After my realisation that, at least for the moment, the JET programme and myself are not meant to be, I’ve resolved myself to looking at my other options for when my current work placement/contract runs out (in a less than a month).

I’d love to be able to step straight into a games development role, as that’s what I’m trained to do, but without a portfolio or any working ideas I’ll find it difficult. I could spend some time working on an idea (probably alongside a collaborator of mine), in fact, I’ll probably end up spending some time working on a shared idea with him after his dissertation is due.

I’m looking less seriously at standard software development roles, as the techniques, languages and structures used are as different as a Phillips recessed head screwdriver is to a Robertson screwdriver – in that, they both achieve a very similar task, except one (games dev) is designed for one very specific task, whereas the other (software dev) is designed for a general purpose task.

A real world (programming) example of this is XNA (used to develop video games for the Xbox 360) vs SQL (used to probe databases). Whilst XNA has libraries of functions available to allow it to do, pretty much, anything you want; whereas SQL is purely used to retrieve and format data from a database.

Another Option?

My other option is to jump back into education. A prospect that is looking even more tantalising by the second. My hope is to take a second undergraduate degree, in Japanese language.

Obviously, my potential barrier here would be the funding side of it. With the current lift on University fees, I could be looking at somewhere in the region of £9,000 per year of study. Most of the degree courses I’ve been looking at are 4 year courses, too – with a year out in Japan, either at a Japanese University or in industry. Luckily, the Universities I’ve been looking at are offering the degree course I want to study at around £3,300 per year. The sum total for tuition, therefore, will be in the region of £12,000 – doable, but I’d have to source it myself.

Obviously, if I applied I wouldn’t start studying until September of 2012 – assuming that the application process for 2011 entries is over. So, that gives me time to get some cash together for fees for the first year. I’d still have to look at the housing and food costs, but I could cover them by working while I study. I suppose it all depends on how much I’m entitled to via the bursary systems – if I’m entitled to anything.

There’s also the option of a scholarship, or part-funding from a scholarship entity. I’m going to be looking into that, too. Maybe the Japanese Embassy would help to fund students who were serious about studying Japanese. Maybe there are some scholarship entities out there that can help fund my study.

Even More Opportunities?

Of course, there is another option. During my web searches earlier, I happened on the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation; which is a charity set up to help build bridges between Japan and the UK, and guess what: They offer scholarships for 19 months of intensive study in Japan. I’ll be applying for this, too. But that’ll be in September of this year.

Looks like I’ll be waiting around a little longer, but at least I have some kind of clear vision in my mind as to where I want to be. I’m not much of a wishing person, but I was planning on doing this back in ’09, and really wish that I’d have done it then rather than my usual: procrastinate until it’s too late.

Anyway, this is a slightly happier J signing off.


Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

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Jamie is a .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for this blog, or writing for a blog about Retro Gaming (which he runs with his brother)