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UX Frontend Developer
Dan studied Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment Games Design at Qantm College
What's your job about?
What's your background?
I grew up right here in Sydney Australia, although I’ve moved places about seven times! I learnt how to code from a very young age, and I loved playing around with computers and technology. I also taught myself drawing, animation, and how to make games. In high school, my friends would always want to watch my animations and play the games I had created. If you know how to Google, then you can teach yourself anything!
After uni, I worked at World Vision and EB Games while looking for a job in the games industry. I had two internships, one with an American games company, but unfortunately it was hard to find a full-time position in a company in Sydney. A friend from my church who works at IRESS told me about the graduate program here and even though it wasn’t games development, I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because I’ve learnt so much and realised that sometimes, you might not find the job you want, but you end up with a job you need. In my case, the skills I develop here are transferrable across all forms of software, regardless if its games or in finance.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
First of all, I believe that the most important skill one needs to do any job in the world is to learn how to learn. By that I mean, knowing what you don’t know, and finding ways to procure that knowledge. Being a Frontend Developer requires a lot of knowledge of code, software and design, but if you have a can-do attitude, problem-solving skills, a disposition to think outside the box, and a thirst for knowledge, you can definitely learn to become a software developer yourself.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Being a developer can mean a lot of work but if you like solving problems and coming up with creative solutions then it definitely makes it fun. Frontend UX also requires a good eye for detail and a flair for making things look good! My role is like a bridge between coding and designing, and I have the privilege to work with both developers and designers.
What are the limitations of your job?
One major limitation with a project like Prime is we are very much constrained to our client’s demands and time schedule. They decide what they want and when they want it, which ultimately determines the freedom to which we can develop our software. Different clients have different standards so it differs case by case. Sometimes you will need to make something look the way they want it, even if you don’t like it, other times you may be working on a feature which they suddenly decide to scrap.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Picture yourself in 5 years time. Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? What steps can you take now to get there? Use that person to shape yourself today.
- Ask people for their life experiences, especially from older people. Ask what they were doing when they were your age, what mistakes they may have made and what they would have done differently. Knowledge is valuable but experience is invaluable.
- Take care of your health, physically and mentally! Take note of your habits. Learn to actively grow out of bad habits, while cultivating good habits.