SMART: Learn to Code in Unreal

I can feel the hair standing up on the back of Jamie’s neck. Image.

Specific

I will learn to code for Unreal projects using C++ so that I can write more efficient and powerful games which will lead to more opportunities for my games to be successful and for my skill to be employed by others. I will do this by the end of this year, 2019. I will be focused an this narrow flavour of C++ for at least 7 hours per week. Its worth mentioning here that although that amount of time seems small in comparison to the task, there is another 7 hours dedicated to a C++ course and once that is complete, would be rolled into this goal.

Measurable

I will know that this is complete when I am performing only the necessary tasks in Unreal’s scripting language, Blueprint. All of my game logic should be in C++. I intend to complete small game projects similar to the Battery Collector tutorial. I will be following this goal with other smaller goals soon.

Achievable

This is achievable because I already have a good grasp on C++ and can quickly find solutions to most to the problems that I encounter. A similar skill I have learned is Unreal’s Blueprint scripting language and I have been able to demonstrate a high level of understanding about how this system works. C++ feels like the natural extension of this skill. I am aiming to have a high level of skill in this area but I appreciate that its something that will take a long time to acquire. I intend to compose other, smaller SMART goals that can combine to allow me to complete this overarching one. I need to make sure that I am learning good design practices so that I can write my own, effective code.

Relevant

This goal is relevant because Unreal is a very popular game engine and is one that I would like to be highly skilled with. Its well known that to get the most from the engine, C++ is required. The goal is also relevant because C++ is an industry standard in game and software development in general and is not something very narrow, created by Epic that could only be used with the engine. I am the right person for this task as I have shown an aptitude already for creating game logic with Blueprint. In the future I will need this skill because I want to make my own games and failing that, I want to be employable as a competent developer. This is the right time for this goal as I am experiencing limitations in Unreal that could be solved using C++. I also have the time to dedicate to learning about this for the rest of this year.

Time Bound

This goal is quite general in the sense that I know that learning something with this much complexity and opportunity to improve is never really ‘achieved’ and is more accurately described as a mile stone on the journey of continuous development. Because of this I am focusing on the time that I know I have in which to learn enough to be employable, which is the end of the year, 2019. I intend to create other, smaller goals that feed into this one. These will be project or feature based.

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