• Alexander M. West

A Little About Myself as a Programmer

This blog post is going to be about myself. This isn’t really a development blog but it’s more of a generic blog in case someone wants to get to know me a little bit more. I’m going to talk about how I found myself to be a programmer, why I enjoy it, what I look forward to, and touch on bases of different things along the way.


How I Found Out I Like to Program


This one is kind of simple and to the point. I’ve always enjoyed the technical side of things, i.e, understanding how things work in their baseline. I’ve also always enjoyed video games, so these things interests naturally went hand in hand. I was given the opportunity to take an introductory programming course in high school to learn how things worked and how to make new things work. I've loved programming ever since; it gives me a satisfaction that very few things actually give me.



Why I Enjoy Programming


Programming is all about solving problems. You get a task to create a mechanic or to make a system so that it’s possible to add complexity to the game, or merely fix a bug. You then spend hours and hours doing a combination of research, attempted implementation, actual implementation, a lot of yelling and screaming, and you finally finish what you tasked out to do. It’s done. There’s some indescribable satisfaction that comes from completing any task. When it comes to programming, that indescribable satisfaction is so much greater and so much more powerful than anything else. There’s something about making something that works, something that others can use, or something that others can experience that’s rewarding to me. This feeling isn’t something that is a one off or something that only happens occasionally it happens every single time. The satisfaction gained is also in line with the difficulty of the challenge.


The feeling of making someone else’s job easier and seeing something work is the main reason why I want to specialize in systems and tools. Creating low level systems is satisfying in that I know later on down the line I can do something faster and easier than I’ve done it before and that others could do the same. It is also satisfying because people with less knowledge can work with the systems I create when they might not have been able to do the low level implementation prior.. Similarly, tools also help people and contain the same level of reward for me when creating them.. These systems and tools also help automate the development and production process which in the long run leads to a better game. Abstracting programming for others and seeing others have a better experience because of it is what I love about systems and tools.


Alongside this abstraction there is this idea of putting together puzzle pieces. How to make many complex things work together in a simple way. When trying to add or build upon a core system and trying to figure out how to make what you’re adding work with it and eventually succeeding is a large enjoyment for me.

These are the things that bring me the most joy when I program. These are the things that bring me joy programming in the first place.



What I look Forward to in Class and on the Job


The thing I look forward to most when it comes to programming is learning. I love learning something new or implementing something new that I haven’t before. It expands what I’m able to do and makes me a better programmer. I enjoy it no matter what specialization. The simple things that have the largest impact are the things that have the largest impact and give me the most satisfaction.


For what I look forward to the most when it comes to life is honestly making games. Making something that someone else can play and enjoy and get something out of. Being told that something you make is good and fun and has a lasting impression goes so far. For example, when the first QA results came in for my production 2 game people commented on how the game was cute and they were interested in seeing more. Stuff like that is why I enjoy making games and what I look forward to the most with them.

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