Q&A : Dan Farley - Principal Software Engineer

Staff Profile: Dan Farley - Principal Software Engineer

Location: Bristol, UK
Education: BSc in Computer Science

How and when did you join SN Systems?

I joined in 2000, straight out of university, although I'd had a number of games industry jobs during my education. I started in my summer holidays working as a game tester, then part time as a programmer at games-related companies. Once I finished my degree I knew I wanted to work in the games industry, and the position at SN was the perfect fit.

What do you do at SN Systems?

I've worked on the majority of our Windows development tools, most recently on our Performance Analysis tool - Razor. This often involves developing new features from the design phase, right though to implementation and support.

Supporting and working closely with our customers has always been of highest importance at SN. Over the years I've met with many of our customers at their offices and at trade shows, gathering feedback and providing training.

What has been the biggest challenge during your time at SN Systems?

Performance analysis sessions on an upcoming game can be daunting. Faced with an unfamiliar code base, and tight deadlines, performance optimisations are often left to the last minute of a game's development. But eking out the last bit of processing power and seeing the game running smoothly and optimally is hugely satisfying.

What do you like most about working at SN Systems?

I particularly like the relaxed and friendly working environment, along with the interesting and technically challenging workload. Oh, and the business trip(s) to Tokyo!

What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into programming?

There's a huge amount of information online to help you get started programming, but you've got to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Pick a personal project that interests you, whether it's a game, tool, or whatever, and see it through to the end. Start small, and pick realistic goals!

What do you particularly like about living in your location?

Having worked at various times in all of our office locations, I can say that they all have their own charms. But they all share a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and a quiet focus on developing the best solutions for our customers.