It may seem unusual that Scott Fries, a software and game development student from Clarksville, Tennessee, has never seen Star Wars, Star Trek Lord of the Rings, or other famous sci-fi/fantasy films that are fan favorites at Neumont University, but Scott has plenty in common with his colleagues. He shares his passion for figuring out how things work with students he tutors in the game development program.
Scott's passion for creating also won him the Industry Choice Award at Neumont University's Capstone Project Invitational. His project, The Balance Engine – Android, was written primarily in C++. He created the game engine to help other developers more easily create games for the untapped Android market.
“I really enjoyed the amount of technical knowledge I had to teach myself throughout the project, he says. “Working with brand new systems and technologies was a really enjoyable and challenging experience.”
NU: First off, how much programming experience did you have prior to coming to Neumont University?
SF: When I decided that I wanted to go to college for computer science during the start of my senior year, I started reading about some of the basic general concepts of computer science, but I had never programmed anything prior to attending Neumont.
NU: What is your favorite programming language?
SF: Currently, my favorite programming language is definitely C++. I love the amount of control it gives you over what you’re doing, and how it lets you break everything if you make a mistake (or just want to as an experiment). It’s a language that forces you to learn everything about what you are doing - sometimes in the most chaotic way possible.
NU: What’s a project you’ve enjoyed most during your time at Neumont?
SF: The project I’ve enjoyed most, thus far, is my desktop game engine that I’m working on now. I really enjoy working on it, because it combines everything that I’ve learned into one major project, while giving me a lot of new topics to research and implement as well.
NU: What’s been the most surprising thing about your Neumont experience?
SF: It really surprises me how far I came out of my shell at Neumont. Prior to Neumont, I had fewer friends than I have fingers, and most all of them didn’t live in the same state as me. While at Neumont, I’ve made several great friends and have definitely improved my social skills more than I ever have been able to before.
NU: Tell us a tech trend you’re interested in and why.
SF: I’m really interested to see how virtual reality and wearable technology will evolve together. I think it will be incredible if we reach the point where you can be virtually anywhere by putting on a headset and sensors that allow you to utilize all of your senses through a computer.
NU: Finish this sentence, “While attending Neumont, I’ve experienced…”
SF: While attending Neumont, I’ve experienced a true challenge. I never enjoyed school prior to Neumont because none of the curriculum ever offered a challenge for me to overcome. While at Neumont, I’ve often been challenged by classes, and when I didn’t find them challenging enough, there was endless ways to add even more technical challenge to my workload.
NU: And looking to the future, what is your dream job?
SF: Currently, I’m hoping to work at Blizzard Entertainment after I graduate, but my priority is working for a company that regularly challenges me, teaches me more, and requires that I continue teaching myself.