What was your career journey like? Which software development roles featured along your career path?
Like most jokes, it started in a bar.
Jokes aside, it began when I talked with a couple of friends who worked at a late-stage startup that was looking for programmers. I was going to graduate and figured why not give it a try, I got the job as a Java programmer. At that job I earned a lot of experience doing DevOps work on the plain-old JavaEE stack on Ubuntu servers. 2 years later I felt it was time to move on from that company.
I then worked as a consultant at a bank for 4 months before SVRVIVE Studios called to me to ask if I was interested in joining them. I felt that working in video games, in VR no less, with awesome people, greater responsibility and more freedom than I would be given on a large company was the opportunity of a lifetime. I knew it would haunt me forever if I didn't follow my gut and take this chance.
So I went for it, and it was definitely a very good decision. I've found the niche I want to be in, and I like it here. After 4-5 months of hard work and a released game later, I took the opportunity to become a lead programmer.
How important is it in software development to know multiple coding languages?
Usually you'll have to write software in at least a couple of languages, depending on what you're creating and what software stack you're using. Beyond that, understanding more languages will deepen your understanding of your primary programming language and computers in general. You'll also expand your toolset and be able to solve more and different problems efficiently.
In your experience, which processes work best?
Scrum works very well. I am however personally a fan of the Unix philosophy, where entire programs are modularised into several individual parts that do one thing well, that accept a universal I/O (e.g. text) and that then are strung together to form the whole program.
How did you learn to code?
I got my start in scripting games in Adobe Flash at the age of 14. My mother introduced me to Flash animation around the age of 10. When I heard you could program games with the same software I just had to start tinkering.
I then enrolled in a computer and system science curriculum in university and got exposed to Java programming and immediately fell in love with programming. Creating software that solve real-world problems was empowering to say the least, and it also spurred me to code on my free-time.
How have you seen software development as an industry grow alongside your career?
I've yet to gain enough mileage to see the software industry in general change in any meaningful way. But I've been in the periphery around VR since around 2013 and I can tell you that VR was very little back then. Back then there was only the kickstarter for the Oculus Rift DK1. Fast forward 4 years later and VR has grown exponentially; we have HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift CV1, PSVR, Samsung GearVR, Google Cardboard. Everyone is getting into VR; it's a new industry slated for an explosion soon.
What attracted you to a career in software development?
I tinkered a lot with programming, went to a university program in Computer and System Sciences and realized that this was my jam. I could actually see myself programming day in day out.
What’s the best advice you could offer someone looking to climb the ranks of software development and achieve your role?
Program and solve problems. Tinker and explore. Don't forget however that your network of friends and professionals alike will make or break your career.
By knowing people and fostering warm and friendly connections, you'll have access to opportunities you might not have ever dreamt of.
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