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Programming Play

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Presented at FITC Toronto 2016
See details at www.fitc.ca

Overview

The dreaded moment: you feel stagnant, creatively uninspired, maybe even, dare I say it… burnt out? Whether it’s a result of long hours or boredom through familiarity, being blocked can be disheartening —something we all experience in varying degrees. How can you bounce back from a creative block as a developer? How can you re-discover your own motivation and desire to make work that interests you?

This session will propose ideas and strategies to ban your inner critic and to embrace your inner 5 year old to stomp through creative blocks. We will look at the output of some of these ideas a from slightly burnt out developer – from programming experiments to mentoring initiatives.

Objective

Inspire attendees to find ways to keep their technical skills fresh by employing fun in their every day practice.

Target Audience

Developers and Designers looking for ways to re-discover motivation, and find ways to express what they want to say.

Five Things Audience Members Will Learn

How to identify the feeling of being burnt out
How to create a schedule that encourages play
How to get buy in from your employer
How to get work doing things you like
How to face the mundane stuff you need to do on a day to day

Published in: Internet
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Programming Play

  1. 1. PROGRAMMING PLAY STACEY MULCAHY @bitchwhocodes
  2. 2. IF YOU COULD AUTO-TUNE A VOICE WITH A PUBESCENT FILTER…. LAUGH
  3. 3. AND THEN PROCESS IT TO SOUND LIKE SOMEONE WHO SMOKED FOR 30 YEARS…. LAUGH
  4. 4. IT WOULD SOUND LIKE ME TODAY. LAUGH
  5. 5. I AM SORRY. LAUGH
  6. 6. HOW CANADIAN OF ME LAUGH
  7. 7. EH? LAUGH
  8. 8. CAN I TELL YOU A STORY? [CLAP FOR YES, DO IT] [CLAP FOR MEH, MAYBE] NOTE: THERE IS NO OPTION
  9. 9. remember last accomplishment at work? armpit of the universe So the other day, I was with my co-worker on our offices roof top patio in times square. Its about 7 stories up. And there I am, leaning over the edge, yelling down at everyone “John, JOHN”. My co-worker asked who i was yelling at. I said I had no idea. He was like what? And I said “well with that many people down there, surely someone is named John”. He laughed. And looked at me and said “I need more of this in my day to day life”. And I was all “need what?”. And he said “more play. I need to make more opportunities in life, in work, to play”. And this made me think about this presentation. Because this is how I am all the time. Isn’t everyone else?
  10. 10. remember last accomplishment at work? armpit of the universe So the other day, I was with my co-worker on our offices roof top patio in times square. Its about 7 stories up. And there I am, leaning over the edge, yelling down at everyone “John, JOHN”. My co-worker asked who i was yelling at. I said I had no idea. He was like what? And I said “well with that many people down there, surely someone is named John”. He laughed. And looked at me and said “I need more of this in my day to day life”. And I was all “need what?”. And he said “more play. I need to make more opportunities in life, in work, to play”. And this made me think about this presentation. Because this is how I am all the time. Isn’t everyone else?
  11. 11. remember last accomplishment at work? do you remember your last accomplishment at work? at least one you celebrated?
  12. 12. cynical beyond repair? are you cynical beyond repair
  13. 13. cynical beyond repair? is your attention span nonexistent
  14. 14. are you exhausted all the time
  15. 15. inability to complete tasks? are you unable to finish to things?
  16. 16. remember last accomplishment at work? Do you feel like you are just running in circles and not really progression?
  17. 17. do the littlest of things send you into a murderous rage?
  18. 18. lack of motivation? Do you lack motivation?
  19. 19. remember last accomplishment at work? being burnt out
  20. 20. lack of motivation? SIGNS OF BURN OUT VERY SIMILAR TO DEPRESSION Do you lack motivation?
  21. 21. I didn’t really have anyone to say “ yer doing too much”, or chill out, or just like take care of yourself.
  22. 22. 22 When we were kids we loved to play. Look at all the wonder that a simple cardboard box could give us. I tried to think about being an adult. And having a cardboard box. Would it bring me the same wonder, the same delight? http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/PJ-BH348_TINKER_G_20120522174958.jpg https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/92/15/e5/9215e56a97526e73172f29d33543079e.jpg https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b9/40/8a/b9408aa387d8fce11de9857a4e7268e1.jpg
  23. 23. 23 Nooooooope. I mean first of all, a search for cardboard box and adult brings about just stock images. Apparently there is not a single “candid” image of an adult with boxes. Also - its all about responsibility. Tasks. It’s about getting stuff done, not exploring it. http://www.thurstontogether.org/whatWeDo/education-prevention/gang-prevention/Graffiti%20Spring%20Clean-up%202010%20012.jpg
  24. 24. 24 http://i.imgur.com/EJRDDEJ.jpg?1 Kids put on a cape or a clock and it transforms them and their world.
  25. 25. 25 They create their own reality while as adults we suspend ours..
  26. 26. HAVE WE FORGOTTEN HOW TO PLAY
  27. 27. Good question right?
  28. 28. Have we honestly just forgotten how to find fun in the every day ordinary events - and how that can benefit our work as developers ?
  29. 29. 29 We take ourselves so seriously. We spend inordinate amounts of time trying to prove we are right as adults. Worse, we comment on the internet to support that.
  30. 30. We build our reps. Our profiles. We contribute to the community. We are serious. Sometimes too serious. We believe we are right. We become assholes at work. We start to use words like “ JUST” and “OBVIOUSLY”
  31. 31. We become that person that is always looking for the next opportunity.
  32. 32. we become so timid and afraid
  33. 33. just when we think we have the hang of things, things get weird. or different. or they change. or there is more of it.
  34. 34. 34 and our jobs become serious. and more structured. With more obstacles than ever before.
  35. 35. And even with the people that we work with, they don’t see us as playful or creative. Because our idea of creative thinking, is efficiencies in workflow.
  36. 36. HOW CAN WE PLAY AT WORK
  37. 37. WE ALL LIKE TO LAUGH
  38. 38. and i started to just do things I thought was funny to help kickstart ideas.
  39. 39. should i reply all ?
  40. 40. facebook
  41. 41. instagram
  42. 42. NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE USEFUL
  43. 43. GRITTEH KITTEH EXPERIMENTAL WILL FIND ITS APPLICATION
  44. 44. “If there is any piece of writing that defines our culture, I submit it’s the SkyMall catalog,” the author Bill McKibben wrote in a 2006 essay in Orion magazine, a nature and culture magazine published every two months. “To browse its pages is to understand the essential secret of American consumer life: That we’ve officially run out not only of things we need, but even of things we might plausibly desire.” In its 19 years, the SkyMall catalog… 19 years?? p.s. that’s 1995In its 19 years, the SkyMall catalog… 19 years?? p.s. that’s 1995
  45. 45. COMFORT
  46. 46. STYLE
  47. 47. MAKING NEW FRIENDS
  48. 48. QUALITY OF LIFE
  49. 49. BUSINESS
  50. 50. FUR BABIES
  51. 51. BRB - very busy dying with my cats
  52. 52. truth is they are just checking to see if you are breathing so that they can eat your face.
  53. 53. Start to feel bad cos you are giving more attention to one than the other
  54. 54. This cat is all - fuck you, you forgot my damn fancy feast and didn’t change my litter today. Not my fault you kept yourself logged into facebook
  55. 55. Next think you know your social feeds are populated with selfies of your cat
  56. 56. Eating stuff right out of the bowl like an animal
  57. 57. and this is what you have to look forward to when you fall.
  58. 58. So I thought – I wonder if there is a stuffed cat I can get
  59. 59. And sure enough, there are some weird ones.
  60. 60. These looked pretty good
  61. 61. So I bought one from ebay. Made of rabbit hair. Don’t ask.
  62. 62. Gritteh Kitteh A cat that has conductive thread that basically replaces a mouse. You can “scroll” and “select”. Scroll by petting, and then select by pressing on the head. Connects to a node app where it pulls images from Instragram images labelled “kitteh’ – you can scroll through images, and select the ones you want to download.
  63. 63. It in action.
  64. 64. GRITTEH KITTEH BRING A FRIEND TO THE SANDBOX BOOTY BUMP Bring a friend to the sandbox. Remember the days of knocking on someones door and be all “ heh can so and so come out and play, we got a rousing game of kick the can going”. We don’t do this as adults. If we do, we call it “collaboration”. Whatever you want to call it, do it.
  65. 65. Need to set up this story Need images that tell the story of that one moment - you have no one to high five, no one gives a shit, they don’t see it as the big deal that it is. You don’t trust that it worked. its like a miracle …
  66. 66. Need to set up this story Need images that tell the story of that one moment - you have no one to high five, no one gives a shit, they don’t see it as the big deal that it is. You don’t trust that it worked. its like a miracle …
  67. 67. Need to set up this story Need images that tell the story of that one moment - you have no one to high five, no one gives a shit, they don’t see it as the big deal that it is. You don’t trust that it worked. its like a miracle …
  68. 68. Need to set up this story Need images that tell the story of that one moment - you have no one to high five, no one gives a shit, they don’t see it as the big deal that it is. You don’t trust that it worked. its like a miracle …
  69. 69. 
 storytime My r&d space at BigSpaceShip
  70. 70. 
 storytime We started to work
  71. 71. 
 storytime Stacey Need image of building my butt bust
  72. 72. 
 storytime Stacey Need image of building my butt bust
  73. 73. 
 storytime Stacey Need image of building my butt bust
  74. 74. GRITTEH KITTEH FOLLOW IT WHERE IT TAKES YOU SKRILLTREX
  75. 75. Play more. Skrilltrex
  76. 76. GRITTEH KITTEH DO STUFF & TALK ABOUT IT TWEETHEART
  77. 77. GRITTEH KITTEH BRING PEOPLE ALONG WITH YOU SHOT SHOTS SHOTS
  78. 78. so we took a beverage jar
  79. 79. added a solenoid which is good for “opening” latches/doors
  80. 80. added a relay so we could fire it remotely
  81. 81. and then added some voice recognition and processing for buzzwords.
  82. 82. my plan was working. i was injecting fun into everything we do.
  83. 83. GRITTEH KITTEH REDISCOVER THE ART OF PLAY THROUGH OTHERS YOUNG GAME MAKERS
  84. 84. MEET AMANDA SHE SAVED ME FROM MYSELF
  85. 85. How cute is this. this dude is showing me his lego man he made that he is animating in scratch and the storyline was to be believed. You just gotta go with it, suspend all reality and embrace weird.
  86. 86. LOOK AT THIS DUDE. He did his own graphics. He scanned them in. he came with his own scanner. He was showing up something fierce.
  87. 87. GRITTEH KITTEH FIND TIME TO PLAY MORE
  88. 88. Its time to wake up. It’s time to stop being complacent. To stop being so serious. To find ways to play that keep up interested and invested. And that in playing, we might find applications for it. Its important for growth
  89. 89. Its okay if we try at it and fail. Its important to have the opportunity to explore.
  90. 90. Playing is about thinking differently. It lets you approach things in ways you would’t have before.
  91. 91. Playing will help keep you interested and curious. You don’t want to turn around and see complacency sneaking up on you.
  92. 92. THANKS I AM STACEY MULCAHY I DANCE LIKE EVERYONE IS WATCHING (THEN IMMEDIATELY DENY IT) @bitchwhocodes

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