This week, I published Virginia Harrison's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:
- Gini's story with games started at a very early age, programming Flash animations and games for the browser. It is interesting to see that symmetry starting in games and creative endeavor, going toward main stack development, and coming back to it years down the line.
- Gini's passion for game development kept their learning and programming all the way through high-school and their studies. But making games as a day job didn't occur to them until later down the line. On the other hand, they realized that making websites was a viable path to continue learning and make a living and went for it. But when their CTO asked them what their dream was, the clearly stated "making games". To which he answered, "be careful what you wish for". It was meant to be!
- The story of Gini interviewing remotely in their pyjamas really brought a smile on my face. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and the rest of us learning what it means to work from home for real.
- Gini's "story of the fake fax" is a great example of "finding the easiest solution possible". It is really a masterpiece of creativity, going for the simplest solution that could possibly work. You have to listen to that one.
- When Gini left Pokidok, the company had grown so much that it felt more like a job and less like the uncomplicated startup they had joined. So they left to pursue their game-dream.
- Gini was very open about one of the biggest problems they encountered: what is fun? The very definition of fun differs from one person to the next and it was hard to find ideas that worked for most of the players. The one way they managed to get out of this circle was to work with simpler mechanics, simpler ideas, and GameJams events! Gini continues to use GameJams to test out mechanics and refuel their own batteries.
- In order to focus on their one big & ambitious project, Gini regularly alternates with smaller short term projects. This also allow them to try out ideas and polish their skills.
- Games are a particularly good medium to explore complex emotions and exploration of societal changes
- Surround yourself with people who are different from you, who behave differently and see the world differently than you. Life is a complicated thing, you are going to need all the experience that you can get, even if it doesn't come from your own life.
- "It's podcast time, time to make a giant pile of Dungeon & Dragon books and put my microphone on it... you know, the usual stuff!"
- "There is a place in all this (formal company stuff), but I don't see myself in it"
- "For the short timeframe of a GameJam, it is a good thing to go with an idea that has a lot of limitations"
Thanks, Virginia for sharing your story with us!
Did you listen to their story?
- What did you learn?
- What are your personal takeaways?
- What did you find particularly interesting?