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I’m Meabh (Mave), I’m from Ireland and having been seduced by the magic of code I moved to Vancouver to study at VFS. I’m currently 12 weeks in to the still new Programming for Games Web and Mobile and have just reached the midpoint of term two. I’m tired, my brain doesn’t want to focus tonight and writing this much avoided blog post has a new appeal.

The course has at times been tough but that’s balanced by the pure joy experienced when things work. Last week when I finally got a full circuit of the server I am writing working I spontaneously whooped, more than once, over an hour period. This has never happen before as a result of schoolwork. PURE UNABASHED JOY. For me that is the nature of programming, when I’m making a large knowledge leap until I understand it and can make it work it feels like magic, evil, unforgiving magic. Then either by one or several small ‘ahhh moments’ it works and I suddenly feel like Hermione Granger, invincible. Until the next assignment comes along.

That’s when you need good old Ron Weasley and Harry Potter to help you out. While they don’t attend VFS and therefore haven’t been a help at all, which is still understandably disappointing, luckily I’m surrounded by great classmates that continuously help each other out. One of the nice but unexpected element of VFS is how unique all the students are. There is a large range of ages, nationalities and ability which make for a very stimulating educational environment. This is very true of my class.

One of my favourite things about the course is the variety of courses we take. The course’s very specific title might not suggest it but the first two terms have introduced us to many aspects of the game, app and web industry. We have taken courses in design, team management, design theory, project management and user design to name a few and an amazing lecture on copyright. It is a really nice experience to get such a thorough introduction to the industry we are preparing to enter. It has enabled me to explore area’s I wasn’t aware of, and to focus my time in VFS to help me pursue a job type and area that interests me, based on more than a feeling.

As you would expect the programming classes are many and fast moving, when things start to feel overwhelming I just think of the phenomenal amount of ‘stuff’ I will know in a years time and it blows me away. I came from a background in architecture so i’m not unused to long hours and demanding deadlines but the more I learn, the more I realise there is to learn, and the more I want to learn, it’s a great cycle to be in, especially while at VFS cause they just don’t stop teaching you.

Programming for Games Web and Mobile isn’t easy, but I didn’t want it to be. It’s the intense year I was hoping it would be and I’m glad I’m not too tired to realise how lucky I am.

Meabh (Mave) McCarthy is a student in the Programming for Games, Web & Mobile program, and a winner of the Women in Games Scholarship