Developer vs. Good Googler

Scott Hanselman’s reply to developer who asked him the following question:

Some time in my mind sounds come that Is that I am really a developer or just a good Googler. I don’t know what is the answer I am googler or I am developer. Scott Please clear on my mind on this please.

I wonder that sometimes about myself, especially since the jobs I do or the side projects I work on always seem to be at the edge of what I know how to do or what I’ve done in the past. I’ve worked with a lot of extremely smart people over the years, smarter than me, so sometimes the thought that I’m a fraud creeps into my head.

Scott’s suggestions:

  • Remember, you grow when you work outside your comfort zone.
  • Practice. Do Code Katas or problems on Project Euler
  • Program for a day without Googling
  • Think about the problem instead of copying code from Stack Overflow
  • Get involved with others who feel about technology like you do

(via Scott Hanselman)

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NASA Space Colony Artwork

Three space colony studies conducted by NASA Ames Research Center in the 1970s.

Toroidal Colonies

Bernal Spheres

Cylindrical Colonies

An excellent book about these types of space colonies is Gerald K. O’Neill’s  The High Frontier (I still have my original copy).

IMG_0002

(via io9)

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CloudPaint

A browser-based implementation of the original MacPaint.

CloudPaint

Screenshot of the original MacPaint for comparison.

Macpaint

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The Joys of the Craft

In The Mythical Man Month Frederick Brook describes the five rewards that the craft of software development provides to its practitioners.

  1. The sheer joy of making things
  2. The pleasure of making things that are useful to other people
  3. The fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts
  4. The joy of always learning
  5. The delight of working in such a tractable medium

I agree 100%. Every day, despite the setbacks and annoyances, I am so grateful that I work in this field.

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Two Paths to Innovation

My notes from Chris’ talk on innovation in game design and development at Gamelab Barcelona 2015

Gunpowder vs. Atomic Bomb development (0:00)

  • Trial & Error vs. Deductive
  • Practical vs. Theoretical
  • Slow (1000 yrs) vs. Fast (45 yrs, 3 yrs)
  • Incremental vs. Quantum Leap
  • Evolutionary vs. Revolutionary

What science can we use to inspire games?

We play to learn

Mental Modules

  1. Motor
  2. Visual Spatial
  3. Cause & Effect
  4. Language
  5. Social Intelligence

Games today challenge mental modules 1-3. What about 4 and 5?

All of human entertainment is about social intelligence. Interactive storytelling focuses on social intelligence.

Interactive Storytelling’s 5 “Dragons”

When slaying each dragon lean towards art instead of science

  • Faces with emotions & feelings

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within vs. Shrek
– Ability to display expressions and micro-expressions

  • Personality modeling
    • Five Factor Model for real people
      • Open
      • Extraverted
      • Conscientious
      • Stable
      • Agreeable
    • Real people are boring, characters aren’t

  • Language

    • Mirrors reality
    • Use “toy” reality
    • Define simultaneously, word<->algorithm
  • Narrative engine

  • Interactive development environment

Slaying the Five Dragons (37:45)

  • Showed pieces of Storytron, SWAT, and Siboot
  • Chris’ preferred personality model – Good, Honest, Dominating
  • Deikto meta-language used to create language specific to reality. Showed iconic and textual manifestations
  • Scrolled through some narrative engine code (“This is really complicated stuff”)
  • Showed some SWAT editors – Verb, Actor, Scriptalizer
  • Siboot
    • Is not RPG, FPS, strategy wargame, text adventure, tower defense game, etc.
    • The difference is not in what it looks like but in what it does
    • Characters have feelings, they behave like they have feelins
    • Characters respond in dramatically plausible way

Questions & Answers (54:10)

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Git Stash

While working in a branch I wanted to switch back to the master branch to see how a previous implementation worked. When I tried to switch branches with checkout I got a message saying I would lose the changes in my current branch if I switched without committing. The message suggested I commit or stash my changes before switching.

I didn’t want to commit the changes in this branch (because they weren’t working just yet) so I checked out Git’s stash command. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted.

After stashing the changes in the current branch I was able to checkout master, review the code in that branch, and return to the previous branch and my broken code.

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The Law of the Land – Obergefell v. Hodges

The White House is illuminated in celebration after the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House is illuminated in celebration after the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Obergefell v. Hodges (via Supreme Court)

 

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