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 doggies. (aka Team Barton)
- 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. (Note: By totally awessome I’m not talking about code that is engineered up the wazoo with patterns and abstractions. For me it’s finding a good balance between functionality, clarity, and complexity — in a nutshell.)
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.
My day job.
Like everyone else in this industry I’ve been around. To date I’ve been employed by Digital Anvil (Microsoft), NCsoft, Spacetime Studios, and Junction Point Studios (Disney Interactive). My current venture is with 22nd Century Toys, a contracting/consulting company I’ve formed with industry friends.
Disclaimer: Anything I write on this blog is my opinion only and does not reflect the views of my employer.