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Hiring Unity Developers to Your L&D Team: What to Know

The verdict is in: learning and development (L&D) teams have embraced immersive learning. Organizations use extended reality technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to change employee behavior. And now, extended reality systems like Mercury XRS help L&D teams manage such training efficiently. 

Still, there are processes to refine, including the best way to build AR and VR training. That line of discovery starts with the basics: should an L&D team hire in-house Unity developers?

In this article, we’ll explore what Unity developers do, detail how an L&D team could benefit from hiring them, and list the qualifications they should seek.  

What Do Unity Developers Do? 

Let’s begin here. In essence, Unity is a game engine. It’s used to develop interactive, real-time 3D content. Unity developer jobs require someone to use the platform proficiently to build 3D and 2D experiences.

Despite its prolific standing in gaming and entertainment, Unity has found its place in L&D. While instructional designers steer training projects and ensure they address learning objectives, Unity developers build the experiences. And they aren’t limited to creating augmented reality training and virtual reality training. Unity developers can also enhance your 2D web-based eLearning, outfitting it with top-grade animations and transitions that traditional eLearning authoring tools don’t support.

Why Would You Want Unity Developers? 

If you want to build AR and VR training, working with Unity developers is a necessity. If you’re looking to enhance your eLearning, working with Unity developers is a luxury. The training you focus on impacts your level of commitment to Unity developers, which we’ll explore momentarily. Regardless, either avenue can increase your training’s value. Let’s explore.

AR and VR Training Are Powerful

In case you aren’t familiar with AR and VR training, let’s review the fundamentals of each modern learning solution.

When used strategically, AR and VR training have a profound impact on learning outcomes. In particular, VR training can: 

  • Shorten the time participants need to learn
  • Reduce the number of learner mistakes
  • Boost the amount of knowledge retained
  • Help learners remember information long-term

Working with a talented Unity developer is a critical first step to yielding similar results with your AR and VR training.

What is AR training?

AR allows you to superimpose text, images, video, and 3D models onto the world. In other words, AR adds to — or augments — reality. Two famous examples include Snapchat filters (think dog ears appearing on your face) and Pokémon Go (where gamers use their phones or tablets to catch Pokémon that seemingly appear in front of them).

For example, let’s consider how we could apply AR to auto mechanic training. Learners could focus their phone or tablet on:

  • A real-world 2D inspection checklist, generating a video that walks through the process
  • A real-world A/C compressor, yielding a digital 3D model that learners can disassemble and reassemble
  • A real-world flat surface (such as a parking lot), creating a to-scale 3D model of a car that learners can move around, go within, and venture underneath

What is VR Training?

On the other hand, VR training entails creating an entirely new reality that learners see through the lens of VR headsets. In that way, VR training is a more thoroughly immersive technology than AR, as it takes away your view of the real world and any distractions in it. VR allows for meaningful experiential learning related to soft skills and more complex, sprawling technical skills or processes. 

You could: 

  • Challenge learners to coach frustrated employees
  • Help learners practice stacking and wrapping pallets in a warehouse
  • Help learners practice following safety protocol during an emergency. 

READ MORE: AR vs. VR Training: How to Choose the Best Technology

Engaging eLearning Improves Retention

If your primary goal is to enhance your eLearning, Unity developers can help you. With eLearning, learners get convenience, as they can train on their schedule. 

However, that often means learners are isolated when they take eLearning, and therefore the need for attention-grabbing content is heightened. Unity developers can help you meet that challenge. 

They can make your eLearning more visually captivating, and they can gamify the training if doing so suits the learning objectives. Those efforts ultimately make for more engaging eLearning by stimulating learners visually and challenging them cognitively. In turn, compelling training promotes higher knowledge retention among your learners.

READ MORE: How to Make eLearning More Learner-Centric

Should You Hire a Unity Developer In-House? 

With clarity regarding what a Unity developer does in L&D, you might wonder if you should bring one in-house or work with an outside partner. The final answer is up to you, and it depends on: 

  • What you want a Unity developer to do
  • The number of AR and VR training projects in your pipeline

Before we examine those items, let’s consider the pros and cons of in-house Unity developers. 

Pros of Hiring Unity Developers In-House

In addition to the unique skill set that Unity developers bring, you also benefit from reliability and familiarity. If you need a fast fix on an AR or VR project or need to update training, you have instant access to reliable Unity developers. Additionally, in-house Unity developers are familiar with your company, process, and clients, which allows for smooth project execution.

Cons of Hiring Unity Developers In-House
Because Unity developers do have a rare yet in-demand skill set, they come at a high price. Organizations can plan for a Unity developer salary between $83,000 and $121,000 a year, depending on location and experience. Furthermore, a Unity developer’s work takes time. Built-from-scratch AR and VR projects average three months of development time.

With those pros and cons in mind, let’s return to the contingencies we mentioned.

What’s the Work, and How Much is There?

Do you have a steady yet manageable amount of AR and VR training projects? If so, you’d benefit from hiring in-house Unity developers. The value of the work they produce — combined with their reliability and familiarity — will tremendously exceed their cost. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in hiring Unity developers to work exclusively on enhancing eLearning, that might not be the wisest investment. Your Unity developers’ primary function should be building AR and VR training.

If you have so many AR and VR training projects that you’re losing track of reality (pun intended), you should look to an outside partner. It’ll be more cost-effective than hiring additional Unity developers, and you’ll be able to protect your in-house team from burning out while not sacrificing your training’s quality. 

READ MORE: How to Develop Augmented Reality Training for Your Company

Unity Developer Skills and Experience

If you decide to hire in-house Unity developers, these are critical skills and experiences to seek:

  • Experience building in Unity
  • Experience in an Agile work environment
  • Professional game design experience
  • Ability to work within a structure (not just a hobbyist)
  • Experience following a project plan 
  • Ability to keep clean, concise file structures 
  • Skilled in C# programming and 3D modeling 
  • Ability to solve problems creatively in Unity

As with any creative work, you should ask for a portfolio of professional samples. If you find Unity developers familiar with instructional design or building AR and VR training, that’s all the better! If a developer lacks sufficient experience, place a greater emphasis on formal degrees and certificates. Many Unity developers carry degrees in game design or computer science. They may also be Unity certified or hold similar certifications.

Where to Find Unity Developers

In addition to mainstream, industry-agnostic job sites like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed, you can leverage websites like Unity Connect to discover talent. You can also use Developers For Hire to determine the best site for your job post based on your specific Unity developer needs. The training industry covets Unity developers, and there are plenty available with the skills to contribute.  

Hiring a Partner for Unity Development

If you need to look outside your organization to secure Unity developers for AR and VR training, you’re in luck. There are more than 9,000 Unity development companies on Unity Connect, and there are surely hundreds you can find elsewhere. As with hiring in-house Unity developers, the key is to find the right partner for your organization and training initiatives.

Consider asking:

  • To see their portfolio
  • For pricing information upfront
  • If they have won any awards for their work
  • To see case studies of past projects or a reference list
  • If they have any ratings or reviews

Keep in mind that Unity development partners may supply only the content. Be sure to ask about the logistics of delivering AR and VR training to your learners. You may ask about:

  • AR and VR devices like headsets, tablets, and smartphones
  • Deploying AR and VR training
  • Making updates to such training

Discuss those items with potential partners, as they should be able to help you think through every detail of the project or point you to other helpful companies.

Training Tip: An extended reality system like Mercury XRS helps you streamline your AR and VR training management. Plus, it’s fully compatible with Unity content. 

So, Where Do You Stand on Unity? 

We hope this article helps you come to the right decision for your organization. The value that Unity developers can bring to corporate training is unquestionable. What varies for each company is the best way to go about procuring that work.

Decided you need some extra help with AR and VR training? Start designing your project today!

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