Patrick McVeety-Mill is one of a kind here at Headspring. We found him pretty much straight out of college, but his resume and portfolio showed a lot of potential. We’ve never hired a fresh graduate before, but he’s proven to encompass every ounce of thoughtfulness, creativity and skill we have come to expect from a seasoned developer. After a few weeks on the job, I’m convinced!
Patrick is a native Austinite, but graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Game Design and Development. We’ll forgive him.
Are you an expert at anything?
Nothing that I can think of; maybe frying eggs. I do have some skill in c# and some other programming know-how. I’m pretty good at game design and storytelling, too.
What led you to software development?
I really enjoy developing games but it was never my intention to pursue it as a career. I like programming and the constant creation and adoption of new technology fascinates me. The client-facing side of software development always appealed to me and it seemed like a good field to put both my programming and communication skills to good use.
What did you learn first?
When I got to college I had barely used a computer aside from playing games and word processing. I started off in Java but very quickly moved to c# and then later c++. The progression of languages went hand-in-hand with learning more about software and web design, fun theory, and fancy algorithms that games use.
I remember going to the computer lab in elementary school and playing around with this program called “HyperStudio.” It was like a primitive blend of Flash Studio and PowerPoint. You could set up little interactive clipart objects and link between pages and animate things. I used it to make goofy little point-and-click adventure games. It was a lot of fun and my first exposure to digital interactive design, I suppose.
Do you like teaching?
Absolutely. I worked at a dining hall in college and it was a lot of fun to train people on everything from how to make a good rueben to mopping floors. Of course more intellectually stimulating things are fun to teach, too. Not that making a good rueben isn’t intellectually stimulating.
Where do begin when learning something new?
I usually start by asking folks I know: coworkers, buddies, former professors and classmates. People are a good resource since they can elaborate or adapt their explanation on the fly, whereas books are more static. That being said, I always ask about the best books on a topic and follow through with those.
How do you gauge “time well spent”?
Productivity can be a tough thing to gauge, especially when people disagree on what “production” entails. For me, as long as I’m learning something, making something, or building a relationship with those involved in the producing, I feel it’s time well spent. And even better spent if I can do all those at once.