I wrote my first program when I was 11. Like many kids of the Oregon Trail generation, it was a few lines of code in BASIC that spit out “hello world.” I was hooked.
While other kids my age were doing stuff like “playing sports” and “hanging out” and, strangely, “making friends,” I was hunched over a keyboard, creating magic.
Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I did spend a hell of a lot of time on computers as I grew up, however, and majoring in computer science when I went to college was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. While there, I was fortunate to have an instructor who prioritized the thinking behind making good software rather than teaching the tips and tricks of quick and easy coding. I learned to code, yes, but more importantly, I learned to problem solve. To look at a situation and consider what might be the ideal outcome and the most efficient way to get there. It was programming as philosophy and I ate that shit up.
Then I graduated and realized that, out in the “real world,” companies might claim they want creative thinkers, but what they are really seeking is people who can patch the holes in their code and continue to build on the shakiest of foundations in the most quick and dirty fashion. I stared around in dismay as, in job after job, I was expected to do the impossible: fix what was broken while creating more constructs that relied upon those fractured pieces. It was terminal triage as a business philosophy and it ate away at my soul.
When I was let go from my position of 16 years last fall due to the effects of COVID-19 on the company’s profit margin, it came as something of a shock. The work I had done for this company, even under the constrictions of time restraints and external deadlines, was of a quality they would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. And yet, when word came down that costs needed to be cut, my salary was deemed an unnecessary expense.
While I’m not pleased with some of the consequences of that day – considering the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and, in the US, health insurance is job-based – my inner algorithmic philosopher was thrilled to be freed from his prison. Since then, I’ve been gradually stretching my wings, discovering just how much of my being was repressed under corporate culture. Every day, I’m coding. And every day, I’m improving. Learning has always been one of my core values and it turns out my appetite for knowledge is voracious when unrestrained.
If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations.
Gold star for you!
So what does all this mean for FunkyPuppy Studios? I am 100% committed to making quality software. People should always come before profit and my goal is to translate that value into a positive user experience with every aspect of FPS products. Honestly, it’s difficult to tell you what I’d like to do because it all sounds like corporate doublespeak. Over the last couple of decades, tech companies have twisted values into marketing slogans, turned principles into misleading selling points. Why would you believe me when I’m saying the same kind of stuff?
I want to make software that has a solid, thoroughly test code base. I hope to create user interfaces that are intuitive and comprehensive. I swear to provide positive interactions when you need to contact me.
If you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you. That’s why I plan to show you my sincerity with every FPS product release.