The Steam Review

Comment and discussion on Valve Software’s digital communications platform.

More vacancies at Valve

March 8th, 2006 :: Steam updates, Valve :: 8 Responses

Another pair of revealing job placements have been added to Valve’s Jobs page: a smack-talking DRM/Security opening, and an intriguing Web Applications position.

Senior Software Engineer, DRM/Security
Deliver the next generation of digital rights management, anti-piracy and anti-cheat solutions. Help solve some really hard and interesting problems to grow the digital game distribution business and keep the online gaming experience fair and fun for our customers. Numerous bad people all over the world will attack your code, this is your chance to prove you’re smarter than they are.

The DRM elements of Steam haven’t had any interesting developments for some time now. A quick scan-over of the usual places reveals four or five cracked clients running around that allow users to connect to standard Steam servers – but tellingly, not one of them can access servers running VAC. They must be having a great time. Reliable information on VAC itself is proving harder to come by, but going on the contents of the official forums it seems to be doing its job.

The position clearly suggests that the core authentication system is undergoing changes, undoubtedly being upgraded to its Steam 3.0 iteration. As we’ve seen, VAC helps, but the underlying authentication system doesn’t seem (going again on the crackers’ discussions) to have had any major updates for quite some time – VAC being something that merely ‘plugs in’ on top of it. I could always be wrong of course…

Senior Software Engineer, Web Applications

As a senior engineer in charge of web applications and tools, you’ll be part of an extremely motivated and experienced group of people. You will:

  • Work as part of Valve’s core development team, adding web applications and components to our best-of-breed computer games and pioneering e-commerce platform.
  • Regularly ship a variety of products from small internal tools to large-scale web applications used by millions of people per month.
  • Directly and meaningfully impact the experience of those players & customers.


  • Develop an understanding of Valve’s player community and contribute creative web-focused design solutions to improve the experience of using Valve’s products
  • Improve internal visibility of various game-related and Steam-related data
  • Follow-through from project inception through design to detailed completion
  • Iterate on solutions based on internal and external (customer) feedback
  • (further bullet points cut)

What could Valve want from a web application when they have Steam? Displaying data to those who don’t use it might be one answer, as could the republishing of data for inclusion in web pages, perhaps for server stats, personal stats (matchmaking?) or even something similar to the Xbox Live GamerCard. It should certainly be interesting to find out.


8 Responses to this post:

  1. Andrew Timson Says:

    What could Valve want from a web application when they have Steam?

    Remember, much of Steam is a web application. Things like the store, and the My Games list, are web-based. Much of the backend likely is web apps as well.

    So, “web application developer” is probably longhand for “Steam developer”.

  2. Tom Edwards Says:

    I’m pretty certain a web application is one that solely operates from webpages. It certainly is here: they want people with experience in XML, JSP/J2EE and Javascript, AJAX and HTML.

    I don’t think they are bringing someone in specifically for the store, somehow. 😉

  3. Andy Simpson Says:

    Webapps aren’t all websites, Web services come under the heading of webapps too, and they don’t use web pages. They’re like remote function calls.

  4. Ron Says:

    Steam/Valve sucks. Unfortunately all consumers of Valve’s retail games are in the same boat, you can’t get a refund from the site because the game was bought in a store. The game cannot be played even if there are no error messages because their server cannot handle the traffic. What is needed is a class action lawsuit. The only solution is that this company is put out of business.

  5. Tom Edwards Says:

    You can get a refund at the store like any other game. Steam doesn’t affect that. You don’t get a refund from the site because you didn’t buy it at the site.

    If there are no error messages, it means the game is crashing. Steam always produces at least a “game unavailable” message. If there are actually “servers too busy” messages, delete clientregistry.blob from the Steam folder and you’ll get a new connection. The servers aren’t too busy, it’s just a bad network route.

    The ‘only solution’ (if you even come back here to read this) is to use some initiative, instead of relying on others to hold you hand like I just have.

  6. larry stokely Says:

    i will never buy another game that uses steam.bought halflife 2 it will not play. its this steam program,have went the support route,they couldnt seem to get the problem solved.i have gamed for years on and offline and have never had so many problems with a totally sucks.what is wrong with buying a game punching in a keycode and just start playing.this one game is more of a problem than all of the hundreds combined,and u cant even get a refund at the store all they can do is give u another copy of the same pain in the like i did buy doom 3 or call to duty ,load them and play them

  7. teddykan Says:

    I’m also going to stop/boycott buying games that run on Steam. Just bought Team Fortress 2 and went through ages of web connection during installation, at further cost to me on top of the game’s purchase price. And then, once in Steam, it estimates some 2hr before I can play the game as it needs to “update” itself. What kind of crap is this? Doesn’t this sort of anti-piracy measure just encourage some whizzkid to break it and post a hack? It’s so counter-productive and a waste of consumers’ (ie, us) time and money.

  8. Tom Edwards Says:

    The updates you are downloading are a year’s worth of free maps, weapons, gameplay expansions and improvements. Show a little gratitude.

    Also, I do hope you’re aware that TF2 is an online-only multiplayer game.