Hey Corrinne thanks for the opportunity to ask you a question. Also Hi from Twitter (JamboGT).
I am currently at University where I am studying C++ programming, game design and game system architecture as well as a few other related modules. What I want to ask you is what extra things should I take onboard myself to learn that would help me in regard
to the industry and would help me stand out from other prospective games programmers.
It's a given but worth restating: Work on an independent games project, bonus points if it's in a team. Ensure you complete the project to a publishable state and include it in a 'demo reel' to potential employers, they're always interested in seeing what
their new hires are capable of. Always do something fun and original, no-one wants to see yet another FPS or RPG. Using pre-made middleware (like Gamebryo or Torque) is acceptable but obviously "Game makers" are right-out because they involve little
actual programming. If you're going in for games engine development then show off your skills by building your own engine without any middleware assistance, that'll demonstrate you understand how things work so well you can do it yourself.
If you're thinking of getting into console games development I strongly suggest getting into the homebrew scene. Whilst Microsoft apologetics would advocate XNA, in reality very few games are made using the Managed framework and you'd get far more useful
practical experience by using leaked or otherwise illicit homebrew techniques for the Wii or Xbox. A friend of mine got started doing homebrew for the Nintendo DS and ended up getting hired by an indie Nintendo developer and earns a
very nice salary despite being only 22.