Meet Jack – from Deamr

14th June 2017
Jack_QATester_Dreamr_2017 (1)

                                           Meet Jack from Dreamr in Manchester

My tech Journey started when I was only three

I remember my first PC, not so much the make, but I remember it ran on Windows DOS. I remember the commands and needing to navigate to the directory in order to play a game. Back then I was three years of age and my games were primarily titles such as Doom, Star Wars: Dark Forces, Skunny the Squirrel and Word Rescue.

I suppose when I look back it was the gaming side of things that truly fuelled my interest in coding and PCs in general. It was, to me, a magical portal into another world and over time my interest grew and my skills steadily improved. Of course, there was the one incident where I had managed to delete everything off the PC apart from the game I was playing. Even today I don’t quite know how I managed that!

 

Maybe this year during National Coding Week, you can help inspire others

Playing with Robots

Later, in school, we had a robot. It was a small thing that would trundle along the floor on command. Today it would be seen as basic but to a group of 6-8 year olds it was true innovation (not that we knew the implications of what such a word meant of course). Our robot would respond to positions based upon commands input into it. Only simple commands such as “Rotate left 90 degrees, move forward, stop, rotate right 45 degrees.” Back then, it was great fun, and our teacher invited the more enthusiastic of us back during break times to be allowed to continue our ‘play time’ with the robot. I was hooked.

Living the dream(r)

 

Dreamr Logo

I currently work in Manchester as a lead Quality Assurance tester at Dreamr. It is a role within the world of apps and creation that I am settling into quite nicely. My love of video games helped me enormously. I first started testing Xbox One games in my first official testing role. It was exciting, and exhausting, and I quickly learned that there was a lot of work that went into the life cycle of the very things I grew up loving. The design, the development, the testing, everything. It was both exhilarating and terrifying. It wasn’t until my next role, however, that I was introduced to coding and the love/hate relationship that would come with it.

My new role led me to working with the dev team directly. Oddly, there was a barrier of sorts between testers and developers. Over time, I understood why. Developers create. They weave electronic magic through fingertips and bring actual things into existence. Testers, on the other hand, they are the destroyers. Dramatic perhaps, but it was this duality that the two teams often struggled with. In order for a sword to truly be a piece of beauty, it has to be forged, beaten into shape.

The intentions are pure but on occasion, sparks fly as teams try to make the best possible product for the public; In the case of devs and testers, this happened frequently. The teams were never unfriendly, but there can be  an underlying misunderstanding. Testers want to find issues and improve the product. In order to do that they need to break it. Developers create code, sometimes code they love, and then they have to watch as it is picked apart.

It was fascinating to see such binary oppositions working in tandem. And over time, I developed friendships with the team. Through my testing, I began to equate certain issues to probable causes. My dear friend, who at the time worked as Lead coder at our company, began to use terms such as “an array being out of bounds”, when explaining what the issue had been and how it had been fixed.

Of course, from that point, I couldn’t sit still. I needed to know, to learn the other side of what I had already learned. I had been the hammer and now I wanted to be the sword.


I’ve always believed that it is better to believe that you know nothing ( learning-wise). I think it opens up your mind and allows an easier learning experience as your views are not narrowed by you believing that you ‘know’ something. With this in mind, I approached the Developer manager and asked what I would need to do to become a dev.

Learning to Code

Obviously, the answer was “learn to code”. I knew that much already, but there are many, many languages and I wanted to pick carefully to start with. I learned that the products that were made in our company were through C++. After some investigation, I found out two truths. That C++ is one of the older languages, and has been the origin from which many newer languages have sprung from, and that C++ was notoriously difficult to learn.

So, naturally, I wanted to learn C++. Tackling difficult things first is a preferable learning method for me. My friend offered to help me learn. Even now, I see him every Thursday for our ‘lessons’.

Cementing my love for Code

I’m impatient for the time when I can call myself a proficient coder and not simply a bumbling beginner

It is a little trite perhaps, but there were three moments that cemented my love for coding:

1) Writing “hello World” and seeing it display in front of me, was a wonderful feeling
2) Realising why C++ was called ++ made me extremely happy (to the amusement of my coding friends who must have thought I was a child)
3) The capability behind coding. What can be done with it, how it will help future endeavours for humanity and the problems it can solve.

I’m impatient for the time when I can call myself a proficient coder and not simply a bumbling beginner, but in the meantime as National Coding Week draws near, I invite you to reflect on your past and consider whether there was a moment when you too may have been inspired to start your coding journey. Maybe this year during National Coding Week, you can help inspire others too.

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
string ArticleEnd (“Thank you for reading.”);
auto JackEndsTale = false;
int main ()

{
  if (JackEndsTale == true)
   {

   cout << ArticleEnd;
   }
return 0;
}

 

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