London Metropolitan University. Digital Toybox 2016

Every year I get an invite to Digital Toybox the end of year London Met undergraduate show hosted by the fabulous Fiona French.  This has been the first time I have been able to go for a number of years. The quality has improved as the has the variety of games. Board games, 3d printing, robots as well as animation and game tech.

The stuff that inspired me to get back to my own digital toybox included

  • environmental robotic cars
  • gameboy retro games
  • 3d printing or lightsaber for the lightsaber academy

London Metropolitan University. Digital Toybox.

Global Games Jam 2016

Fiona French Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University invited me to her Games Jam last weekend at the Accelerator in Shoreditch. I did no prior research on what Games Jam might be but signed up as Fiona and I have been friends for a long time (having done our masters degree together), her annual graduation exhibition is always fascinating and we hadn’t hung out in ages.

It turns out that Games Jam is a day or weekend hackathon of game developers who plan, design, and create either a digital or board game. Global Games Jam is an annual well sponsored event with slick videos and easy to use website. This year the theme was Ritual and after deciding not to go for a religious theme with opted to focus on clown’s and their rituals.

I was worried that we would be coding all day and night, drinking and eating junk and I would have to dust down some recursive case statements that I hadn’t used for years. All these things happened. In addition I found myself in a room where I had lots of connections to the participants, met new talented people, learnt enough Unity to move a non-player character (NPC) on screen, debugged some painful mesh problems in Maya, was caught on my first twitch.tv stream and played games with Fiona’s kids (who also game tested London 2012 mascots site for me). And I was allowed to go home and sleep each night even if no one else did.

The ability to not need sleep created a fun little game called A Clowny Day.

Tools like Unity are amazing but so complicated the kudos has to go to the programmers and artists. A lot of fun worth checking out next year.

Why Hinglish is the most powerful programming language you can learn

“Ban everyone from speaking hindi in the office”, was the sweeping advice I was given by a fellow Brit upon moving to Delhi. We were both leading large Gurgoan based teams for London headquartered companies and were discussing how hard it was to order a sugar free tea…

IMG_1343.JPGAs a developer you might learn a few programming languages before specialising in one at work. As a British programmer you might find yourself swapping the union jack for a white flag while you diligently take the u out of colour in your css, but spare a thought for our co-workers in South Asia or Ukraine or Indonesia or anywhere you have outsourced you latest coding project. Who’s English are we using to code in anyway ?

The “ugly american programmer” would say its his English. His name is Jeff Atwood and he created Stack Exchange. Atwood says its simple pragmatism for us to use English as the de-facto standard language. Is he right ? Or will it actually be Engrish or Chinglish ? I however, conscious that India will soon have more developers than USA am willing to place a bet on Hinglish.
Continue reading “Why Hinglish is the most powerful programming language you can learn”

How to Attempt a Guinness World Record

On Saturday 13 June, The British Computing Society Women brought together 1093 people across 30 sites in the UK to attempt a Guinness World Record and promoted it as an Appathon. This is what I learnt;

Not getting your first choice can be good.

I signed up to the challenge late. Of course I did. So I ended up at The Crystal one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. Located in east London its somewhere I had never been before. They kindly threw open their doors to their cities exhibition which was fun.


Kids are programmingProgramming Class

With so many articles about skills shortage in the industry, to find myself in a room of kids and their parents who knew tons about programming, lifted my spirits.

I love programming

I had forgotten how much I loved this stuff. For the second time this year BCS had taught me a programming language and boy am I delighted. Continue reading “How to Attempt a Guinness World Record”

The Delivery Conference 2015

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London, UK. Four things that caught my attention today…

 

Tech Adventure Night – British Computing Society London Central

Being British is ‘Great’. After all its the home of computing with Alan Turing, Raspberry Pi and my Dad. Technology-is-Great-Britain

I thought Britain might be the home of Knitting but Wiki tells me, it was Egypt. Not only that, at a recently technology event I learnt that the classic form of British knitting I was taught as a kid, was inadequate.

The event was the annual British Computing Society London Central hosted Tech Adventure Night and I went because it was hosted by the wonderful Dr Sue Black.

Continue reading “Tech Adventure Night – British Computing Society London Central”