Handmade Hero » Forums » Game » What I've learned from Casey
113 posts

Code hacker/developer

#16719 What I've learned from Casey
1 month ago Edited by Todd on Nov. 9, 2018, 3:29 a.m. Reason: Initial post

Even though this seems to be a niche community and following, I must say that having been in the software world professionally now for a few years, Casey is one of the smartest, most respectable, and most hardworking programmers I've ever had the pleasure of "meeting." The fact that the show still exists after FOUR YEARS says perhaps even more than all of the great lessons learned by watching it. I think this in and of itself goes understated in the community - so many codebases on GitHub are started and abandoned in a matter of months - let alone years.

I thank myself all the time for having learned so many core computer science fundamentals from Casey - and many folks I work with have been impressed by my knowledge which is directly attributable to this show.

But most importantly, Casey has amazing work ethic that is almost completely unheard of now adays. I've never developed a video game and probably never will - but the videos on multithreading, CPU architecture, and compiler stuff are priceless and relevant to the line of work that I'm in as well.

I want to extend a HUGE thank-you to Casey Muratori for having such a positive influence on me as a programmer and also on my career. In a sea of mediocre, Casey's skills, dedication, and teaching ability stand out like a sore-thumb. Casey may appear dogmatic at times but a dose of dogmatism instead of conforming to bullshit practices because "that's the new thing everyone is doing" is extremely important to producing a quality product. In this regard, Casey has inadvertently been a (very, very high quality) mentor to me. It's a shame HandmadeCon is no longer happening because I'd love to meet the man in person!

I'm the smartest man in Athens because I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates
53 posts
#16722 What I've learned from Casey
1 month ago

I can second that one buddy you hit the nail on the head!
55 posts
#16725 What I've learned from Casey
1 month ago

I 100% agree. I am much more comfortable programming now thanks to learning from casey's techniques of compression oriented programming and not trying to pre-plan an architecture from the start.
20 posts


#16727 What I've learned from Casey
1 month ago

I remember something like 7 or 8 years ago, I saw a conference of Jonathan Blow during which he explain a little bit about how he programmed. (like how having a long function can be perfectly fine). This was good, but nearly not enough. I already had the good direction but, I still missed so much on how to manage the complexity of a real program.

Handmade Hero really made a big difference for me. It probably gave me a shortcut of at least ten years of trial and error.

There is still so much to learn. But on my way, I'll make some awesome softwares !

419 posts
#16739 What I've learned from Casey
1 month ago

I learned that when a sign says "here be dragons", it's perfectly possible to conquer those dragons.

A lot of the nitty gritty bits of programming that was hidden behind the runtime or libraries now became clear to me as an area that you can explore instead of leaving it to the experts. And there is no reason to be content with bad APIs though I'm pragmatic enough to deal with historic baggage and leaking abstractions.
Ryan Fleury
136 posts / 1 project

Handmade Network lead and developer of The Melodist

#16740 What I've learned from Casey
1 month ago

I have to share my appreciation for Casey's work as well.

I have been working on game-related technology; specifically, an application that demonstrates this technology. This application has been developed in a fairly standalone environment, apart from surrounding company technologies and practices, so I have been largely in control about how the application is developed.

I was, at some point, tasked with porting the application to a new private platform that I have never touched before. Because I had abstracted the platform code from the application code in a clean way and followed other sane practices taught by Handmade Hero, I was able to port the application in a matter of 1 or 2 days of work. This is also an application that was required to also run on both Windows and Linux.

I can only imagine the sort of nonsense I'd be having to deal with had I not constructed the program in a sane way. It was a great feeling, seeing that the lessons I had learned from Handmade Hero be that valuable in a real-world, work-related scenario. It was great to personally experience evidence that this stuff is actually legit, and that the criticism of Handmade Hero style development sort of falls flat, evidence-wise.

Handmade Network lead and developer of The Melodist
113 posts

Code hacker/developer

#16747 What I've learned from Casey
4 weeks, 1 day ago Edited by Todd on Nov. 11, 2018, 9:44 p.m.


Thanks a lot for sharing a relevant, concrete professional testimonial!

To be more concrete, Casey's work with multithreading has helped me implement a native multithreaded application for work and his explanation of the CPU pipeline, multithreading, hyperthreading, and compiler stuff has helped me in my projects reverse-engineering malware and other software for work (I work as an engineer in software security so my job involves a fair bit of "research" work reverse-engineering assembly code and etc...). He also restored my love of programming because for a while, I was under the impression that eveything had to be OOP because that is "how it's done" now but I learned from him that that is only true if you believe it is... And there is plenty of non-OOP great code out there and also folks who support it.

I'm the smartest man in Athens because I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates
41 posts
#16748 What I've learned from Casey
4 weeks, 1 day ago Edited by NelsonMandella on Nov. 11, 2018, 11:24 p.m.

I was under the impression that everything had to be OOP because that is "how it's done" now but I learned from him that that is only true if you believe it is... And there is plenty of non-OOP great code out there and also folks who support it.

I second that. As an indie game dev who's always worked in C (because of a severe aversion to C++) I've always felt in the back of my mind some degree of shame like there must be something wrong with me for not getting on the OOP bandwagon. So when I finally stumbled upon HMH it was somewhat cathartic to see someone elucidating so many of the ideas/thoughts/concerns/suspicions that had been playing around in my head for so long. I really think HMHs real and lasting value will be the community it helped to spawn as opposed to the educational value of its material.
10 posts

Professional (non-game)developer living in Stockholm, Sweden. Born '84. Gamer since five years of age, computer nerd since six.

#16874 What I've learned from Casey
1 week, 6 days ago Edited by Anders on Nov. 27, 2018, 7:50 p.m.

I planned writing something like this too. But you beat me to it. I'm at episode 91 now and I can't tell you how thankful I am for:

1. The effort Casey has put in doing this and the generosity he has shown. Similar to you've I've been a professional developer for some years now but this series has enhanced my skills in ways no shitty tutorial page would ever be close to doing. When Casey speaks of new programmers being lost in the abstractness of the OOP-world, resting on frameworks and whatnot (which he often does) he is absolutely right. Nothing has revived my interest in programming more than this series, and in a way I'm going back to my own (almost forgotten) roots. I used to fiddle a lot with hardware as kid/teenager, and honestly always felt that the way I've been programming before this series has lacked something. I know what that was now, it was the concrete hardware/OS-near way of programming.

The possibility to follow something like this, where we code a game completely from scratch without any external dependencies, has always been something I wanted. Nowadays being a developer means you are tossed into a job where you meet a huge complex (and abstract) system where you spend most of the time just learning to navigate the code base. I'm forever grateful for getting the chance to see the full chain of creation here. Immensely grateful. In a way it's like getting a super talented programmer by your side who teaches you like a mentor. Priceless imo. This is also why I "sell" this series to anyone I want to help learning programming, in an almost fanatical fashion, haha.

2. Finally breaking the imposter syndrome barrier. This has been huge for me as a person. Just before I found out about this project I actually discussed the syndrome with the same friend of mine who recommended this project (who, incidentally, works at DICE and has been part of the team building Frostbite, so this series is being recommended by some very capable people :)). I asked him "Creating games has been a dream all my life, basically since I was 10 years old or so, what do I need to know in order to work at a company like DICE? He told me I needed to learn c/c++ (possibly Rust and the likes in the future perhaps), and how to create 2d graphics and then 3d graphics. A few days later he followed up with a link to Handmade Hero. It kinda changed my life. I know these are big words, but it's true.

Casey has shown me that he's basically the same kind of developer as I am, trying to be pragmatic and with a huge portion of humility, breaking the bubble that told me that I could never do this, because all game devs are part of some kind of alien race with superior skills in just about everything. In a way this series has made clear to me that I too can become a game dev, no problems, if I just put effort into it. (My math skills are better than ever, and it has even been fun doing math, for ONCE).

The fact that Casey himself has uploaded a video discussing the very same syndrome (I haven't watched it yet, but I will) I think I suffered from all my life until now, just made me more certain that this series was the perfect thing for me.

Almost at 100 episodes now! Thank you Casey!!