I’ve played with blogging multiple times before. My original blog was Element 61, which gained some decent traffic thanks to dissecting some of the Quake 3 codebase that had recently been released. I got bored of it fairly quickly, though, after failing to write a coherent discussion of my terrain engine. More recently I maintained GameDev.Net Journal, which I got access to after being granted moderator privileges. I made a number of posts there, almost entirely technical. I lost steam on that several months ago. And so now I’m here, on attempt three, with Ventspace.
A couple reasons. There are any number of idiots out there who can code, and well. For me, that’s not enough. It’s inadequate to just code. One of the key aspects of being a software developer is being able to communicate effectively. And in an increasingly electronic world, writing is key to communication. So first and foremost, I’m writing here because that’s the only way I can improve as a writer. Then there’s the idea that I have something to share with other developers, and that other developers can gain insight into their own work by reading what I have to say. It’s why I read The Old New Thing and Coding Horror. (Although Atwood’s been slacking ever since the Stack Overflow project started.) Last, there’s the simple fact that people seem to enjoy my writing. People seem to like my weekly entries for The Daily GameDev.Net, and my regular forum posting as well. Unfortunately that forum posting has (somewhat necessarily, due to being a moderator now) lost its edge, and I’m thinking I’ll use this blog to get that feel back.
But why here?
Why not my journal, or my older Blogspot site? For one thing, I have technical objections against both those blogs, and it looks like WordPress is a far more promising alternative. GameDev’s real advantage is that my direct, best audience is right there and able to comment easily, but it is lacking in features. (Plus, I don’t like the URL format it uses.) Blogspot’s integration with Google is handy, but other than that I’m just more impressed by what I see with WordPress. The main reason, though, is that I’ve decided to try and draw a line in the sand. I think I read this most recently on Coding Horror, but it’s advice that you will get from practically any experienced writer/blogger — the only way to successfully run a blog is to post regularly, and often. That’s the way you get the rhythm of writing down, become more efficient at writing, and frankly it’s the only way to build an audience. Unfortunately, I’m terrible with schedules. Truly terrible. It’s a miracle I paid my rent today. So I’m not committing to specific update days. However, I’ve decided that I will, as much as possible, put three new entries a week into Ventspace, starting now.
Quality probably won’t be consistent, and I guarantee you I can’t sustain a rate of three insightful, technical posts a week. Some of them are going to be stupid. I might recycle a few from the older blogs. That’s fine though; that’s how a blog works. Sometimes there I will post a magnificent essay on SlimDX’s development process, and sometimes I will post funny pictures. But one way or another, I will keep new content flowing, and hopefully people will read it. Ventspace IS a technical blog by a professional programmer, but I think a more interesting mix can’t hurt. And to start off that more interesting mix, allow me to reintroduce myself.
I’m Promit Roy. I live in Baltimore, and work for Day 1 Studios as a Core Technology Engineer. My focus has historically been in games, and to a lesser extent tools and other client applications. Right now I am mainly in charge of build system development/maintenance (a role I share with my immediate boss) and tools development. I’m kind of a “whatever needs to get done” infrastructure Engineer at Day 1. This is my blog, Ventspace, and it has no affiliation with Day 1 and does not represent their views. My interests in software development are not terribly specific, but I like mid to low level architecture stuff, and I hate the web. But I’m pragmatic, and the web seems rather more important these days, so I’m planning to learn that too. I also love cars and talking about cars. I’m writing because unlike most of the software developers out there, I’m actually good at it and I’m not going to let that ability rot.
Welcome to Ventspace.