I taught myself to code in (or around) 2004 because I wanted my Neopets profile to play music - and I haven't looked back.
After graduating from college in 2014 and accepting the first job I was offered, I landed a job I actually liked in 2017. I started working as a FE Solutions Developer/Consultant with various clients across the Southeast USA.
Beginning in 2018, I started taking some online courses on game development and worked with a colleague to refine these skills. I chose game development initially for one reason - games are fun.
Note: There are developers out there who find immense joy in building complex systems with tons of integrations to solve a problem. These developers have incredibly valid interests and are no less impressive in my mind...but I am not one of them.
I wanted to challenge myself to learn something new, but I also wanted my new skills to produce something accessible for my friends and family who aren't as technically gifted. Games can be incredibly simple to play while still challenging to create.
As I learned more, I realized there are a number of reasons game development skills make sense for developers outside of the freelance and game dev environments:
- Almost everyone plays games so it's a great way to expand into new markets
- Businesses are taking notice and workplace gamification is ramping up
- Game development is still code and any practice makes you better
Today, I am building games for clients and for fun. I've held trainings for my team on game development technologies like Unity and established myself as a reliable source of knowledge - and I get paid to
play games test software at work.