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2015 Post-Mortem and What's Next...

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Whilst trawling the

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developer journals for inspiration, I stumbled across a post that someone had done as a reflection of what he had achieved from the previous year and what his plan was for 2016. I thought this was an amazing idea so I'm going to do it myself. Hopefully this should give me some motivation to finish things off and also some direction with what I want to learn next. So here goes...

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[color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=arial]2015: Looking Back[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=arial]Game Project[/font][/color]


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Just looking back at my posts from last January I was at that point still developing the in's and out's of my Entity Component System. I had only just implemented Awesomium and was still working on my "Level Editor" for this amazing game I was one day going to make. If I could have given myself some advice It would have been to give up on the Level Editor and the ECS and condense my project down massively. Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way!

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[font=arial]I managed to get the ECS working in the end and I am fairly happy with the implementation as it uses some complex patterns (CRTP, Observer) to achieve what it does. Also I learnt a lot about using templates in C++. [/font]

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[font=arial]The Level Editor and the original game idea I scrapped although that wasn't until June when I decided to get a fresh project and integrate the new ECS into it. I suppose I can put this down to a learning exercise.[/font]

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[font=arial]It was August 8th when I decided to create a "Space Invaders Remake" using the new baseline JBEngine and ECS. Since then this project had come a long way and is now approaching the finishing up and polish stage. I am really impressed with the work I have done on this. Whilst working on this game I have had to re-work/refactor a lot of the physics code in JBEngine, which is something that can now be reused in future projects. [/font]

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[color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=arial]Career and Development[/font][/color]


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I have come a very long way in terms of my career since the beginning of last year! I had just started out at Inspired Gaming and although I knew I had lot's of knowledge about programming, I still felt as though I was a junior developer. ?

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Inspired Gaming

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I went through a big change in terms of adapting to a new codebase after being so used to working with Arden's monster of a codebase. Learning an application's flow and the architecture is something that only comes through practice, and working at Inspired gave me that. Some of the key skills I will take away from Inspired are:

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    [font=arial]Proficiency with Visual Studio[/font]

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    [font=arial]Better Multi-Threading Knowledge[/font]

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    [font=arial]Visualising Program Architecture[/font]

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    [font=arial]Working on a single project through Requirements/Design/Implementation/Test and Deployment[/font]

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    [font=arial]Working closely with Project Managers/StakeHolder and Testers.[/font]

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    [font=arial]Time Management?[/font]

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    [font=arial]Along with the technical skills I have developed much more socially, being able to join a new team and integrate quickly. Joining a new company is difficult but as long as you put in that extra effort at the start to socialise, it makes your job and your life much more enjoyable. I have made some great friends at Inspired and will hopefully be seeing them soon in 2016.[/font]

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    [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=arial]IBM[/font][/color]


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    In June of this year I left Inspired Gaming and joined IBM. At the time I was very fearful of this decision as the role was to work as C Developer rather than C++ which I had been doing in my previous jobs. To me this felt like a step back in terms of gathering skills but I also have always wanted to work for one of the Big Blue's so I went for it. I think having one of the industry giants such as IBM on my CV couldn't hurt either.

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    Whilst working at IBM I have actually only done a small amount C development. Instead I pushed for the opportunity to work on a newly starting project which has required me to use python.

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    [font=arial]I have learnt a lot since being at IBM specifically more about hardware, networking, storage and virtualisation. A lot of the things I have learnt is how much of a nuisance it can be working for a massive corporation. Having company wide decisions pushed on you when it is not the correct decision for your situation. Here is a list of the technical skills I have learned since being at IBM: [/font]

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      [font=arial]Learning to various Linux distributions[/font]

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      [font=arial]ssh'ing onto various machines and having to perform tasks using the command-line only[/font]

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      [font=arial]Using Eclipse[/font]

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      [font=arial]RTC (Rational Team Concert)[/font]

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      [font=arial]python, with Flask, SQLAlchemy and virtual env[/font]

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      [font=arial]Using Virtual Machines[/font]

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      [font=arial]Connecting Hardware/Server Room knowledge[/font]

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      [font=arial]People Management/Project Management skills[/font]

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      [font=arial]Program Design[/font]

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      [font=arial]The list could go on and on! The main piece of work that I have worked on at IBM I have been the lead developer on. This has required me to create a design document, providing a solution that we will then implement. I have also had to give direction to and collaborate with a team of 3-6 other developers to allow them to accomplish what is in the design.[/font]

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      [font=arial]I have once again had to integrate myself into another team, this one being now up to 80 people. This has been fairly easy as the work environment at the IBM Manchester Lab is really friendly. I have already made some great friends and feel as though I am now an integral part of the team.[/font]

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      [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=arial]?Social Life[/font][/color]


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      In terms of my living arrangements I have moved flat and I am going to be moving again shortly. I moved from Manchester's Northern Quarter in February of 2015 to a flat just off Deansgate Locks. This has given me the opportunity to see more of the city. Some great bars for the summer like Duke's 92, Rain Bar, Atlas bar and many amazing restaurants.

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      [font=arial]?For the past year I have been in a relationship with Megan (Megatron). We have had some amazing experiences together already! Going for long weekend breaks to Chester, Grasmere, Windermere. A great holiday in Portugal, going to see Wicked! and a lot of hilarious nights out. I can't wait for the adventures we will be having next year.[/font]

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      In terms of my fitness, whilst being at IBM I've managed to maintain my enthusiasm for going to the gym, and playing squash. I now enjoy playing Table Tennis almost every day at work and playing Football on Monday nights.

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      [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=arial]Conclusion[/font][/color]


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      So all in all this year has been an amazing one for my career, social life, projects and personal development. I realise this post is now pretty long so I think I will leave the "What's Next" part to be a separate post.

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      Happy New Year smile.png

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