My name is Andy and I’m the newest member of the Babylon team. This is my first blog post as a Babylon-ian (is that what we call ourselves?) so I’d like introduce myself, talk about how I got here, and give you an idea of what I’ll be doing going forward.
First off let me just say that I am stoked to be a part of this team! As an engineer and an artist it’s thrilling to work with other like-minded people on a project like this. Babylon.js is an amazing tool with an amazing community and I’m excited to grow and learn with everybody. I can’t wait to start using my skills to make the Babylon family of products even better than it already is!
At first I was surprised the team even showed interest in bringing me on because I haven’t done a lot with realtime 3D graphics. I made some YouTube videos a while back with Blender and I’ve been using Babylon.js to make immersive audio music experiences, but neither one of those projects is a graphics showcase. It’s more about the music for me and how 3D graphics can support it. So when I saw a tweet saying the Babylon team was looking for people to help with the BabylonNative project, I skipped over it because I didn’t think I’d be a good fit. I mean, I know C++ pretty well and I’ve done some work on a 3D modeling app at a previous position, but would that be enough to get a job with these super-skilled Babylon engineers? I didn’t think so at first but after considering it further I decided to give it a shot. I figured the worst that could happen was I’d get rejected, but the best thing that could happen was I’d get to work with the team that makes my 3D engine of choice! That’s a really good risk/reward tradeoff so I put my resume in and …
BOOM! I got an email back requesting an interview! Whaaaat??!!!! Heck yeah!!!
One problem, though. All the technical interviews would be done right after I got home from the week long MIT Reality Hack. Ooof! There would be no downtime to recover before having to be at my best for the interviews. This was going to be rough. And it was. But I made it through and started to see how cool and laid-back the team is, and as things progressed I started realizing that my skills actually fit the job really well. After the interviews, one thing led to another and yada yada yada here I am writing my first blog post as a member of the team! Woot woot!
In my first weeks as a new hire I gained a renewed appreciation for just how awesome this team really is. There is so much cool stuff going on behind the scenes, and the passion everybody has for helping people make their ideas a reality is a beautiful thing. As a Babylon.js user myself, I already know how good the docs and forum are, but seeing it all in action day to day really drives it home just how important the community is for everyone involved. As a long-time open source contributor I know that a strong community is the key to success, and it’s been great to see how invested everyone is in that mindset and culture.
I love that Babylon.js is open source! I have a deep appreciation for open source projects because that’s where I got my start learning how to code, doing early work on the Windows port of a Csound front-end called CsoundQt. I got a lot of good C++ experience this way and I learned a lot about best practices for software development by studying the code for the open source Qt library that the GUI is based on. C++ is hard to learn, so having good examples of production code to look at is a big help.
While I was doing all that I kept making immersive music experiences on the side for flat screen and VR. As things progressed I started taking a hard look at all the 3D frameworks out there and decided to use Babylon.js because it’s open source, web first, well documented, and has an amazing community. This has turned out to be a great choice, especially so now that I’m on the team behind it all!
Over the long term I’ll be working on updating Babylon’s audio API and getting it implemented in BabylonNative, so if you have ideas or want some input on what the API should look like, now is a good time to let us know.
Cheers! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more to come!
Andy Fillebrown — BabylonNative Team