The Process Behind Award Winning Animation, Isolated

The process behind Isolated has been a long time coming. My apologies

Disclaimer, it is more technical than my usual writing and contains some graphic images, but I think it is only fair to share the process as well as the result.

Laying the Foundation

The first and most important step was creating the intended story and research. Research of what would be required and what would be used. Sketching and doodling characters and the environment.

The Internet, related work from other animators and cartoonists, friends, colleagues; all these were avenues explored for information in this stage.

From mind to paper (Storyboard)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laying down the sequence of events, their linkage to one another and give an idea of the environment, time, camera angle and position.

Animatic

Turning the storyboard into a video to figure out the time for each scene, scenes that would have sound and music, etc. This is very important because it provides a representation of what the final film would look like in the end.

Modeling the characters and environment

Changing from mere drawings to 3D characters.

This stage was made easier and bearable, I might add, by a couple of programs:

  • Autodesk 3Ds max modeling

  • Zbrush Pixologic for sculpting

  • Marvelous Design for cloth simulation

  • Adobe Photoshop for texture manipulation

  • Pinterest for studying shapes, patterns and colors

  • Youtube for the much needed tutorials on how to use the first four programs

Motion Capture

This entails capturing movement and facial expressions from an actual human being then plotting it on to the animation characters created in the step above.

The process is like miming. (Any Charlie Chaplin fans?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simulation

This stage involved producing motion consistent to the laws of physics and relies on inputs by the creator to be consistent with the events portrayed.The process was fairly easy and fast.

Most of the motion used in animation is derived from simulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visualization

The lighting in close-ups was different from the one used in wider shots. The most interesting part of lighting was to adjust the lighting when Mosa (the main character) is in the corridor so that focus remains on him and not on the background elements.

Camera Angles and Techniques

To make the shots well balanced and interesting, The Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio came in handy.

The Rule of Thirds is a basic guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images.

Here’s how it works:

Divide your framework into a tic tac toe board then place the important elements on the thirds; could be vertically, horizontally or on the intersection points. This rule allows you to create visual flow and lets you tell people which is the most interesting and important part of the scene.

 

The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio exists when a line is divided into two parts and the longer part(a) divided by the smaller part(b) is equal to the sum of (a) + (b) divided (a).

When applied to art, the golden ratio provides some type of proportion and harmony in appearance. Some legendary art work where this ratio is present is Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, even Twitter and Pepsi’s logo, if you ever wondered what their secret is.

Fun fact: Our brains are wired to prefer images that employ the Golden Ratio.

Rendering

Rendering is generating a photo realistic image from a 3D or 2D image, in our case a 3D image, using computer programs.

Specs of the machines used:

  • Processor -i7-770K CPU@4.2GHz
  • Memory – 32GB RAM
  • Graphics Card – nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB

Using two machines of the above specs took approximately 28 hours to render a single shot.

Compositing

All the rendered passes were collected in one pile and brought into a compositing program (Adobe After Effects) for editing and color correction.

Music and Sound Effects

Adobe Audition was the go to for processing sound and music.

Editing and Final Output

The final stage was to make sure everything was in sync, then render the final film.

List of programs used:

Autodesk 3Ds Max, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition,, Substance Painter Motive, Pixologic Zbrush, Marvelous Designer and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

 

Watch film :

 

A little take home:

Not only was this process fun, but it was extremely educative. We live in an era when we can do almost anything, so feel free and dive into that which excites and challenges you. If you don’t do it now, you never will.

 

 

 

 

What I learnt from building an e-commerce system.

In the past two weeks, I have learned how to use a new framework (Laravel), got into a language I only used while in school (PHP), figured out how to employ a payment system in a website, wrote my first detailed documentation, built an entire e-commerce site and designed it, and by some sort of miracle, avoided an ulcer.

As I sit down to write this article, I feel so relived but also a little bit disappointed in myself for stretching to unrealistic limits.

Don’t Live and Die on Deadlines

I have learnt a lot within that time, but my greatest lesson was “don’t live and die on deadlines”.

I was lucky enough to set a timeline for myself, but my mistake was underestimating the time I’d need. The system sounded simple enough on paper, so I used that judgement to set a 2 week timeline. I did not consider the fact that I was not well versed in the language and framework I would be using, and those annoying bugs that pop up out of nowhere to make a developer’s life a nightmare.

If you’re asked to give a deadline for your work, you will most likely feel the internal pressure to give as short a timeline as possible in order not to seem incompetent or maybe to make your boss feel appeased.

Don’t live and die on deadlines

Giving timeline estimates is one of the hardest things to do right, simply because it is impossible to predict the future and to anticipate all the unknown, especially in programming when you’d spend days debugging simple issues in the UI.

There were some positive outcomes from all this though…

The Silver Lining

I won’t be those developers who praise a programming language over another, because they all have their attractive and unattractive qualities, but I will say that Laravel (a php framework) is quite beginner friendly. You’d obviously need some php knowledge but you don’t have to be a guru either. I was not.

Let the docs be your best friend whenever you decide to go to uncharted grounds. Sometimes google does help, but documentations help the most. I have learnt this the hard way because I was never patient enough to read. Ironic, I know.

Documentation

This is the one thing I think I almost did right in those “hellish” days. I comment on almost everything in my code, and make very detailed commit messages, because I don’t want any other developer reading my code to curse under their breathe trying to figure out what does what, or what goes where, etc. Try and make other people’s lives easier when you can. Be that sunshine. My trick to documenting is thinking of other people who might come into contact with my work.

Finally, the User Interface.

This took the longest time to work on and was the most frustrating because of those oh so annoying bugs! I may have pulled some strands of my hair off, but that didn’t make things any better, obviously.

A trick I picked up on dealing with this kind of frustration was taking a few minutes away from the screen, getting some fresh air, downing a glass of water then getting back to fixing things. It clears and opens up the mind and those little errors start showing themselves.

Also, ask for help when you need it!

So right now, I am going to cozy up with a bowl of achari that’s how this Kamba likes her mangoes and a few episodes of Friends as I contemplate new resolutions on how to handle work at my very best, learn as much as I can, and still remain calm while having an amazing time doing it.

Here’s to beginning a new month after learning from my mistakes these past two weeks. Hopefully

 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Happiness)

This has been one of those books I finish in record time and not because of its few pages but because I was extremely intrigued by what I was getting from it. Or maybe what it got out of me.

Robin Sharma, the author, uses fictional characters to tell a story of how you can use the unlimited potential in your mind to practically enjoy every day of your life.

Julian Mantle is a hotshot lawyer from New York who rolls a 7 figure payday, drives a bright red Ferrari, owns mansions all over the United States… well you get my point. Then something happens to him and he decides to quit his practice and moves to the Himalayas where he stays with a group of monks who then gladly share with him their teachings.

He shares these teachings with his former law partner John.

Here are some points that really stood out for me:

  1. Embrace the present.

My grandmother drilled this in me as soon as I could understand what it meant, and I couldn’t emphasize enough on the satisfaction it brings.

The book explains how living in the now and savoring the gift of the present brings a lot of peace and contentment. Thinking about the past or the future while in the present distracts us from what we have been set to do at that time.

  1. Selflessly serve others.

Some of the greatest human beings to ever walk the face of this earth dedicated their lives in service of others. Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ… I could go on…

Serving a need of someone in need should be in our nature. Putting a smile on a sad face, feeding the hungry, dressing the warm, giving a hug to someone who needs it, and many more. All these should be acts that we seek to practice every day.

 

  1. Respect your time.

Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return again. Those who use time wisely from an early age are rewarded with rich satisfying lives.

 

Julian Mantle explains to his former law partner how simplifying your life by focusing on your priorities and letting go of the things that do not matter brings deep satisfaction.

A technique that one has to learn to master this is to have the courage to say “No”.

 

  1. Live with discipline

Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage.

Courage can be choosing to overcome the comfort of your warm snugly bed on a cold  morning in order to get some extra work done I still struggle with this, or use the time to exercise or meditate. Courage is foregoing your comfort zone for what you believe is or will be good for you.

 

  1. Follow your purpose.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. Imagine waking up every day knowing that you will spend a major part of it doing what you love. That’s a “secret” to constant happiness.

Find that which you love and dedicate all of your time and energy into it.

As a bonus, your passion becomes worthy when in some way it improves or serves the lives of others.

 

  1. Master your mind.

The most powerful thing in this world is the human mind. That is because it has the same power that created this world. The power to create. Our minds are what build our lives and determine our destinies. However mastering and controlling it is probably the most difficult task to do. I can attest. But once you have it down, once you chose what goes in and what gets blocked out, then you have the power to control how your life turns out down to a tee.

 

You will become luckier every day if your mind is prepared and conditioned to think of the world as filled with opportunities, and to think of pain as part of all journeys of success

The book explains the mind in the analogy of a garden with beautiful flowers. We choose what goes into that garden for the benefit of its flowers. I sometimes wish it was as simple as it sounds.

These are tips to practice every day in order to find contentment, happiness, success and peace in the time we spend on earth.

I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

 

Current read: Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma

 

In the Meantime (Life and Love)

This is a tad different from what usually post about but I thought I may as well make this my space to talk about anything and everything lulu related 🙂

 

I tried reading this a few months ago (beginning of the year) then stopped halfway for some reason and put it back on the shelf to collect dust. I picked it up again last week mainly because of the guilt I had every time I saw it and remembered how I never gave it a fair chance, and I was not at all disappointed.

Published in 1998 and written by Iyanla Vanzat, in the meantime is a self-help book that talks about living a life filled with self acceptance, unconditional self love and love for others. She describes love in the analogy of a house with 5 floors where each floor is a stage in life with important lessons.

The Basement, The First Floor, The Second Floor, The Third Floor and The Attic. The Attic being the final floor which she describes as the stage where one lives the ideal life.

Life is a journey for every live human being. You’re born, go to school, make relationships, go to college, make more relationships, start  working, get married, have children, raise them, retire, review the life that you lived, then die.Going through all these steps is also switching in between floors in life’s house. You may be going up, good for you you may be stuck on one floor not so good or you may be going down terrible. The one common thing in all these steps is making and breaking relationships with people. In the 7-8 decades of one’s life, he/ she will move around in 5 floors of this metaphorical house. The goal is to constantly move up and make it to the attic, then stay there before your time runs out. The one common thing in these steps is making and/or breaking relationships with other people who by the way are somewhere in a floor in love’s house.

The meantime experience is that time you know where you want to be but you are not quite sure how to get there, or you know you have to be somewhere but you are not sure where.Your vision and life’s purpose are a bit blurry. No one ever prepares you for the meantime experience. You figure things out through trial and error. Some people do not go through so many errors or trials and others errors and trials and errors are all that their life seems to revolve around.

The book describes how being gentle with yourself, giving yourself the love that you expect to get from others and giving love to other people unconditionally is the key to living a satisfied and happy life. It clears your head and opens up your mind to its greatest potential. It is living the life God intended all His children to live.

I won’t talk about what is in every single floor, I’ll let you read that for yourself.

Where are you? Do you even know where you should be or if you are anywhere at all?, and I do not mean geographically.

credit: pexel.com

A quote that stuck with me was “My only purpose for being on the planet is to awaken my God Self, to celebrate life and to do what brings me joy!”

I’d recommend this for anyone who is into non-fiction self-improvement books. Good for you if you are 🙂

Current read : The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

 

Being Around Animation Artists

I am lucky enough to work with some insanely talented upcoming 2D and 3D artists. Seeing what they do and observing their thought process inspired me to come up with this entry.

Growing up, my favorite thing to do was watch cartoons. Still is. Scooby doo my favorite, looney toons, the old cartoon network shows. It was all for entertainment at first obviously, but later I came to be utterly intrigued by how they were created and as if the universe heard my cry of curiosity, I began working with animation artists.

I think of cartoons as a different world. A world with its own laws, inhabitants and its own creators (human beings).

Like everything else, there is a method to the madness.

 

  1. Story-line. The “When, Where, What, Who and How”. It is the most mentally involving and maybe the only one that happens throughout the production process.Changing this, adding that, getting rid of those. Etc. Once step one is done perfectly, everything else becomes a walk in the park.

 

  1. Design the characters and environment then put them together. From a short 1-2 minutes trailer (the one above), this took many days. It usually depends on the complexity of what is aimed for at the end. The longer you intend your film to be, the longer this step will take.

 

  1. Sound was introduced in animation by cartoonist legend, Walt Disney when Walt Disney studios produced SteamBoat Willie with a synchronized soundtrack in 1928. Since then, there are no more limits on sound in animation. Voice overs, background music, sounds from objects, etc. For instance, there are countless music and sound libraries on the internet used as the source for sound in animation. This has even become an industry on its own.

SteamBoat Willie

These are vague explanations on the steps that go on behind the scenes in creating animation/ cartoons.

I think this is probably the most creative field out there and the best part is that it is controlled by a person’s imagination. Meaning no rules or limits. It is also the fastest growing industry.

Technical details coming soon… Look out for the next article.

Animation Evolution

Till the next time. Xoxo

Writer’s Block and Overcoming It

I picked up my laptop 1000 times over the past few weeks and 1000 times I have put it away with blank pages for drafts. So today being a holiday, having a slow day and still in my pajamas, I thought I’d just pick it up and write whatever comes to mind. Writer’s block. The irony.

Writer’s block is staring at the blinking cursor on my blank page and becoming frustrated. Writer’s block is spending weeks looking for inspiration and coming up with nothing. Writer’s block is coming up with a topic for an article, getting two to three lines down then getting a brain fart and completely going blank. If you write, the you’ll realize it is the worst feeling a writer or an aspiring writer would experience. To be honest, it makes me dizzy.

I am picking up a few pointers on how to overcome it, or rather not let it take over my vibe. Here’s what I have on my list so far:

  • Go outdoors

I do not mean climb a mountain, just sit outside your house or office, go for a walk, walk to somewhere instead of driving. Be outside and not inside a building or vehicle. This clears my head and helps me think straight without any frustrations. When it’s raining do the next best thing, watch a nature channel like national geographic. It’ll make you feel like you are outside 😛

  • Read something

Could be anything relaxing. A novel, a comic, or if you’re not much of a reader, watch something. Ideas tend to pop up when your mind is in its relaxed state.

  • Write down your topics

Writing down ideas for topics you’d want to explore and number them according to which one you’d want to start with, then start researching and writing drafts using pen and paper. As this process continues, you won’t even remember you had writer’s block.

  • Exercise and eat healthy

No, I am not trying to be a health guru, but my mind works best when my body is healthy, and I think that’s how the human body in general works. I bet it would be good for anyone. A healthy body = a healthy mind = an endless pool of ideas.

  • Read related content

Get inspiration from other writers. Could be blogs, books, magazine articles or videos. We don’t know everything. A little inspiration goes a very long way.

  • Just write

Lastly, a wise person once told me to just write. Take your notebook or your device and just write away. Whatever comes to mind, get it out. This post was not premeditated, planned, or thought of. I just took my laptop and started typing my fingers away.

 

Goodbye writer’s block, till next time. Hopefully not.

 

 

Reasons your PC may be slow.

At some point in the lifespan of a laptop, it starts becoming excruciatingly slow. You may or may not know the reason why but either way, this makes you hate using that laptop that once excited you.

Here are a few reasons your laptop may be acting old and grey.

  • Too many programs running in the background.

There are some sneaky programs that start running on their own as soon as you turn on your computer making the start-up process a nightmare. Fear not though, this can be controlled by opening the task manager and ending all programs you think are unnecessary.

  • Full hard drive.

The reason may be as simple as you have too much stuff in your computer that you do not need. Get rid of it!! At least have 200- 500 MB of free hard disk space.

How to find out how much disk space you have left.

  • Failing hard drive

Sometimes we corrupt our hard disks without knowing. Remember in that first ever computer class when you were taught the procedure of shutting down a computer? Well that procedure happens to be quite important. Reasons for a failing hard disk may be:

  1. Suddenly cutting off your computer’s power supply without a heads up.
  2. Your hard disk may be infected with a virus.
  3. The hard disk may be physically damaged.

Fixes for these issues are:

  1. Following your first computer teacher’s instructions on shutting down properly.
  2. Scan for  malware.This can be done using malwarebytes, an antimalware software that finds and removes malware.
  3. Scan for viruses. Have an antivirus installed or its equivalent like windows defender for Microsoft Windows which usually comes pre-installed.
  4. Run a disk check to find out whether the hard disk is actually damaged.
  • A long time before rebooting

Sometimes computers need a break and being on for a long time without being rebooted may be a cause of being sluggish. Try rebooting your PC, it’ll thank you 🙂

  • Ancient

You may have searched for solutions to you slow laptop but nothing seems to work. It may just probably be old. You can always get a new one.

 

However the reasons a PC may be slow are not limited to the ones above. There are many many more

Ciao!

Current Favs

I always install different apps on my phone much to its demur. When it complains of little space, I ignore that annoying notification and go on pressing “install” on whatever app I have in mind at that moment. It could be a recommendation from a friend, one that had good reviews, or a completely unnecessary one I found in my aimless wander through play store. Some of, actually most of them I never even open, let alone use. Those are the ones I uninstall to create room for the new exciting ones. However, there are some that I am so happy I came across. Here’s a list of my current favorite apps.

Wunderlist

I have to admit, there is nothing I find more satisfying that crossing stuff off my to-do list. Looking at a list of tasks that are completed makes me so happy! My inner child does a little dance.I started using Wunderlist while in school and I was able to stay on-top of things the whole time. I would list my assignments, projects, presentations, set deadlines and reminders then just relax and not panic last minute.

My favorite part is that it has categories or folders, so I don’t have to mix personal tasks, work tasks and errands together in one long and very unappealing list. Every task has it’s own little folder.

 

Pinterest  

Sigh of satisfaction. Pinterest is just an endless pool of ideas. I think I go to pinterest more times than to actual people for ideas. Saying that out loud makes me realize I need to reevaluate some aspects of my life. But it literally has everything: Color schemes, jokes, art, recipes, poetry… anything. I think it’s a really nice platform to share your ideas with the world. If you have not tried it, I think you really really should.

 

Google Podcasts  

 

 

Sometimes I get bored of listening to music on my commutes but I would still want to escape to my own world with my earphones on. I discovered google podcasts just recently and have I loved every minute of it. It has a collection of different podcasts on so many different topics. It even has audio books for any book lovers out there.

Currently listening to the case book of Sherlock Holmes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaaand…. I can download some episodes and have them offline so I don’t have to be connected to the internet whenever I want to listen to anything.

 

Infinity Loop

I love puzzle games. I try having one puzzle game at a time on my phone so I can finish it without being distracted by a different one. The one I am currently playing is Infinity Loop.

 

 

The challenge is to either disconnect an infinite shape made up of many tiny individual pieces until each piece is independent or to connect the same tiny individual pieces to make an infinite shape. Stuck on the latter’s level 11. It’s a good game to keep your brain’s juices flowing.

 

Pomodoro

This is actually a technique. It does have an app which I uninstalled but still use the same theory with my timer. The Pomodoro technique is a time management method, where you break down your work into intervals of 25 minutes (called pomodoros), separated by short breaks of like 3-5 minutes. This has been life-changing because I have the attention span of a goldfish. I could be in the middle of writing code, then a few seconds later I find myself scrolling through my pinterest feed or looking for online shops with sales. It can get quite frustrating. Anyone going through the same would appreciate being able to stay focused for a whole 25 minutes without wandering off to Narnia. Plus it has made me so productive.

 

Which are your favorite or worst apps?

Ciao:)

IT IS AS EASY AS MAKING POTATOES

We are in the century when websites are the new posters. Hospitals have them, chefs have them, law-firms have them, schools have them, even some butcheries have them, literally every industry uses them. When anyone needs any information about something, they don’t even ask somebody, they go to the web and hope to find a website about whatever it is they want.

 

Building a website may or may not have a lot to it. Depends on what you really want at the end. Whether it is that first very simple website you built while you were learning web development or the super complex yet amazing netflix website. It mainly just depends on what you use in terms of the languages and frameworks.

Think of it this way, from potatoes, you can make over twenty dishes. Some exquisite, some boring, and some just alright. What you come up in the end depends on the ingredients you have, and to know which ingredients to use, you must have a vision (know what you want your end goal to be).

 

To Fry or not to Fry

You have with you a bowl of raw unpeeled potatoes and not exactly sure what to do with them. Will you make chips. mashed potatoes, home fries or something fancy like a potato salad?

 

Once you know what you want to create, (I like to make rough sketches), you need to figure out who your audience is. What are they like? What is their age group? What would they want to see…etc.This may actually affect your initial idea and take you back to the drawing board. No point in giving people what they would not like or want to use. That would be a waste of time, energy and a lot of investment. Besides, it beats the point of having one in the first place. Create with your audience in mind, just like you would cook with whoever is eating in mind.

Ingredients

Once you have a grounded (pun intended) idea, identify what you will need to bring it to life. A database to store all the data it will hold, the basic languages of web development like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and/or PHP, a domain name and a hosting service. You may not always know immediately what you’d need, that’s why it is advisable to research a bit before coming up with a final list. Find out from forums, people who are experienced, the internet. Exhaust your options and you’ll have a final list that you have full confidence in.

With salt, pepper, onions, cheese, sour cream, bacon, potatoes of course and recipe from a cookbook you have yourself a delicious creamy potato salad, in your head.

 

Do I really need to?

After you know what you need and what to do, you may either get motivated by the challenge or discouraged by the tediousness of the process that awaits you, like the say, sometimes it is easier said than done.

This is the part where you decide whether you’re in our out. Will you challenge yourself to build the website from scratch / make that potato dish you have never made before?

If you choose to take the road to conquering Goliath and do it from the ground up, then pat yourself on the back. If you choose to go down the breezy road, then be grateful we are in the 21st Century where you do not have to be a chef to eat or serve an exquisite meal and you do not have to be a developer to build a top notch website.

You can always go to a restaurant or order take-out, and use website builders like wix and wordpress where what you may mainly do is just drag and drop elements however you like them to appear with the guidelines right in front of you.

 

Don’t be shy

There is this common notion many people tend to have that building websites is super complicated, and learning how to build one is rocket science. My few years in this field have taught me that this belief is all in the head.

Add to your skills by learning a few web development languages, test your eye for design by designing a website using a website builder.

You may just enjoy it and discover there is nothing much to it and not shudder whenever you hear about building one.

Happy New Month Everyone xxx

(PS Potatoes are my favorite food)








BEING IN THE INDUSTRY

One day a few months ago I got an email about an interview I had taken for the position of software developer, I had gotten the job. I was thrilled, but only for a moment, then fear came over me. I had been used to the safe shell that was school, where all that was expected of me was only completed assignments and good grades. This was a complete change, and I was freaking out.

During these past few months, not only have I learnt a lot in programming, but also about myself. Still am.

To the person who is not familiar with it, programming may sound complex, complicated, convoluted, confusing, and any other word you can think of. Heck, I thought it was madness.

METHOD TO THE MADNESS

The long, endless, messy probably gibberish looking lines of code is only a means to an end. That end is finding a solution to a problem. Now that part seems familiar doesn’t it?

We face problems all the time in our daily lives. Problems are anything that need our attention. Like figuring out what to wear in the morning, or for an evening out, deciding what to make for your family for dinner, etc. The solutions to all these ‘problems’ are influenced by the circumstances and factors around at that moment. Dinner will depend on the ingredients that are available in the fridge and pantry. Our outfits this season are affected by the weather. In short, the solutions are the best and most efficient for that problem.

And that is basically  what programming is. Finding the best solution to your problem, with what you have.

BUGS AND PULLING MY HAIR OUT

 

Some days if not most, I hit wall after wall after wall trying to point out bugs (flaws or abnormalities in a computer program)  and to  be honest it makes me  feel like pulling my hair out then I remember that will be quite painful and unpleasant. Software development evolves around debugging (detecting and correcting bugs). Is it frustrating? Yes! But the feeling of accomplishment that comes after correcting that itty bitty error that caused your program not work is so satisfying. It even makes me smile for the rest of my day or night.

There are tools that are designed for finding the errors in your program for you. Like Eclipse Debugger, Firefox Javascript Debugger, Microsoft Visual Studio Debugger, etc. I have only used these while in school. but now I prefer doing it the old fashioned way. Finding out what my error is, asking everyone’s closest friend, Google, looking for the most effective solution, then going to my code and fixing it. I don’t know if other developers prefer this or something else, but I go for options that make my life easier and my process faster.

What I am learning to master to get me through a day of programming because for sure I will have to tear down some walls, is patience with myself. Sometimes we expect to know so much until we forget that we are human. Mastering your craft takes time. It took Leornado Da Vinci 2 years to complete the mural of the last supper, and 3 years to finish the Mona Lisa. No one can just wake up and expect to solve everything in a day. If you do, you will literally pull your hair out.

 

JOURNALING IN PROGRAMMING

I enjoy journaling. Writing down my thoughts, goals, reliving my day at night or just outright scribbling with no sense of direction. It puts my mind into perspective and makes me feel grounded.

It is so frustrating to go through someone else’s program that is undocumented. It’s like when someone asks you to meet them somewhere you have never been before and they don’t give you the directions. I would not want to put anyone through that, so I try my best to document my code to the point that anyone would understand and the fact that I enjoy journaling, this comes almost easily. No one programmer will work on one program for the rest of his/ her career. As it grows, you will probably have to bring in other people on board and since they were not with you from the birth of the software, they will not be familiar with almost everything. Explaining to your new team by word of mouth every single time is annoying and monotonous, so make your work easier by documenting it, and not just anyhow, but so that even non-developers can understand it.

Nobody would want to be left on a pitch dark road with no light and told to find their way home.

Documenting is the most important thing a developer would need to do. Think of it as a manual to a new device (though people rarely read manuals these days, anyway, it is the only reference I could think of.)

SMILE A LITTLE

Life is all about those little moments. Doing what makes you happy, feeling accomplished by the smallest of tasks like crossing off a to-do on your list. To stay in the best of moods while I am working, and even when I am not, I try to take note of every achievement. It may be irrelevant to my boss or any other person but it is of great significance to me. For instance I may be getting errors when I try to run a program and then spend hours trying to find what the problem was only to discover I had misspelt something  in my code. Fixing that will not mean anything to anybody else, but it will for sure be one of the things that will make my day.

You’d be surprised by how much noticing the little things would make you extremely efficient at your work and even increase your concentration. Other than that, you will enjoy what you do and walking into the office everyday. Try it. Your life will be extremely simple without putting any effort.

 

STRETCH

Lastly, put yourself out there in terms of wanting to grow. Learn as often as you can and for sure you will not be disappointed.

 

It has only been a few months, but I have never been happier. Can’t wait to see what my next major milestone will be.

Until next time!!