So, what’s your deal?
My name is Sean Barton, nicknamed Seanba (more on that later). My wife also refers to me as Bartron and Bartman. Seanny McSeansean is popular with friends too but I didn’t want to punish people by making them type that into their browser.
This is what I care about in a nutshell:
- My lady, brood, and family mutt.
- My craft as a programmer and a human being working with other human beings to make great software. This is how I make money.
- Video games! Fun-fact: The first video game I ever saw was a cocktail-table Space Invaders at the Daytona Flea Market (of all places). I was seven. It changed my life forever.
- Geeky stuff like Transformers, other 80′s nostalgia cheese, and mathematics.
You like your job more than video games?
Yeah, kind of, but I cheated a bit by getting a career making video games.
Problem is, I didn’t really know how to code. Like far too many people in our field I thought an understanding of a computer language syntax and some math was all that was needed. And to a great degree that’s enough to get you hired. You can thank the supermajority of math phobics for that.
I’d say I was about halfway through working on my second shipped title when I got tired of half-assing it. No one would question my devotion, I was always there. But man, my code sucked hard. It was embarrassing making my way through the sea of
Since then I have been approaching programming as a true craft, and I love it. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to writing good code that I think is totally awesome.
I’ve also discovered that most of what gets in our way as developers is not the butt-ugly code but the leadership and connection of the team. To that effect, I frequent a local Toastmasters International club to work on my communication and leadership skills. They helped me get over a crippling fear of public speaking too.
My first job in the gaming biz was with Digital Anvil just before they were bought out by Microsoft. Microsoft’s IT department gave me the alias ‘Seanba’ which caught on well with just about anyone who heard it. I’ve been using it as a moniker ever since.
You think you can teach us a thing or two, huh?
Ugh. For a couple of years now I’ve been thinking it would cool to become a Joel Spolsky or Jeff Atwood some day and then I could start my own blog, but I think now that’s the reverse way of looking at it.
So I’m not really looking at this as a way to pass on sage wisdom. At it’s core, this is simply a means to my own growth. It’s just one of my ways of trying to suck less.
My day job.
As of this writing, I’m working at Junction Point, part of Disney Interactive Studios. Funny thing, as a much younger person I often dreamt of working for Disney as a classical animation artist – something I stopped thinking about once I realized I enjoyed programming. It’s kind of funny how life works out sometimes.
(And for the love of god, please understand that every single thing I ever write is my opinion only – and does not represent the views of my employer in any way.)