The world of technology, although niche, provides an infinite amount of possibilities in the current era we are living in. To Anton Yip, a graduate from DigiPen (Singapore)’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design programme, he attributes his versatility in the programming language to DigiPen (Singapore)’s way of teaching.
Currently a Software Engineer at Continental Automotive Singapore, Anton Yip has found his footing in a job typically described as being a “jack of all trades”.
What motivated your decision to pursue your degree with DigiPen (Singapore)?
Anton Yip: I have always known that I wanted to join the computer software industry since my polytechnic days. Growing up, I was a huge gamer and would spend quite a fair bit of my time playing the different games on the Warcraft 3 platform. When I saw this course (Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design), I thought to myself, computer science and gaming, best of both worlds combined into one. Let’s do it!
What sparked your interest in games?
Anton: I don’t know when exactly I was hooked onto games, but in my primary school days, I was always fascinated by games as they always had a sort of progression that made your character that you were playing stronger. Runescape and Diablo 2 were huge influences on me.
Yip Yan Kit Anton
What unique opportunities were you given as a student?
Anton: Every semester in school, everyone had to form groups and build their own game, showing their progression of development. I found this part of the programme very engaging as you were always trying to find ways to make your game look better. This course doesn’t limit your creativity and you are allowed to build any type of game. Then you had to convince your friends through meetings and discussions to build your vision of the game.
What did you like about the programme delivery at DigiPen (Singapore)?
Anton: The lecturers in DigiPen (Singapore) are more concerned about your understanding of important concepts, rather than if your final answer is correct. My advice for those who are looking to enrol in DigiPen (Singapore) is to pay attention to your lecturer. You can blunder through the tutorial, but if you do not understand the concepts of how the solution is found, you will face an uphill task when taking the final tests.
How has your education with DigiPen (Singapore), prepared you for your current role?
Anton: By understanding the concepts that are taught in DigiPen (Singapore), you can apply the knowledge to any programming language in the world (C, C#, Java, HTML, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby etc.). You will be able to handle any and every language easily as they all follow Object Orientated Programming. As a Software Engineer with Continental, we use many different tools to assist in building dashboards and this helps me understand what is going on in a different tool written in a different language.
Tell us more about your current role and responsibilities.
Anton: I am currently a Software Engineer with Continental Automotive Singapore. My roles and responsibilities mainly revolve around developing, and maintaining a tool which handles animations on a car’s dashboard. Together with my team, we support our colleagues from different countries regarding all sorts of issues ranging from simple bug fixes to huge modification requests. I find that the most satisfying and rewarding part of my role, would be striking a balance and working towards solving a problem together with my teammates.
What are some interesting little-known facts about DigiPen (Singapore) that you would like to share with readers?
Anton: You can change courses if you decide that your calling is geared more towards art or programming after enrolling in the course that you have chosen. For me, I have had friends who switched courses because they felt that they fit better as a game engine programmer rather than a game designer or vice versa. From my point of view, you get to see what it is like during the first two semesters of starting DigiPen (Singapore) and you would find yourself repeatedly asking, is that what I want to do?
Are there any qualities necessary for game programmers to possess?
Anton: Game designers are really a “jack of all trades”. You need to be able to think of the art design, the music design, the game engine design and how you are going to merge your game logic in between all of these. It is a very delicate balancing act as you need to give the user an exciting and captivating experience. Game programming is just one part of being a game designer, but you need to be able to understand the concepts of the others before you are able to do it well!
What advice would you give those who are considering to enrol into your course of study?
Anton: Stay strong, study hard. Having a strong foundation in programming languages will fast track you. However, understanding the concepts to how something works in the lessons taught at DigiPen (Singapore) is more important as they teach you how to problem solve instead of showing you the solution.