Dev Spotlight - Damiano Iannetta

Based out of the United Kingdom, Damiano Iannetta is a Lead Application Engineer at Accelbyte who focuses on our BlackBox product. He started out in game development and was fortunate enough to get to express his passion for rendering and special effects at Microsoft before making the switch to mobile and then web.  Outside of work, Damiano and his wife have been on an adventure building their dream home. When he's not hammering, sawing, or smashing, he likes weight training, yoga and football.  He's been a Juventus supporter since he was a little boy which means he has a weekly commitment of shouting in front of the TV.

Share a bit about the coolest thing you’ve worked on since you joined Accelbyte.

I would have to say the most recent features that we've put out for Blackbox; SmartBuilds and PlayTest. One of the intensions is to get builds into people's hands as quickly as possible. Playtest is a way to wrap up everyone's experience who played a specific build while collecting all the session data of that playtest. Being able to have everyone organize a session together, get versions into people's hands quicker and then have those same people see the results, is something really cool.

What’s your favorite part of what you do? Why do you like it?

In my role here, the biggest challenge (which is what I enjoy about it) is trying to make our processes better, so that I can make the team function more efficiently.  I try to empower members of the team to work at their best and give them the space to do that.  That works hand in hand. If you give everyone the necessary tools to do their job, and you create a framework that they can do it in, then it makes it easier to make the product better.  That's what I enjoy, the challenge of making it easier to get stuff done.

Which problem for game studios are you most excited to solve? Why?

I am most excited about being able to help Developers get a streamlined version [of their build] into someone's hands. At a studio, you always have someone asking "when can I play it? when can I play it?", so it's quite cool to basically have a button to say "there, go play it".  

Describe your work-from-home setup.

I live on a building site and I work right in the middle of it.  My hardware is decent. I built my desk myself out of some left over OSB (plywood) and it constantly moves because I have to keep putting my desk in different parts of the room so we can work around it.

What’s something that’s a must-have for your workspace?

I need a comfy seat! You need to be mindful of the seat that takes care of you.

What music (if any) do you listen to while you work?

When the going is good, I like to work in silence. When things ratchet up and I need to get stuff done, I listen to a mix of Rage Against the Machine, Royal Blood and a Daft Punk live album called Alive. It's intense...kind of angry. When I need to just code something, it helps push me along.

If someone were to meet you at a conference, what conference would that most likely be?

I'd like to say High-Performance Graphics but it would likely be GDC.

What past achievement are you especially proud of?

Personally, the fact that we've been managing rebuilding our house over the past 4 years. Professionally, there was a period at Rare (Microsoft), where we were working on a whole bunch of games which I am not even sure I am even allowed to admit even exist.

Do you have any published articles/books/interviews?

I was part of a patent for some rendering tech while at Microsoft.  If you get a patent at Microsoft they send you an engraved granite cube, I still have that cube.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

An Astronaut.

What made you decide to be a developer?

My interest in games. I went to University to learn to make games and I was really fortunate that one of the prominent games courses at that point was literally in the city up the road from where I grew up.  While I was there, I realized I was quite good at doing graphics; special affects and rendering.

Tell us about the first programming language you learned and how you learned it.

C on the Playstation Net Yaroze. After my first year at University, I took it upon myself to spend the summer making things move on a screen.

Tell us about the first thing you built or coded.

A shooter that I called "International Playboy, Project Britney Spears".  It was an office chair that fired missiles.

Favorite Programming Language?

HLSL (High-level shader language)

What programming language do you think in?

C++ because it's a language that makes sense whereas Javascript, does not.

Tabs or spaces?

Tabs, let's be serious.

Nano or Vim?

Nano

Rewrite or Copy/Paste?

Copy/Paste

Most used keyboard shortcut.

Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V / Command-C, Command-V

Preferred OS?

Mac OS

Favorite subreddit?

I don't use reddit, I don't think I am cool enough.

Favorite game (and on what console?)

The Settlers (1992) on the Amiga (which had beautiful music). Startopia (2001) on PC.

I like to follow trends on social media.

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