Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fun

Social responsibilities tied to coding are not worth mentioning in a blog, but are a required part of every engineer's career.  We all know that code that is not marketed is not viewed as important, end of story.  Whether it's to your own team, a customers, or an audience at random, someone viewing and working with what we've done is required for it to be useful.  The same can be said for education.  Everyone that is an engineer or writes code at all at some point has to have some form of education as to what it is that they are doing.  What is happening is not the important part, but how we apply this to our work and our productivity.  Attending the most recent Oracle confrence allowed me to view my GUI coding from a new perspective.  I thought they wanted me to work with concepts that they simply did not include in their priority list.  After discussing my problem on engineering forums, I realized my bigger problem was attacking a specific problem for which I had no context to.  These social responsibilities are what lead us in a positive direction.  They help get us moving when we are stuck.  Sometimes, just being visible and improving our education can lead to places we would not have gotten to otherwise.  I've found that sometimes, after being "social" enough, older projects simply seem differnt because they are viewed from another perspective.  This can lead to unforseen breakthroughs, ideas, and much more.  Although nothing fancy, it is something that is a part of the way people work.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Continual Progress

Continual progress is not something that can be claimed so early in the development cycle, but is a concept that can not be overlooked.  After a piece of code has been written, it is a part of a body of work.  A body of work that can be referenced, updated, expanded upon, or simply used as a point of reflection for something even more extroridinary in the future.  For most coders out there, the biggest obstacle to revisiting old work is the mental block of having to "get back" to their old project.  This means finding all the old connections that made the magic happen.  Re-learning all those little "work arounds" that accomplished the task at hand.  These and numerous other obstacles can make a simple task into a much larger task than we'd like to think about.  Writing code that works well with previous designs and styles is that much harder.  Adding code with an updated style might be a bit of a reach, but the point is, a code base is something real.  A code base is something substantial that is worth keeping track of.  Something that can be worked on, but should be viewed as more of a "pleasant" responsibility.  I, the coder, am going to slightly improve the foundation from which I have built my house upon.  Hopefully your efforts will not go unnoticed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Aware

Being aware is the theme for this post.  Getting functionality done.  Thinking of possible user options, and making all the menus to accomodate them.  Progress is a lot like being in shape.  You can't just stop, you have to keep going.  If I decide that my users might want to create save points, then they can.  If they might want to quickly shift between states, I am going to code that.  If I have the time and resources.  Guiding a user down a specific path is a design choice, not something that happens by accident.  There are a lot of differing opinions on this topic, but for our purposes progress will get the job done.  Progress can be a new bug, releasing a status report for marketing, a redesign of a layout or workflow paradigm, or our main goal of expanded functionality.  More code means that style efforts will be enforced, refactoring efforts will eventually take place, and documentation will have to explain what is taking place.  All of this noise increases the positivity of a project.  It generates internal visibility, but most importantly it generates "accomplishments.  Awareness surrounding something that could be important.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Looking Sharp

Putting my logo in the task bar window icon (??? product) is a productive task that was avoided for far too long.  While it may seem insignificant to add a logo to a few projects, cascading changes can be an issue as older code can start to show how out-of-date it is.  I have numerous applications in various states of completion, and it always seems less/more once you get started.  Adding one image to a folder and a few lines to display that image should not be a big deal.  I have to determine how every application is interacting with non-code files and try to minimize any refactoring issues that I might be noticing for some projects I haven't worked with in a while.  If I play my cards right, I can accomplish my task and get enough refactoring done to not have to worry that some areas of my code are less organized than others.  Task completion and rewarding completion with updates, posts, tests, and who knows what other fun stuff is the main focus.  The new logo looks VERY SHARP along side other more notable products that we all recognize (firefox, eclipse, winamp).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Success! (more)

Hot on the success of more portable code; I decided to start listing out larger portions of work that can be modified for regular reuse.  My initial thoughts are, I will start to be able to guide my efforts towards internal systems/frameworks that may or may not be adopted in an external way.  Although there are varying approaches towards this and varying degrees of success, Platform as a Service(PaaS) being one of the more successful models, I feel that volume is my personal key to financial success in this area.  In terms of company success, I would like a best practices list that is always at the top of everyone's priorities.  Doing the small things like remembering to put timers in all of your games to keep things exciting.  Even more simply put, have guidelines for performance measurements built into methods.  Changing/Reusing fonts to be consistent on similar product GUIs, packaging, or marketing campaigns.  Making sure that you logos appear in predictable locations to keep your brand image familiar.  These are the kind of things that get accomplished when you take a little bit of time to record something that you're genuinely excited about.  I'd like to keep this in the back of my mind to see what I can come up with moving forward.  I don't have any intentional plans to create something, but I didn't before either.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Excited about SaaS

My new high score area is going to be featured in every game that I plan to release.  If I do not find a use for this package, I will include it anyway.  Elegant is not the word for what has been created, as elegance will not finish a game loop and provide fully-working demos to show in pitches, hand out at a convention, or played simply as a "fun" way to brainstorm new ideas.  This may be overstating the excitement about having a sense of completion.  There is a to-do list for every project that is a part of the company, along with prioritized action items and recommended courses of action.  Since completing this simple feature, I have been able to port it to three other projects giving them a new sense of liveliness and quite a bit of energy added to my development efforts.  I have a much better idea as to what works and what does not in the realm of re-usable code.  A high score screen needs very little information to work properly.  This isn't something that would "sell" as its own product, but its use within the company is a good sign.  I see a bright future for my development efforts.  Branding, development templates, and customer recognition are all fun side-effects.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Different

After a much-needed vacation, I have returned to be responsibilities feeling refreshed, renewed, and most-importantly, creative.  Determined!  Work is once again being accomplished at a pace that is tollorable.  I think the most important part of a vacation is your ability to see where you were before you left.  What did your work previously look like?  I often notice patterns exhibited in my behavior that may or may not be easy to correct.  Although it's not the end of the world, or even something worth mentioning in a legally-advisible sense, vacations tend to be good for the body and the mind.  We have to be able to respect this part of human nature where we need to recover and heal in some sense from all the work that we've been putting into our careers and lives in general.  This is what people people like to think of as, "just plain good".  Vacations are just plain good.  I'm glad to be back and work and I'm glad to see what path I choose to take in life next.