Nicholas Andrew Bull BSc (Hons)
I was born in Worcester, England in March of 1992. There I went through school and higher education, where I attended the Worcester College of Technology to study a BTEC National Diploma for IT Practitioners, Software and Games Development. It was here I got my first taste for programming in a variety of areas, standard software development to web development and even getting as chance to build a game in one of my modules called 'Facman' and enjoyed my time there greatly.
Once I graduated from the Worcester College of Technology , I left Worcester to go to Lincoln and attend the University of Lincoln to study a BSc (Hons) in Games Computing. Here I got to expand on my basic knowledge of programming and also specialise in programming in game from general programming in C# and C++, to graphics programming, computer vision and working with game engines like UDK and Unity. I also pushed myself to learn Android and about mobile development as part of my dissertation about "Building and Evaluating a Pervasive Game for Challenging Environments". Shortly after graduating, the thesis of the dissertation was published at the Advances in Computer Entertainment 2013 Annual Conference. As for the mobile application itself, it was renamed Shhh! and published on to Google Play for the world to see. The success of my application and paper being published was picked up by my local paper (Worcester Evening News) whom proceeded to write and publish an article about it. My time at university was amazing and enjoyed every moment of, socially and academically.
Shortly after graduating from university I started my first job as a assistant web developer for Bluebox based in Worcester. As a web developer I was responsible for working on the design, layout and code for a website. In my role I initially started out by updating content to current client websites and changing the layouts of almost ready to set live websites, to look like the creative set for them. As time went on I was put in charge of new clients websites and building them from scratch, working with the designer to bring the creative to life and also building the functionality of the website. While working for Bluebox I was able to enhance the skills I learnt while in education and also pick up new ones, such as using ASP.NET, SQL and jQuery.
After the short term contract ended I moved onto to take my first steps in the games industry and obtained a job Rockstar Lincoln to work as a Games Tester. As a Games Tester I complete assigned tasks within the allocated deadline to find and reproduce errors and problems in game. When an error is found I must complete an accurate and detailed report with subsequent revising of those errors and problems. I work closely with fellow testers to share ideas and suggestions, involving others in decision making, while participating in a close-knit and friendly environment.
After a year and a half into my employment at Rockstar Lincoln, I was given the opportunity to change my career path and start working as a SharePoint Developer. In this role I was responsible for the developing and maintaining of the software-based tool used by the studio. These tools would be used in the Lincoln studio by the QA teams to aid in their testing of the game projects. Other tools were designed and developed to help HR and managers with their jobs also. These tools were built using C#, WPF, MVVM, Prism, Silverlight and WCF.
During my time as a SharePoint Developer, I took ownership of a couple of tools, by designing them myself and developing them in conjunction with the requirements that myself and the department, who the tools was going to be for, agreed on.
Currently I am now working at Ubisoft Leamington as a Tools Programmer. In this position I am responsible for the development of a handful of tools that are used across all of the Ubisoft studios. These tools are built using C#, WPF, MVVM and Prism. Since joining I have worked with a pre-existing code base that I must maintain and add new features to. I have also been responsible for updating some tools and re-introducing them back to the studios, by taking the old code base and giving it a big overhaul. I have also been responsible for creating tools from the ground up, by first listing all of the requirements and building a UML design for the tool. At this point I would then start the implementation on the actual code.
While I was working for Rockstar Lincoln, I was very comfortable working remotely as I would work with other Games Testers at Rockstar North, based in Edinburgh, on a daily basis. I also spent time at Rockstar San Diego in the run up to the launch of GTA V on the PC and here I would also work with people back in Lincoln and North. In my current role at Ubisoft Leamington the majority of my team are based in Newcastle at the Ubisoft Reflections studio. This has helped me improve my remote working skills as I collaborate with them on a daily basis.
Outside of my work life I like to spend my time of course playing video games, my favourite genres being Strategy, RPG, MMO's, racing and any other game that have a very strong story line that immersive the player within. As well as playing games I like to keep my programming skills up by developing games in my free time.
Besides gaming I like to pursue a fit and healthy life, where attending a gym regularly and eating proper nutrition makes up a big part of that. I also play a lot of pool, squash and golf in terms of sport, while also enjoying watching sports like football and rugby. I am also a big music fan and listen to a variety of music, as well as playing my guitar.