Mendie Leelin: A self taught game developer that designed her dream job

Member Reflections
02.13.2017

written by

Mendie Leelin designs video games. This is not something she was taught to do, but rather something she learned on her own, through hard work, dedication, and a belief in her own ability to accomplish anything. This is a path that she set out on early, when her parents brought home a very special present that would trigger a life long fascination with technology. In her own words:

“I got my first computer when I was 8 years old (1995), and around that time, the internet was starting to get popular. I found Angelfire and created my first webpages. I was really creative and loved to draw, so the thought of creating something that anyone can see on the internet was fascinating for me. After college, I had an opportunity to create a company website, so I delved back into code and never looked back since.“

Building that website gave her a foray back into the tech world, but rather than seeking a traditional educational method for learning, she decided to pursue a self-taught strategy, applying simple but powerful principles of discipline in order to achieve her goals.

“I have no formal education or background in programming or design. Starting out, everything was new and different, but my determination and desire to create drove me to teach myself everything. I taught myself all that I know through videos and online resources, and just by doing it over and over again. When learning something new, be it a new programming language, or a new program, it's always hard and overwhelming at first. But the more I kept at it, the easier and easier it became.“

Game development is a passion for Mendie, and the work she does always builds on things she learned from previous projects. This has allowed her to hone her skills while still getting products out to market, and has led to an ambitious strategy for her company, Fluffy Wiggle’s, growth.

“I'm currently working on my second Mobile Game- Bailey's Big Day. I'm super excited to be creating it, because it'll be my first full featured game. The first game I did was HipstaFox and it was a fun little endless musical runner. There was a lot I wanted to do with HipstaFox, but it was more of a hobby project for me at that time. With Bailey's Big Day, I'm going all out- putting over 50+ levels and a fun story, as well as an endless mode. Also, there will be a lot of different dog & cat breeds you'll be able to unlock and play too.”

When asked what advice she had for people who are just starting out in technology, she said, “I know it sounds cliche, but just do it. If you have a dream or a project you want to create, just do it. Don't think about if you are even capable. At the moment, you may not be, but if you take the time to teach yourself all the necessary things to make it, then it all makes it worthwhile. Also, don't do it for the money or fame- do it for yourself. And as with anything you learn, there will be a lot of mistakes you'll make. Take these mistakes and grow from them. Love making mistakes, especially when coding, because it challenges you and helps you learn so much faster.”

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