Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Meetings schmeetings

I've spent the last two afternoons in long meetings; the first at Screen Yorkshire (regional film, game & media development agency) and today at the University of Bradford's Informatic's school advisory board meeting.

Both were 4-hour monsters and whilst I was fearing the worst, both turned out to be relevent and informing - and ultimately very useful.

I'd like to think I contributed much to both meetings (the second, at Bradford, was attended by many local industry figures and Microsoft, IBM and Sun reps) and that the plans for the future of both regional games developers and potential development graduates at Bradford Uni are in good hands.

For the University we discussed much, especially with regard to paying more attention and focus to students in their first year, helping ultimately steer their degree course options and hopefully finding time to drive their passion and weed out those that are doing games related course because it's better than getting dole and sounds better than Maths/Physics and History.

It was also very interesting to hear what issues the University had itself; the "marketing" of it's courses to get bums on seats, the slow movement of change due to largely institutionalised methodologies and people who just aren't aware of the real pace of change and technology in the real world - which is one of the key reasons graduates just aren't ready when they come out of many courses; they simply learn irrelevent or redundant tools and tech - and it seems they mostly avoid placements these days in favour of earning incomes through part-time jobs to cover course fees and grants.

Out of the meetings, particularly today, there are good signs to develop new relationships with Microsoft (XNA) and also the team doing AI at Bradford University, which is quite exciting.

On the social side, I managed to have a beer with Gordon, Bryan and Craig - and enjoyed a fantastic curry with Dino/Outsource Media at Akbar's in Leeds (Tuesday night). I spent 2hrs getting home from Bradford though, which was a right pain in the arse - despite Yoda's best efforts on my TomTom to avoid the mess which is the motorway out of Bradford, the M62 and the Leeds Ring-Road :-(

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