• Creativity through limitation: Shadertoy

    This is the third article in “Creativity through limitation” series. In case you missed the previous ones:

    When I first learned about Shadertoy and browsed through some works there, my reaction was: “HOW???!!!” I already knew what shaders are because I’m interested in computer graphics and learned OpenGL basics. This knowledge only amplified my fascination.

    Shadertoy is a place where anyone can share their experiments with realtime procedural computer graphics. It is created by Inigo Quilez (a demoscener and a former Pixar employee) and Pol Jeremias (currently working at Pixar). It uses WebGL, so everything runs right in a browser.

    Here’s an example of what people do:

    Click the “play” button to see it in action.

  • Coding problems: why do I like them? Solving Tower of Hanoi puzzle

    If you’ve ever tried to get a job in a big company or participated in a programming contest, you know what coding problems (or coding challenges) are. A typical example would be to “implement a queue using two stacks.” Many people hate them as a part of interviews because coding problems don’t demonstrate your ability to write good code.

    Most coding problems are irrelevant to the daily job of a developer, and there’s no practical application for them. They’re just brain teasers or exercises. However, that is why I like them, and I would recommend programmers to solve them at least sometimes. Everybody knows that you need to do exercises to stay fit. The brain is a “muscle” too in the sense that you need to exercise to get the most of it. I think that coding exercises help developer’s brain to “stay fit.”

    As developers, we spend much time fixing bugs and doing routine work. We rarely have tricky problems, but problem-solving is a crucial skill for a developer. Coding problems may help you to improve it. Also, as I already said, coding problems don’t have practical application usually, but you can pick something useful from them still.

    In this article, I want to tell you about the first coding challenge I had at university, and how I solved it back then and now.

  • Creativity through limitation: PICO-8 — Fantasy Console

    It is the second article in “Creativity through limitation” series. Check out the first one: 8-bit demoscene. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the fantasy console PICO-8 and recreate two classic demoscene effects with it.

    When was the last time you coded something just for fun? If you’re like me, then it hasn’t happened for years. However, about a year ago, I learned about PICO-8, bought it, and I have to say that these were probably the most worthy $15 I spent on myself last year!

  • Long time, no see

    I started my blog exactly a year ago, wrote four posts over three months, and then disappeared. I wanted to post new articles at least every month, but I failed. I failed because I didn’t have a daily dedicated time for my blog.

    A lot of things changed since that time (and I will write a post about it), now I’m back. I’ve been working on megus.org for the past two weeks every single day and here are some updates:

    • The new Portfolio section
    • The updated Resume page
    • A new article is close to completion, I plan to publish it next week.

    Megus is back, stay tuned for updates!

  • Ludum Dare 42 game jam: our experience

    Last month Wise Hedgehog Studio team took part in Ludum Dare 42 game jam. A game jam is an accelerated game development competition. Ludum Dare is the oldest and widely known online jam. It is held three times a year. You have two or three days to create a game that fits a given theme. This time participants submitted over three thousands games!

  • Creativity through limitation: 8-bit demoscene

    “Creativity through limitation” is an excellent approach to creative work. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed with possibilities and get stuck because of this. It may seem strange at first, but adding constraints and limits can boost your creativity. You can come up with your artificial limitations or use a tool that limits you. It works in any area: music, art, etc. Programming is not an exception. This article is about demoscene on 8-bit computer platforms and the most common trick everybody used to overcome limited graphics possibilities of these platforms.

  • How to become a better programmer

    To become a better programmer, you need to keep doing two things: practice and learn. Yes, it’s that simple and obvious. Finding what to learn may be difficult, and it’s great when there’s someone who can give good advice. I didn’t get much advice myself through my developer career, so I try to be a better leader and guide members of my teams. Here are several common recommendations I give to every junior developer.

  • Switch your brain on and never switch it off!

    I started to learn programming when I was six, and this year I’m celebrating thirty years of my programming experience (for the last sixteen years I’m getting paid for it). I learned a lot, and I believe it’s time to start to share my experience with the world. The first thing I want to share is my motto:

    — Switch your brain on and never switch it off!