Biography

Biography

Hel­lo, I’m David W. Beck. Thank you for tak­ing an inter­est in this page!

I, like many peo­ple in the UK went to a school, mul­ti­ple schools in fact, though I’m only going to focus on the last one because it seems most appro­pri­ate. The Wavell School was, broad­ly speak­ing, a good school though it’s social struc­ture was quite Dar­win­ian and quite a chal­lenge. ado­les­cence can be quite dif­fi­cult for many peo­ple, and I was no excep­tion. I’m glad that the school pro­vid­ed me with a good ground­ing in math, sci­ence, design and IT.

If you’d like to see some pic­tures of me grow­ing up fol­low this link!

Farn­bor­ough Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy was a lib­er­at­ing expe­ri­ence. I real­ly enjoyed the increased auton­o­my that came with a less dis­ci­pline-ori­en­tat­ed teach­ing approach. Dur­ing my first year, in addi­tion to work­ing week­ends, I opt­ed for a GNVQ in ICT and Busi­ness Stud­ies dur­ing my first year and focused my sec­ond and third on the Human­i­ties; psy­chol­o­gy, phi­los­o­phy, soci­ol­o­gy, and fine art. Some of my hap­pi­est times at col­lege were spent in the com­mon room; I quick­ly made friends and there seemed to be piz­za and great movies on tap. I real­ly enjoyed learn­ing about myself out­side of the school set­ting, try­ing new things and explor­ing new ideas.
If I had found col­lege lib­er­at­ing, then Lon­don South Bank Uni­ver­si­ty was dou­bly so. My degree was BA (Hons) Game Cul­tures, an incred­i­bly inter­est­ing and excit­ing course about video game design and devel­op­ment root­ed in a cul­tur­al and media stud­ies per­spec­tive. The course cov­ered the kinds of things you would expect, like graph­ic design, 2D and 3D mod­el­ing, envi­ron­ment design, ani­ma­tion, sto­ry design, crit­i­cal analy­sis, pro­gram­ming (C++ and Action­Script 3), group col­lab­o­ra­tive work, video edit­ing and sound design. On the media stud­ies and cul­tur­al side; we learned a lot about mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing, about per­cep­tion and per­spec­tive and decon­struct­ing cul­tur­al arti­facts and tex­tu­al analy­sis. I real­ly enjoyed liv­ing away from home, and being in the heart of Lon­don with an Oys­ter card in my pock­et and a 24/7 bus ser­vice real­ly opened up the whole city for me. Vis­it­ing London’s numer­ous art exhi­bi­tions, muse­ums, pubs, arcades and the­aters were cul­tur­al­ly reward­ing expe­ri­ences!

We also enjoyed sev­er­al guest speak­ers and lec­tur­ers, such as the time artists from Dis­ney came in and gave us draw­ing tips and pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in var­i­ous aspects of the indus­try also gave talks. I also real­ly enjoyed the end of year shows where films about our var­i­ous projects would be shown. One year I also enjoyed co-host­ing the win­ter show, which went real­ly well. It was real­ly nice to work on projects in mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary teams; we worked on projects with stu­dents spe­cial­iz­ing in sound design and video record­ing and edit­ing. Unsur­pris­ing­ly uni­ver­si­ty involved writ­ing around 12 aca­d­e­m­ic papers a year which I received feed­back on. These papers took a great deal of research, tri­an­gu­la­tion, and analy­sis; which are use­ful skills in them­selves.
Dur­ing this time I also worked on oth­er projects. in 2009 I was nom­i­nat­ed for a Gold­en Joy­stick Award at Baf­ta for a game I devel­oped inde­pen­dent­ly called Bogus Bun­ny. Addi­tion­al­ly, I worked on a Flash-based game devel­op­ment project for BBC Chi­na and anoth­er for Kineti­ka.
After grad­u­at­ing it took me a while to find my feet. I’m sure many peo­ple find the tran­si­tion from acad­e­mia to ‘real life’ inter­est­ing, In acad­e­mia,  there are always set goals with mile­stones; not so when you’re on the out­side! Still, I found work in drips and drabs, for exam­ple, I worked for a com­pa­ny called Pow­er­stax devel­op­ing inter­linked spread­sheets which would pass infor­ma­tion to each oth­er auto­mat­i­cal­ly. I also took on tem­porar­i­ly work for a while tak­ing on a range of free­lance roles. I even found myself work­ing as a secu­ri­ty guard at the Olympic Velo­drome. The jobs mar­ket was dif­fi­cult but dur­ing this time I gained a lot of office style skills and var­i­ous NVQ’s in areas like first aid at work.

My first per­ma­nent job was at iSat LTD, a com­pa­ny focus­ing in spe­cial­ist RF telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions infra­struc­ture in Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa. The advan­tage of being in a rel­a­tive­ly small com­pa­ny is you gain a lot of expe­ri­ences in an enor­mous range of areas such as plan­ning trade shows, cre­at­ing and design­ing art assets, web devel­op­ment, social media, newslet­ters, copy­writ­ing, pro­cure­ment, sales, assist­ing with ten­der­ing, assist­ing with finan­cials, data­base and cus­tomer rela­tions, com­put­er pro­gram­ming: most notably Python devel­op­ment, and a whole lot more.