Reflection of Programming Skill-

In the first 1/3 of this trimester, we had Anthony as our programming facilitator. Anthony focussed on getting to know us as programmers by giving us small tasks to work on that would show him how much we remember from Scripting 1 and what sort of tricks we have learnt throughout the trimesters. This was very self-revealing when it came to my abilities as a programmer, I had forgotten a lot, but I had also remembered more than I thought I would have, as I am not known for having the greatest of memory recalling.

One major thing I forgot I remembered was Object Pooling. What a great optimisation method that is, and I had totally forgotten that I was taught about the wonders of it 4 trimesters ago. I have used Object Pooling on three different occasions this trimester and believe I will be using them a lot more in the future, way better than instantiating and destroying gameObjects (such as bullets) over and over again, potentially many times a second!

This trimester I actually tried to plan out scripts that I would make, instead of sitting down and just coding until it was bugless. I found writing out what needed to happen and making a UML diagram only slightly helped, I didn’t see any improvement in the development time of the scripts I planned out, it actually slightly made it harder as I could not test out code as I went along, seeing what worked together and what could be improved upon through the testing.

I tried writing out one of the scripts exactly as I planned out in it’s UML diagram, and it was broken as hell. It didn’t make me feel good about my programming ability, because I knew I was better than that without any planning. I either need to get better at planning out my scripts, or I need to incorporate testing time into the planning of the scripts, but then I may as well just continue writing scripts as I wouldn’t need any pre-planning if I am testing things to see if they work together.

I was able to effectively solve problems with other people’s code when they needed help, both within my groups and with other programmers. As I have stated many times in the past, I love helping people out, and if I am helping other people find solutions to problems in code, I am in my perfect happy zone, if it is solved, nirvana!

I have been saying for a while now that I enjoy making tools, and most of the tools that I have made so far are for game designers to use, and you are not left disappointed this trimester either, I made a a level builder tool for Splop. That was a hell of  lot of fun to make, especially because the Splop designers kept asking for more features so I iterated the tool throughout the whole trimester.

I wonder if the Splop designers did that deliberately, just to slightly break up my work load throughout the trimester, if they did consciously plan out and give me these tasks each couple of weeks, then I congratulate them fully, I think I would have gone insane if I were just focussing on the two games purely. Gareth was on Team Splop and I know that he knows I enjoy tinkering with tools development, so I suspect he did it on purpose to some extent.

This is Daniel Jochem, signing out.