Hatchlings Games

Web Gaming 2.0 Revolution

How to start learning programming – Kuan’s version

Typing this into Google, you definitely will get 32,500,000 hits. This seem to be a very popular question asked by those who wants to start programming. It is asked by those just who found the computer and that programing is awesome, who just step into University with a course relate to computer, and etc. The amount of hits related to the subject is not actually amount of questions but rather of answers. Why does Kuan want to write his own article about it? The reasons I can think of are:

  1. I never wrote one
  2. I didn’t have answer from “How to start learning programming?” to get myself involve in programming learning.
  3. Hope my own experience mean a little different to someone.

First step : LOVE it!

There are many reasons why people want to learn programming (my dear). I met a lot of people (mostly my classmate) who want to learn programming just because they need to pass a college programming subject. Majority of them end up struggling, suffering in the process of learning my dear. When they hate it they ask me why do I so enjoy the process so much. The answer: “Well, you got to love it.”

Programming languages allow us to create anything we want in a computer. Before you start a new programming practice sessions, first create something in your mind that you think is cool, useful or fun to be in your computer. Then start coding. Seriously, sit there and type on the keyboard with what you learned from the language so far. Tweak your brain to come out logical solutions. Calm yourself when you see 100 error when you press “compile”. Whenever you feel short of knowledge or solution, refer to the book or the web. The biggest satisfaction in programming is when you created what you want to create; seeing it magically working. Sooner or later, you will love this language and go on.

When I read my first programming book (on Visual Basic), I was so curious about if else, the for loop and the while loop. Then I start writing weird if else and loop code and get very excited when I first saw them working. Then I start make very simple but weird little programs using the logic I learned from the first few chapters. Reading the entire book and following the exercises in the book will just bore the process, its just like schooling. Think of something you like and make sure it is challenging enough and do it. Man is born to be free. We should create what we want rather then what the book wants. When thereis something that always give what you want, you will start loving it sooner or later.

Don’t stick to what you were told to do: job, homework, assignments. Have a timeout and program something that you want. Let it be your personal time manager, personal website, personal game, personal research. Then share them with your friends, let them appreciate your work. Show them to your good programmer friends and let them guide you. Be proud of it.

After all, mindset is the first thing to setup before you learn anything. If you step in without a willingness to learn and love-to-learn heart, learning just become boring, plain and dead. Love it and enjoy it. Life isn’t fun if we are not enjoying in what we are doing.

To be continue…

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June 21, 2007 Posted by | Game Development, Programming, Tutorial | 2 Comments

Life of a game programmer in Hatchlings

After one and a half year working as a part time game programmer in Hatchlings Games. Kuan finally upgraded to be a full time game programmer! It’s been 2 weeks since I started working full for Quasr without distraction from tedious assignments or boring test papers. These 2 weeks are…Awesome!

It just like my dream job. Hatchlings Games…

1, does not have compulsory morning working time. Programmer working time is from 2pm noon until 12am midnight. Some of the game designers even work overnight in the office so that they can use the early morning time for brainstorming and quiet debates.

2, does not have compulsory fixed attire. I can wear my favourite style – t-shirt + short pant + sandal. Personally, I feel bad about wearing formal. For me, it just decrease work efficiency.

3, does not have bad politics, because Hatchlings is a team :). Quasr earn, we earn. Quasr dead, we FIX!

4, has a harmonious and fun environment. Everyone is passionate about game development, close in age, love Quasr, are friendly, playful, have dinner together, and laugh together… I doubt this is common in the working world out there.

5, Is all about game development. Involving in game development had been my dream since young.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped in the office today.

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Most of the hatchers bring their own laptop (limited space? good, everyone can talk!) I like this feeling, all work together, discuss and yell together.

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This is my space, my 2 years old wife and girl friend’s head phone. Why headphone? Because I need music to steam my brain to think ( not because of the noisy office? no…of cause not…)

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This guy with a soft toy in his hand is Nowing aka Quasr’s God (Because he create it). It’s common to see somebody playing with a toy in the office, since there are many of them (Sponsored by John :P)

 

Anyone felt excited or attracted after reading this? Hatchlings Games are still recruiting 😛


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June 14, 2007 Posted by | Game Development, Hatchlings Games, Job, Programming, Working Environment | 5 Comments

Installing mongrel on Debian / Ubuntu

While installing mongrel on Debian / Ubuntu, you might encounter the following error:

Building native extensions. This could take a while…
extconf.rb:1:in `require’: no such file to load — mkmf (LoadError) from extconf.rb:1

This can be fixed by getting the ruby1.8-dev package using apt-get [replace ruby1.[x] with the version you are using].

sudo apt-get install ruby1.8-dev

Continue installing mongrel, mongrel_cluster, etc.

April 24, 2007 Posted by | Programming, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments

Good Programmer Links

We want to bring in new programmers into Hatchlings Games. It has proven difficult to find good candidates from Malaysia. Most programmers here do not know what makes a good programmer.

To me, a great (not just good) programmer (and the person we are looking to hire) is someone who goes hyperactive when he/she discovers a complex problem that is worth solving (for whatever bigger reason). Although the problem is complex, the good programmer will not settle for a complex solution. He appreciates simplicity. A great programmer will find a simple, elegant and generalized solution to the problem. His codes will be readable, maintainable and extensible.

Martin Fowler in his “refactoring” book discusses the idea of “code smells”. He has a great list of code problems that results in bad smell. A great programmer’s code will not “smell”. A poor programmer’s code will stink.

Here is the most important link for anyone who wants to be a great programmer: How to be a Hacker? by Eric Raymond

Why good programmers are Lazy and Dumb? A good read. Think about this. It speaks about simplicity.

How to be a Programmer? A short, comprehensive, and personal summary by Robert Lead. Very detailed guide to become a Programmer. If you can reproduce this article, you are probably a suitable hire.

Wikipedia entry on Design Patterns. Do not reinvent the wheel. Understand and use design patterns in your work. Design Patterns are the product of good object-oriented design.

Know the difference between object based and object oriented programming. Creating classes for the sake of encapsulation alone is not object-oriented programming.

These are required readings for programmers in Hatchlings Games.

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January 15, 2007 Posted by | Programming | 7 Comments