Developer Aspirations

YAPB - Yet Another Programming Blog



January 2010

Blog Schedule Modification/Goals

by Colin Miller, on development, iPhone, Ramblings

I've decided to change the schedule in which I update this blog. I'm finding it difficult to make 3 updates a week and still have something relevant to say. To that effect I'm going to try a schedule of Friday updates. This will give me a week worth of experience to draw upon every post and perhaps will lead me to more on-topic discussions.

With that said I still have a post to make, and make it I shall. Today I'm going to ramble again, but this time about my own personal career and personal goals; my Developer Aspirations if you will.

From the time my family acquired our first computer, a 486 SX 25Mhz beast with 4MB ram, 210MB hard drive, 2x CD-ROM, and 2400 baud modem, I was pretty much captivated. When you spend so much time tinkering and using a thing due to pure enjoyment of discovery, it makes sense to work that thing into your career. For anyone who still wonders what profession to get into, I would highly suggest something that you can enjoy and that you spend time doing anyway.

My overall goal had been, and to an extent I would say still remains, to become a video game programmer. However that dream is not the easiest to achieve due to a very competitive employment market along with my base skill set and experience hasn't reflected that required of the industry. I also am not that big of a fan of 16 hour workdays 7 days a week for 3 month stretches which also plagues that industry. However the independent game industry is actually thriving more than ever now due to the increase availability of embedded devices like the iPhone and the Android OS. Platforms that require by design small, narrow-focused apps that can actually be written by a single person or a small team.

So a renewed focus on embedded devices and high performance applications in restricted resource environments. I have no OpenGL experience so the 3D stuff isn't very obtainable (I'm not the best artist either). It seems like utility applications or gameplay rather than graphic oriented games are the areas I can still dabble.

So I suppose my current development goals are to become more focused on Objective-C and the cocoa APIs. I may also attempt to leverage my free time in making small C or C++ text-based games as a refresher to build my familiarity with the C-based languages and create something simple.

Ideally if I were able to manage the commitment I would dedicate myself to making a small game every week, just to get some code out. That might be a workable goal I can put on my todo list and see if I can't make at least one decent attempt before Spring hits us.

I think as far as current career goes I'd like to focus more on research and scalability. There are some interesting problems that don't seem to have very good solutions. Being able to just identify a problem that needs a solution is a good step to making a useful application or model. I know that our current application does not have a very good data model for scaling beyond a few servers, and it would be good to see a way to create the same application in a distributed way like we have with programs like Git.

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