Well it’s been over a year since my last post but that most certainly hasn’t been from a lack of activity! The only real changed to this site in the last 9 months has been to my title and CV. These could give clues as to what I’ve been up to, but it should be worth a wee post with a general update.
Since my experiences of Dare to be Digital in 2010 where I was somewhat thrust into a programming position with very limited previous experience, I’ve had a niggle that programming is what I wanted to do. Regardless, I stuck at my audio work, continued my Sound Design course and graduated with aims of building enough freelance experience to eventually get an in-house post with a game developer somewhere, hoping my self-taught programming skills could be seen as an added bonus. Unfortunately my aims never seemed to be fulfilled and while people would give encouragement with “follow your dreams” and “don’t give up”, I understood the emptiness of such words when it became hard to pull together enough money to get by. At the end of the summer of 2012, with no full-time job in sight, I decided I wanted to change programming from being an “added bonus” to a qualified skill.
So since September last year I’ve been taking an MSc in Software Development from the University of Glasgow. The course has been structured to be highly intensive and squeeze as much of the most important content from a Software Engineering undergrad as possible into a one year Master programme. This task has been well achieved with the Software Development degree, but it’s been extremely fast paced and has taken up to 65 hours of some weeks since September. They even have to squeeze 130 credits (11 1 20 credit and 10 credit courses) into 2 semesters when most Masters courses only require 120, simply so they can fit all the content in. Needless to say, it’s been a lot of work and may be a part reason for my lack of posts.
So after 9 months of hard-graft that brings me up to today. I can safely say my niggle has grown into an absolute certainty. This is what I should have been doing all along! I found more and more as the course went along that things just seemed to make sense almost instantly. Programming has gone from being an added bonus, to a taught skill to an absolute obsession! I found myself trying to fulfil assignments in obscure and creative ways just as an extra challenge! And to add the icing to the cake, my results came back last week to reveal I’d received A grades for every course I sat bar 1 (B1 for Systems & Networks… alas!) and a GPA of over 19 (86%). This has given me the final confirmation that this is what I should have been doing all along. I’ve not received results like this in my entire life and, more to the point, never have I enjoyed “work” so much!
Part of me wishes my school hadn’t had such an embarrassment of a computing department so I could have realised this sooner in my life, but I honestly think the creative outlook towards designing and building that I’ve achieved through my love for games and audio has been an important part of my overall learning curve. How can people really know exactly what it is they should be doing at the age of 17 anyway? Besides, I still love audio and I still love games. Perhaps developers will see this knowledge as an “added bonus”! 😉
Next on the agenda is applying for one of many potential jobs I’ve already scoped out while firing into my final MSc development project where I’m developing a Glasgow University Campus Maps application for the iPhone. It’s already underway, so watch this space…