AltDevConf Education – Heather Decker Davis

Original Author: Luke Dicken

Today I’m really pleased to properly introduce you to another of our speakers for the Education track of the AltDevConf: Heather Decker-Davis.

Heather is someone you might already know from coverage of the conference, as she is co-chair of the Education track alongside me. She has also recently been appointed as chair of the conference itself. Heather is a lecturer in Game Development, an MFA candidate at the Savannah College of Art and Design, a director for IGDA Chicago and is currently working behind-the-scenes on an upcoming release in the “Game Development Essentials” series of textbooks.

Heather’s session is titled “More Than Software and Theory”, and covers the kinds of activities that educators can try to get their students involved in, in order to make them truly part of the wider development community. She will talk about the values that we should be trying to impart as we bring through the next generation of game development talent. As someone currently straddling the gap between faculty and student life, and with a long track record of volunteerism across all aspects of the industry, Heather is ideally suited to discuss these issues. Here’s an excerpt in her own words of what you can expect:

Game development-specific curriculum is still relatively young, and it’s no secret that individual programs often vary wildly. Most programs cover essential software, and many  include basic fundamentals and theory, but that still leaves some critical areas unaddressed. My goal is to give educators some food for thought on additional skills and values they should actively seek to instil in their pupils.

In short, it is not enough to simply mill through a list of the top software programs, programming languages, or theories. We must prepare future developers for team-based commerical development environments by encouraging productive attitudes and practices.

Heather is just one of the great speakers we have lined up for you as part of AltDevConf. We’re now counting down the days until everything starts on February 11th. We really hope you’ll join us!