Monday, 7 September 2015

Destiny: Nostalgia - Becoming Legend

The Taken King is just over a week away and the Destiny 2.0 patch is tomorrow!

One of the things I am really interested in experiencing is the entire "Nolandroid" version of the game. Bungie's decision to recast the Ghost from Peter Dinklage to Nolan North is great news for the story and I'm hoping that we are given more of a character to bond with.

Unfortunately, some of the original story content will most likely require creating a new character for you to be able to replay it (like the very first mission). Rather than delete an existing character (all three of which I have grown to love), I opted for rolling a new account! This has the added bonus of starting me off completely anew and returning the excitement of loot drops :D

So that the original Destiny experience was fresh in my mind, I decided to create a brand new Hunter. Whilst this was fun, all the uglier parts of Destiny niggled at me here and there. This game is very shallow as a solo experience, you really have to enjoy it socially to get the most of the limited content.

Even then, if you rely on matchmaking, there are the "AFKers" you need to worry about. When playing strikes, you will more often than not come across players who are actively doing nothing to contribute. There is little you can do about this, either you carry them or you leave.

Aside from the challenge of being matched with decent human beings to play with, I grabbed the Walking Tall bounty which tasked you with finishing a strike without dying. Being only level 8 at the time with basic gear, this was no easy feat.

When I finally found my first solid group, we blitzed through the The Devil's Lair strike on Earth. The final boss was a long battle of attrition but eventually we had this false deity: "Sepiks Prime", within an inch of it's life. My Hunter was weary from many non-quite lethal wounds but still had something saved for this exact moment...

Sepiks Prime Golden Gun Kill 

I'll treasure all these little miniature "Moments Of Triumph" as part of an ensemble of "Becoming Legend". Little things have held this game back but nevertheless this first year has been a blast. Hopefully The Taken King can live up to the hype this time around and find out what it really is to Become Legend.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Code Review - Where To Start

I really enjoyed reading: What To Look For In A Code Review - it touches on something I do everyday and is a skill I really want to hone.

One of the things I have learnt is code review should never start with looking at what the code does or even how it does it. Take this snippet for example:

There are many things you could comment on:
  • The insane mixture of camelCase and underscores
  • A curious use of the package-private visibility
  • Rather disturbing presence of the Singleton annotation
Whilst all these questions are very valid, without proper context they may prove to be completely redundant! Building up this context is where a code review should start, establish:
  • Why is the code needed?
  • What is the underlying problem being solved?
This information shouldn't be limited to the code review either, the code should communicate this for any future readers.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Destiny - A Story Of Good Karma

I love it when a good deed pays off instantly, even if it is only by the blessing of the RNG :P One cold Saturday afternoon I helped my Level 29 brother and a friend through their first Crota's End Raid. We wiped a few times but eventually we made it through. At the very end, a member of the fireteam mentioned someone appeared to have been rewarded Gjallarhorn (the most sort after prize in Destiny). We went to orbit to see who it was...

Destiny - I Wonder Who Got Gjallarhorn? (Reaction - Crota's End Normal) 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

London Java Community - Open Conference 2014

I have had an absolute blast attending my 3rd LJC Unconference! As always I have learnt loads and this year I also had the opportunity to help others find out some nifty things as well :)

Discussion - Concurrent Applications In The Modern JVM & Using Akka

The last four letters of my name are still being horrendously neglected
I took the plunge and got roped in by our funnest software evangelist to answer the call of two developers interested in Modern Concurrency and Akka (@Simon - remember it is Edward - not Ed! :P)

When I originally agreed to do this in the morning, I was hoping for a small group of people to show up and we would have some simple roundtable discussion... Somehow at 3pm I found myself in the main room standing in front of thirty or more people!!! Luckily I had "The One" with me and the LSCC Roundtables have taught me how to lead a discussion (much love to Samir, Sandro and Tom for this!)

To start the discussion, I gave a little rant about how manually wiring up multi-threaded code is really hard and the pitfalls we found when using Akka in BetterRev - an Adopt OpenJDK project to change the way we change Java. From there we all talked about our various experiences and there were some great insights from people on a range of concurrency topics/tools. I really enjoyed the session and hope people got something out of it :)

Developing As A Developer - Getting Involved With The Community

The number of first time attendees to the conference was quite high and I got to speak to a bunch of developers that were just starting their professional careers. My advice to everyone was to get involved with the community, even if you by just blogging! Sharing the interesting things you have learnt is a great way to ensure you reinforce that learning and can lead you to learn new things.

One of the funnest and most rewarding things you can do with the community is to hack together. Attending code dojos and hands on sessions gives you the opportunity to learn more about anything from sweet IDE shortcuts to SOLID software design principles. I cannot recommend these enough!


Another year has passed and I'm already excited for the next conference. My thanks to all that gave me such invaluable advice again and to everyone involved in organising and running the conference!

Destiny - Awesomeness

3 months on from the full release of Destiny and despite all of its flaws, I am still very much enjoying this game. There is definitely fun to be had but it is very much dependent on how you approach the game. Finding a bunch of people that you can have a laugh with is invaluable, if you play alone you are missing out on some of the best content!

Moments of "awesomeness" await you, so long as you now how to find it. As I've mentioned before, there is a special move you can unlock that gives you the ability to soar through the air like Superman. This opens up the opportunity to play a hero that is fighting giant aliens to save the world, all the while pretending to be Kal-El... saucesome :D

Check out my channel for more Destiny awesomeness!