Brianna Wu, Giant Spacekat

brianna sm rev60

Brianna is the founder of Giant Spacekat. She and her team of women are developing the iOS game Revolution 60.

  • What do you currently do?

I am head of development at Giant Spacekat, a videogame company specializing in cinematic experiences. That means solving all problems is ultimately up to me. I hire and fire people, make sure we have enough money to continue operating, and make sure that my game is on track.

  • How did you get started in Mac and/or iOS programming?

I’ve always been very into computers. I learned C++ at an early age, but most of my skills have been in animation, illustration, and 3D. To me, being a videogame developer is a perfect intersection of programming and art.

  • What was the first app you created and what did it do?

My first app was a utility for searching the Final Fantasy VI FAQ for strings and keywords. I was so proud of it! My passion for that game pushed me to learn to program.

  • What went well? What could have gone better?

There’s a great quote by Ira Glass. “All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.”

What went well was beginning to understand programming logic. The logic that goes into doing a read/write in C++ is not fundamentally different than using the iCloud API. This is learning to think like a programmer.

What didn’t go well was beating myself up over the program’s shortcomings. The interface was terrible, and some of the features I really wanted were too complex to develop.

  • What is your favorite among the apps you’ve developed?

Revolution 60 is, by far, the proudest achievement of my life. It’s a dramatic story with an all-female cast. I’m working with an unbelievably talented group of women to bring it to fruition.

  • What advice do you have for young people who want to make apps?

First of all, high school is awful. Right now, you are living in a fishbowl with a ton of dramatic nonsense. In 10 years you will look back at this time and roll your eyes. But, the truth is, the skills you are developing now will let you work in one of the most interesting, fun career fields on the planet. Stick with it.

Secondly, even though I don’t know you personally – I know a lot about you just because you’re reading these words. You are interested in things other people are not. You sometimes wonder if you are different than the people around you. You feel immense pressure to fit in with other girls.

I want to tell you to not let this special part of you get lost in the next decade. Because, you will be under immense peer pressure. And don’t take any nonsense from undersocialized guys, either.

Follow Brianna on Twitter and App.net.

Help more girls learn software development. Contribute to the App Camp For Girls Indiegogo fundraiser, get a cool perk, and enjoy the feeling of having helped the next generation of software developers.

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