FAQ: Starting Your Career in Software Development Pt2

You can find part one of this here! Applying for Software Development Jobs How do I stand out on an application? I think this is largely going to depend on where you're applying. Something to consider is that especially with large tech companies, they're getting thousands and thousands of resumes all the time. It can be really competitive to be able to even land an interview so sometimes if the caliber of other applicants is high, it can make it difficult to stand out. That's okay. We don't have control over others, but we do have control over ourselves! We can try a few different things to stand out and help you get started on your software development journey professionally. The following are things I personally would suggest and may not reflect the exact views of my employers (past, present,…

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FAQ: Starting Your Career in Software Development Pt1

Navigating Post Secondary Education for Software Development Do you have any advice regarding university applications? For university, it's been so long since I've had to go through applications that I'm not sure I have really specific advice. I think it's important to know what schools have for prerequisites and really ensure you nail those down. In terms of which school to pick, that's certainly a personal choice. You'll have so many factors to consider including cost, what programs are offered, relocation, proximity to loved ones, etc... As a hiring manager, personally, I am less concerned with WHERE someone went to school versus what they could showcase about what they have learned. I'd also personally suggest checking out schools that offer internships since it's an excellent way to get real experience! This is something that worked really well for me since…

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Ascending to the Next Level – RPG Dev Weekly #2

(You can check out the prior week of RPG development here) Well, so far not so great for getting weekly posts on RPG development! It's probably better for me to aim to do these periodically and summarize the last week or so of work. Fewer commitments that way and it's a bit more realistic for me to achieve. With that said, let's dive into it! Entity Filtering in an RPG Our RPG has had some notion of entity filtering for a long time, but to understand the current state of filtering, it's important to understand the two major sets of entities and components we have: Game Objects + Behaviors: Everything in our RPG game world is represented as a "game object" and the properties/capabilities are captured by components called "behaviors" Definitions + Generator Components: The content for our game is…

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OKRs: First Steps for Crushing Your Objectives and Key Results

At a Glance - What are OKRs? If you've arrived at this post, you've probably heard of OKRs but maybe you're looking for a bit more of an introduction to them. Not to worry! We'll keep this light and practical for getting started. OKRs are a framework for helping define, communicate, and measure progress towards goals. Their intention is to not be specifically top-down, but instead there's goal setting and transparency that works both ways. Objectives, the 'O' in OKRs, are essentially single sentence that communicates what you’re trying to achieve. These should drive the point home at a high level, and there's nothing wrong with making them feel exciting. Key Results, the 'KR' part of OKRs, are the metrics that you will be using to gauge how successful you are to achieving your objective. Usually you group about 3-5…

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TileMap – How To Get ALL The Tiles Effortlessly!

If you're building a 2D game in Unity3D, odds are you've come across the TileMap component. The TileMap is a powerful tool that allows you to create a grid of tiles that you can render your tiles with instead of hand-placing individual game objects with sprites. It has a host of built in functionality that you might otherwise find yourself manually writing, like mapping coordinates to particular cells on a map. And what's even cooler about using a TileMap? You don't need to handroll your own editor to paint tiles! I think I'd pass on having to do that. But have you found yourself in a situation where you want to get all of the painted tiles on a TileMap? You may have found it's not quite as obvious as you'd have hoped! What We Have To Work With On…

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Tests: A Quick Overview on Unit vs Functional Testing

Here's a super quick peek into unit tests compared to functional tests. And full disclaimer here is that depending on your circle of influence, these might be given slightly different names. Try not to dwell on that but instead the comparison and contrast presented! Unit Tests Coded tests that take a white-box visibility approach to exercising and asserting that written code, generally a specific function/method, works as it was designed. Pros: Generally very programmer-focused Very granular coverage (breaks can identify exact lines where an issue occurs) (Should) run extremely quickly Have very little test setup in ideal cases Provide full control (generally via ‘mocking’ dependencies) to exercise very specific logical paths Cons: Generally more challenging to convey coverage to other stakeholders By nature these are brittle and break with refactoring Require sets of design patterns to help ensure tests are…

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Engineering Manager – What’s Expected in the Role?

This is a question that I see get asked all of the time and I figured I'd chime in on my perspective on it. Specifically, this is with the perspective of a software engineering manager in a tech organization. So, what are the primary responsibilities of an engineering manager at a tech company? Well before I dive in, I'll explain my background and then I'll offer up my perspective about the key parts to an engineering manager role. My Background as an Engineering Manager First off, here's full disclosure that I have only been an engineering manager at two different companies. However with that said, I have been an engineering manager at two extremely different types of organizations for just under a decade now. My role at Magnet Forensics as an engineering manager started off as a team-leadership role when…

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Ascending to the Next Level – RPG Dev Weekly #1

As I've been trying to get more YouTube content put together more steadily, one of the themes I'm interested in is doing some behind-the-scenes of the role playing game (RPG) I'm making with some friends in Unity3D. I've found that being able to work on an RPG outside of my regular day job is a really awesome way for me to keep up on my technical skills. I love coding, and the further along I move in my career as an engineering manager, the less time I actually spend writing code myself. I pride myself in being a technical engineering manager, so for me working on this RPG is a great outlet for creativity and practice. I mentioned this in my LinkedIn post here: Persisting Game Objects Across Maps In this video, I focus on one of the challenges the…

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NoesisGUI – The Unity UI Framework That You’ve Never Heard Of!

If you're like me, trying to create user interfaces in general is a challenge. So when it comes to working in tools that you're less familiar with, that challenge basically grows to a level where it's a roadblock. For me, trying to create user interfaces in Unity3D is basically the perfect example of hitting this roadblock! That's not to say the UI tools that are available in Unity3D are bad, but my skill level is essentially reset to zero when working with these tools. Fortunately I came across this little gem called Noesis GUI that enables WPF inside of Unity3D! I plan to do a few updates on this either via YouTube or short blog posts, but NoesisGUI has essentially unlocked my ability to create user interfaces inside of Unity3D. You can find my intro video here, or watch it…

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