Doly Rakotomahenina

I am a computer science major at UWEC. I have interned at Jamf Software, and I lead a few software engineering and business minded academic and social clubs. Nearly all of my hobbies center around willing my laptop to do what I wish it to do, not what I (often unwittingly) tell it do. My special interests include machine learning, scientific computing, robotics, and video game development. I’m primarily a Java desktop applications developer (because that is what we learned in school), but I now love C++, and I desperately want the time to learn Java EE for enterprise web development.

UWEC Student


Video Game Development: How & What to Learn

After one semester working through the textbook “Building Java Programs”, I tried to build a video game.

Looking back at it now, the struggle was hilarious!

While taking summer classes outside of my major, I decided to practice my newly-acquired and yet infantile skill, by attempting to build what I thought was a small but simple video game - a text based game.

I knew I didn’t know much, but I also didn’t know what I needed to know. Instead of doing any research, I went and bought books on C++, and once I felt comfortable manipulating arrays and I had recreated all of the Java homework problems in C++, I went and bought books on HTML5, and then also Javascript.

I learned nothing but syntax.

I have a “What I wish I had learned and in this order” handout, that I think may help those who know already know a programming language, but don’t know where to even begin to make a game like Skyrim. But the pattern is very generalizable, and if someday, after one of your video games has thousands of downloads, you want to make a robot, then you could make your own “What I need to learn and in what order” handout.