The “Hello World!” feeling!
For people who have never done programming, the very first program you are always instructed to write while learning any language is to print out “Hello World” on the screen. I still remember the first time I wrote the “Hello World” program in Visual Basic in grade 7, and the first time I wrote the same program in PHP in my first year at university. Every time I wrote “Hello World” in any new language, I instantly wanted to learn everything about the language and write complicated programs in it. I would stay up nights writing silly programs just for fun.
This all went really well till I was in University, but then it was time to start my career. Once you get into professional life, you have to pick a specific field and stick to it day in and day out. It is a lot of fun in the beginning when you get to learn new stuff, but when that phase is over, the reality is that you start getting bored doing the same things over and over. At least for me, this was the case, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I consider myself a “Developer” since my second year at University (around 7 years ago). That’s when I took my first freelance project while at University. I told my landlord that I will build a website for him, and he won’t take one months rent as my payment (lol). That’s how I became a “Web Developer”, but my real passion has always been “Mobile Development”, I didn’t have a Mac or an iPhone, so I decided to do Android development, and took every project I could get my hands on and became an “Android Developer” as well.
I started my professional career as a Web Developer, the first year was a lot of fun. I got to write core code for frameworks like CodeIgniter, Magento, and WordPress. But the next year it was simply utilizing the same stuff over and over for different features, and I got bored. Then in the same company, a position for an Android Developer opened up, and I grabbed that opportunity and took the position, but the exact same thing happened, I learned a lot of new stuff at the beginning of each app, and then it became redundant.
Reigniting the “Spark”!
The good thing about my current company is that they give us some time to learn new stuff that interests us, and even give us a bonus if we complete our decided goals. So I thought of utilizing this opportunity to do something I’ve never done before. I’ve always wanted to become a Mobile Game Developer, but have never gotten the opportunity to do so. I did a little research and found out about Corona, a cross-platform 2D gaming framework, so I kept that as the new thing to learn and came up with a realistic goal that I would achieve at any cost. This has been my best decision to date!
So I started off with Corona and practicing with the tutorials, and literally, I felt like a little kid again. Since it is a game, for the first time after high school I was utilizing the physics that I never thought I would use as a Software Engineer. After the “Hello World” app, I made a mini game where there was a balloon and tapping it would simply move it upwards. I was having so much fun, I went beyond the starter tutorials and added functionality to make the balloon bounce, move in random directions, with random speeds to make it look like an actual game, I was simply having a blast, and I could feel my passion for coding becoming alive again, because I didn’t want to stop! Below is a screenshot of the simple game that started all this:
Keeping the “Spark” alive!
My next goal is to build a not too complicated mini-game (keeping it realistic) and put it on the Play Store just for fun. Whether you are a Software Engineer or not, but are forced to do redundant stuff, you can surely relate to everything above. It is important to keep trying new things that interest “YOU”, even if you have to take out just a couple of hours from your busy life, it’s worth it. This will surely reignite the passion you had in the beginning, and remind you of why you love what you do so much! This will also improve the quality of whatever redundant stuff you have to do at your office as your brain will be fresh again. Don’t trust me? Just try it once! *wink*