR department inside their big company or firm. We have students who have gotten a promotion at work because they gained the skills to create VR solutions.
We have many stories, and I prefer not to brag about them. We are here to open doors for people, give them the tools that will make them succeed, and connect them with opportunities. But the success belongs to them. All of the people who have been through our program and are rock star have similar traits of being dedicated, intelligent, and hard workers.
Some people report getting nauseated from doing VR. For the most part, the issue of motion sickness has been solved by a combination of high-frame rate (FPS), best practices for development, and the sophisticated hardware that is available today.
That said, some people are more susceptible to motion sickness than others. In the same way that some people are more prone to being sea sick when going on a boat ride.
All in all, people’s brain will adapt to VR with practice. We recommend taking breaks and doing longer sessions as you feel comfortable. If you’ve never tried VR or AR, we invite you to come to our HoloLab and do so. Book a VR/AR experience or purchase a Hololab membership through this link.