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What does a programmer do among creatives?

João Malheiro arrived at Fabamaq at the age of 22 with the ambition of doing a summer internship that would allow him to have his first contact with the job market in the technology field. After two months and two weeks, João leaves to attend the fourth year of the Integrated Master's in Computer Engineering and Computing with a project developed from scratch and well completed. For the future, he wishes to return to this company for new challenges. Curious to know more about the experience of a programmer among creatives? Let's dive into it!

What led you to choose Fabamaq for your summer internship?

The choice was natural because I have colleagues who graduated from my course at FEUP – Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto and are now working at Fabamaq. They spoke well of the company, the work they did here, and I decided to try my luck and give it a shot.

How do you sum up your two and a half months at Fabamaq?

I had never worked or done an internship before, and this first experience made me feel fulfilled. The fact that I did my own project from scratch was interesting because I had the opportunity to build something from the ground up and not work on code that other people had done.

I liked the people and the way they welcomed me, especially João Paulo, who was my mentor and talked to me about the expectations and anxieties of this first contact with the job market in a lecture he gave at FEUP. After an initial adaptation period, I got into the rhythm, met people, got used to it, and managed to deliver what was expected.

What challenge were you given?

Fabamaq, in addition to developing games, creates components for casino machines. The machines have a controller that coordinates the LEDs, and my challenge was basically to develop a sort of Photoshop for these LEDs that allows changing frames, colors, or creating effects automatically for different moments in the games.

Developers or designers can take control of this tool, and before delivering a game, they can, based on the colours of the title, its theme, or its animations, create variations in the LEDs that accompany specific moments (jackpot, bonus, etc.). All of this with the aim of creating a positive impact on the player and their gaming experience.

After this experience, would you like to return to Fabamaq? What did you learn?

Yes, it's a good company. The facilities are very good, and the people are very friendly. In the future, I would like to return and have the opportunity to integrate a project with an established team and see how it works since my experience was different and interesting in that regard as well. I mainly have programming skills, but I came to work directly with Fabamaq's core creative team.

In the projects I did at FEUP, I was not involved in the aesthetic part, and this experience allowed me to develop some notions of how to make interfaces more appealing. I was able to learn a lot from my colleagues in the creative department.

Additionally, I learned a lot about backend, with the learning of Python, which was a new language for me. From a personal point of view, I also learned to manage my time better and anticipated the "contrast" between the student routine and the daily life of the working world.

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