Staff Focus: Luke Roberts
Luke joined the technical team at the Mackman Group in January 2011. He has recently completed is time as the studio apprentice, and is now a Developer within the team, working to deliver websites, e-commerce and software to clients. Luke lives in Sudbury, Suffolk.
What did you study at university and why?
I studied Game Design, it's a subject that I've always been passionate about. Gaming has really exploded into popular culture in recent years, but to me, it's still unexplored territory - which is what makes it so interesting. Unlike other forms of popular media, games are dependent on user participation. When you stop and think about it, that's a pretty powerful statement. It's not a like a book, a film, or a piece of music - a game can react, and even challenge how you behave during the course of play. Brilliant!
What lead you to develop your skills as a general programmer?
One of the things which drew me to programming, was how analogous it is to every day writing. When writing, if something doesn't work, it's probably down to a spelling mistake, or bad grammar. If something works really well, it's a concise turn of phrase. Programming languages might not be particularly emotive, but they're languages all the same.
What inspires you about the internet?
I find it really interesting watching how the internet reflects on society as a culture. How we choose to represent ourselves, or interact with others. How quickly trends can rise and ebb. The web provides these wonderfully unique snapshots into human nature.
Also, developing content for the web overlaps with creating contents for games. How best to represent complex information? How to reinforce the result of an action to a consumer? How to stimulate someone into interacting with the content? All these questions apply to both areas, and really play to my strengths.
What's it like working at Mackman?
Challenging...but in a good way! Every client and every job has unique requirements. I'm constantly being pushed outside my comfort zone, which means I'm always picking up new skills and developing new ideas. It can be a little daunting, always exciting, and very satisfying when you're able to present a unique solution at the end of a project.
How might your colleagues describe you?
I'm sure the phrase 'strong coffee' would come up at some point. Beyond that, I wouldn't like to guess.
What might we catch you 'up to' on the days you're not at Mackman?
I'm very much a creature of simple pleasures. Chances are you'll find me curled up with a good book, listening to jazz. Tinkering with my computer and drinking coffee...or designing, building, modifying, analysing, and sometimes even playing games!
What're your future goals?
To keep pushing myself. I always feel like I need to be learning something new and improving my skills. Working at Mackman is great at supporting this goal, which is why I hope to continue here for a long time to come! Outside of work, I'm hoping to really make a home for myself in the local area.