Interview with our Speaker Martin Splitt about his Talk "Making games with JavaScript and" at JS Kongress 2016

Hi Martin and thank you for your time and the chance to hear a bit more from you and your upcoming talk about Making games with JavaScript and at the JS Kongress in Munich. Can you tell our audience a bit about yourself and your everyday work?

Hey there, thanks for having me!

So I’m a software engineer at Archilogic, a company from Zürich that works on making architecture more accessible and involve more people in the process by allowing to create and edit 3D models right from your browser.

Naturally that means that I work a lot with WebGL and also WebVR to bring great visual quality to as many devices as possible. But that’s not all – we’re pretty crossfunctional so I get to work with the server-side infrastructure, deployment tooling and all that.

Plus, as we’re working towards opening our infrastructure and 3D engine for developers, I get to explore the limits of our tools and libraries, which is fun.

Besides JavaScript I work with Scala, Python or GLSL – the language for the shaders that are used in rendering.

Munich is known as one of the most beautiful cities in europe and with the Alte Kongresshalle we secured us a very unique venue, is it your first visit in Munich or do you travel extensively?

I’ve been to Munich a few times before but there’s a lot to discover nonetheless.

I think you’d need a couple of days to fully explore the “Deutsches Museum” or the Pinakotheken. I can absolutely recommend doing that!

What encourages you to give talks at conferences, is there any special Reason why you applied for the call for papers at the JS Kongress?

I think we’re all in this together and I believe we can do more and do it better when we share knowledge. Especially when meeting a diverse audience.

Everybody has slightly different requirements, constraints, perspectives and experience and we can only be improving what people can do and achieve with what we’re building, when we’re sharing our experiences and knowledge.

The JSKongress was on my radar because I had the pleasure of meeting some of the organisers before and I enjoyed being guest at a MunichJS meetup last year.

I really wanted to meet the community again and share my passion and knowledge here.

JS Kongress is trying to go ahead of other conferences by switching the focus from Web and Mobile to Games, Hardware & Web. Do you believe there is a future of JavaScript outside of the Browser?

I think there is a future outside the browser, too.

We’ve had JavaScript on the server-side for a few years now, we’ve seen JS reach into embedded devices and microcontrollers and with Electron, a few applications that we use and love are now also powered with JS.

Yet, I hope that the ubiquity of JavaScript doesn’t turn people into “expert idiots”.
JavaScript, like any other thing we use, is a tool. It’s a means, not an end.

What I try to say is: If you want to experiment with something and JavaScript is all you know, that’s great – go ahead and use it if you can.

But if you want to build something more sustainable, you should not limit yourself to a single tool, but look into other languages with different paradigms and learn that, so you have more tools to pick from.

Imagine building a house with just a hammer. You may succeed, but if you have a full toolbox with hammer, screwdriver, trowel, drill and more, it’s gonna be easier and probably a somewhat better house.

So don’t use the fact that JavaScript can be found almost everywhere to stop going out of your comfort zone and learning new and different things, especially programming languages.

Many JavaScript Projects are Open Source and “made with love” what is in your opinion the best Part about JavaScript, what do you enjoy the most about JavaScript?

The best part is the community and openness to experimentation.

I hope that’ll stay that way. People sometimes complain about a new JavaScript framework coming out every day, but I find that great. We can have a quick look and find out what tradeoffs they’ve chosen, what techniques they use and if they found something interesting that we haven’t considered so far.

It allows many different approaches to a variety of problems – and here’s the thing: You don’t have to use Angular, React, Ember, Polymer or TheNewHotness.js – just think about how you’d like to approach the problem at hand and then have a glimpse at the things others have build, maybe somebody made the same decisions and you can build on top of that?

What will be the major benefit hearing your talk, what will the audience take home from your words?

I hope to convey that games, while they may seem to be intimidating to build, are a lot of fun and a good practice for everyone.

Besides the fact that you have a lot of freedom in the way you express yourself and your ideas, there’s a lot that goes into making a game. I want to show that with libraries like Phaser, you can skip most of the “tedious” software architecture and design bits and get going with your idea pretty quickly and I’ll show the audience how that works – how they can express their ideas in a very approachable way: A game.

Thank you very much for your time!

We’re looking forward to meet you soon in Munich!?


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