GameDevHQ — Changing Lives

Today I am still sharing about my journey but maybe not so much of my daily coding journey. While that is going well, better than I could have imagined over a month ago, I want to take some time to talk about what has made all of this possible.

A little background on me first. A majority of my working career I have primarily worked in the hospitality and tourism industries. As enjoyable as it is at times, I always felt I wanted to do something more, something different, that didn’t rely on the ebb and flow of those industries. I decided I wanted to learn programming because of its versatility and a chance at a very lucrative career that is constantly evolving and I would constantly be challenged.

I started learning on my own, watching tutorial videos, doing exercises, building small projects. It was always slow going due to the time I had to focus on it in between work, taking care of my daughter and keeping the house going. It was really tough trying to retain any knowledge because of the gaps in learning sessions.

When Covid-19 hit, I was on a frantic job search trying to get anything I can because the service industry was dead, the restaurant I was working in closed permanently, and I did not have enough experience or knowledge to land a programming job. I was given a chance by a startup, JobPixel, in an unpaid internship. This is what really did it for me and made me hungry to really want to work as a programmer. The dynamic between my coworkers and the creative energy that moved through us at all times. I learned so much in such a short amount of time and helped the company get to launch before the internship was over. I am proud to have been part of it and have high hopes for what the app will produce.

At the end of the internship, as much as I learned, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot on the team moving forward. They were in need of a more senior developer to scale up the app moving forward. This just fueled the fire beneath me to learn more.

A couple of months later, I saw an ad for a Game Software Developer Intern at GameDeveHQ, and it was a paid position. I said, why not. At that point another no in the books would roll right off, but what a dream it would be to be a Game Developer. The next day I got a call from Jonathan and he hired me on. It turns out they wanted to train me to be an amazing software engineer! The deal was I would work harder than I ever had before and I would have the credentials to be a competitive force in the software engineering industry at the end of the internship. I have done that since day 1.

Right now I am working on my 4th game and have gained more knowledge in the past 5 weeks than I have in my entire time being self taught. The way the courses are put together helped me really grasp how object oriented programming works and how to speak the language. I have become proficient in using the Unity editor and feel I have enough knowledge to apply for a game developer position. The program has an amazing community of students, team leads, as well as the owners of the company, all who do not hesitate to help out when asked. The support I have had through this is priceless. I look forward to my last week and completing my 4th game. I’m hoping funding for the program is renewed and I get the chance to continue my journey with GameDevHQ. Until then..Happy Coding

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