ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 41

Endless possibilities

Techno Page Helpline (TPH) is our help desk that is dedicated to solving your technical and not so technical; silicon-based and carbon-based problems and ethical dilemmas. If you can withstand 'high-voltage sarcasm', 'low-frequency cynicism' and new-age computer wisdom; outsource your questions and comments to us at and share a few bytes of humour. When you write in, don't forget to add 'TPH' in the subject line!

Dear TPH,
I study in a leading boys' school in Kandy. I want to do an IT degree after leaving school. I really like multimedia and I want to specialize in game-development. Can you please advise me?

Dear HT,

It wasn't long ago that the lure of an IT degree parted me from the slopes of Hantana and the cool breeze that blows ever so softly across the misty Kandy Lake. A career in multimedia and games development sounds perfect for you, or anything else for that matter – as long as you don't push me off my job as a columnist.

You know HT, my dream was to become a fighter pilot, but the fact that I cannot count my own fingers without the aid of a pair of clumsy spectacles meant that no sane person was ever going to trust me with an airplane. But I can hold no grudges against the Air Force when my father didn't even trust me with the family car until a couple of years ago!!! Then I wanted to be a psychiatrist and I was surely going to be good at it because arguably it would take an insane person to understand another right? Finally, I accidentally crash-landed in IT and settled comfortably ever since.

Computers are wonderful things, for the simple reason that they offer something for everyone. Whether you are a mathematician, naturalist, artist, musician, businessman, gamer or writer, the cyber-world offers you endless possibilities and opportunities to extend your abilities beyond imagination.

Game development is an exciting and extremely rewarding avenue in computer technology. But I hope you have been led into thinking that it’s all play and no work. Successful game developers are among the coolest people you can hang around with because they are multi-skilled and have a wide range of interests.

On one end of their talent spectrum, they are skilled mathematicians and have the ability to imagine and visualise what they are going to create in 3D. On the other hand, I have found some of them to be well-read and competent historians or story tellers with whom you could talk about practically anything and maintain long and engaging conversations. In between those, they pack arrays of multimedia and programming skills ranging from C++ and Java, a mastery of 3D modelling software and game development shells such as "Unreal Engine". Of course it is not always necessary to have expert knowledge of all of these because you may have the option to specialize in a few.

Once your schooling years have broadened your shoulders and the world outside has taught you its secrets, your dreams and career aspirations may change.

It is great to be able to plan your career well in advance, to find out so early in your life the source of all the passion that drives you and know your strengths well. Be open however, to life's little revelations. If you have the opportunity, talk to different IT professionals and ask them about their work. Doing so will give you a better picture of at least some of the things that really happen behind those tinted office windows.

Especially in a field like Information Technology, where opportunities to be innovative and creative are practically endless, there is no reason for you to settle for anything less than the sweetest and the grandest of all your dreams. All the best!

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.