"It takes a village"

This is an amalgamation of advice from peers and mentors that has helped over the years (much thanks to family, friends, and the CG@Penn community). The hope is that these can help others who are looking to join or are just starting in the computer graphics industry.

If you have further ideas or questions about any of this information, want to meet for coffee or a virtual chat, feel free to get in touch.

*Everything written here is my personal work and is not a reflection of my current or past employers.*

More articles coming soon...

Some videos that discuss useful coding habits...

Kate Gregory “Simplicity: Not Just For Beginners”
tldr; Clean code whenever possible and strategies for writing that way.
Mike Acton "Data-Oriented Design and C++"
tldr; DOD and memory management create performant code - if you don't understand the data you don't understand the problem - the purpose of a program is transforming one form of data to another - solving problems you don't have creates more problems than you actually do have.
Louis Brandy “Curiously Recurring C++ Bugs at Facebook”
tldr; Common coding bugs people hit that shouldn't be hit in the first place, and how to resolve them.
Chandler Carruth “There Are No Zero-cost Abstractions”
tldr; Why use an abstraction, what effect that will have on timing / use, how to cope with that effect.

Additionally, here's some videos / articles that I found influential as a student when thinking about mindset and tackling challenges. These are definitely cliché, so do with them what you wish... read them, watch them, ignore them, debate them, whatever floats your boat...

Mood Follows Action
tldr; Showing up is the hardest step, discipline (hard) gets you through to habit (easy) and progress.
How to be so good they can't ignore you
tldr; Focus on deliberate and purposeful practice / project / content creation while ignoring outside expectations.
Genius takes time and extraordinary effort
tldr; Experience is not linearly based on time, it's based on interest and diligence in interacting with the subject matter.
Marty Lobdell - Study Less Study Smart
tldr; How to "hack" your attention span for longer blocks of concentration time.
Designing Your Life | Bill Burnett | TEDxStanford
tldr; It's okay to change, no plan for your life will survive first contact with reality - have a bias to action, try stuff - if the issue is not actionable, it's just a circumstance, accept it and move on - prototype different ideas and choose well from them for next steps.
How to Get Your Brain to Focus | Chris Bailey | TEDxManchester
tldr; Deliberate time for boredom leads to more mind wandering, more ideas, and thus more future plans and projects.
The dangerous downsides of perfectionism
tldr; It's good to strive for excellence in what you do, but having a hyper-critical internal voice alongside that is harmful; it's the 'getting back up after a mistake' aspect that's most important.
The antilibrary
tldr; Having many projects, tabs, or thoughts left open can be a good thing as it shows interest / curiosity - as long as you're not focused on everything at once.
The Skill of Humor | Andrew Tarvin | TEDxTAMU
tldr; We're not a personality assessment - we're defined by our actions. Humor is a way to share your point of view and connect with other people ('yes and' mindset) - as humans we need to manage not just time but also energy.
The 2 mental shifts highly successful people make
tldr; You are responsible for your future, it doesn't just happen, it's built; even when you're doing well, staying open to new / learning experiences instead of just focusing on what you've already done is important.
Why copying successful people can backfire
tldr; Everyone is different, try things out but only continue doing them if they work for you; copying what they're doing can be partially beneficial, but copying without understanding why and whether or not it works for you will backfire.
Be so prolific they can't ignore you
tldr; Dont be afraid of not being good at something - the only way to get good is to start - dont setout only allowing yourself to make great work, complete the projects and someday they'll turn out great.
What kind of self destructive perfectionist are you
tldr; When starting a task, predetermine how much effort you want to put into it - is it an A, B, or C level task - you only have so much time to spare per day - put the effort where the effort counts.
Your long-term success depends on a solid daily routine
tldr; A steady routine makes it easier to track progress, maintain discipline, and do more vital work during your most productive hours - which may not be at conventional times.


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