As you will see from previous posts I attempted a one day a week game programming as something of a side hobby from my real work.
This whilst having great progress turned out to be something I just didn’t have the time to do as real work == real money.
However I do have alot to say, and most of it gibberish but better to type it somewhere than nowhere and my own website seems like the logical choice.
So lets get ready to ramble !
I started programming mobile apps back in October 2010. This was an Android app, in Java.
Now three things to note :
1) I had never programmed Java
2) I had no clue how Android worked
3) This is perhaps the most important, due to a career change in direction driven by paycheques I had not programmed anything for 4-5 years.
So this week whilst updating that same said app, that is still selling well (amazing huh!) I have had to wander into one of the few areas I have not touched since 2010 which is some of the database code.
To describe what I wrote back then as a pile of crap would be an understatement.
Never have I see such badly structured, convoluted poor code that somehow works!!!
I have been slowly, but very carefully rewriting it all to firstly expand it (which was the reason I had to wander into this wasps nest) , simplify it and simply improve it.
The resultant code is about 1/4 in the size and so much easier to understand and is alot more robust. Basically what it should have been the first time round.
Now, what do I blame ? , ok I didn’t know Java – but that just means my code was a bit ‘C’ like. I didn’t know Android, but that just meant I used a few extra commands, so why was the code so badly structured and convoluted ?
For me I think programming is not just a craft, it’s a craft that has be practised week in, week out. If you don’t your brain is just not firing in the correct way to knock out code quickly and most importantly good code quickly. The code I wrote showed I was so busy trying to remember how to put the small things together that I had no capacity for the bigger picture of how to string it all together.
Now this neatly segways back into something else I am seeing in the Retro gaming community. Old programmers who have been out of the game for years coming back in being all confused and producing piles of junk. Relax guys, just write your game. Delete it and write it again, second time will take half the time as you will be finally firing on all cylinders.