A Day in the Life of Kitman Labs Unity Developer, David Kelly
David joined our Dublin office just over 7 months ago. He was looking for a change from his Lead Games Developer role in one of Dublin’s most renowned gaming companies.
We had a chat with David to find out what makes his job here so interesting:
David, what are you working on in Kitman Labs?
I’m working on “Capture” as Lead Developer. Capture is Kitman Labs’ markerless motion capture product used by top sports teams in assessing their athlete's performance and injury risk. Specifically, I’m working on optimising the athlete screening process to a more interactive experience that athletes can complete with ease. That involves lots of prototyping and working with our in-house Sports Scientists and UX Designers to come up with the best solutions.
“Capture” utilises technologies such as the “Microsoft Kinect” and “Unity3D” that found their first use in the games industry so the switch from games programming for me was very comfortable. “Capture” is so interesting to me due to its real world application, we really know our customers and as a developer, I love to see the impact my changes have on meeting their needs. Having that feedback loop is really great and the ambition of Kitman Labs in striving to be a world leader in everything they do is really inspiring.
What does an average day look like for you?
Well, Dublin is a small city so I walk to work, grab a coffee and a snack in the Kitman Labs kitchen which is stocked with treats each day. Then we have quick stand-up in the morning to catch up with the wider team. I’ll then chat with the “Capture” team to update on progress towards our goals and decide priorities of what to tackle today. We have sprints where developers have a huge input on what we will tackle so there are few surprises during the week, but it’s nice to check on how we are getting through the work. I might check some metrics on the latest “Capture” release some days, just to see how customers are getting on. But generally, a day is about firing up “Unity” or “Blender” and doing some code or 3D modelling to meet the project needs.
I go for lunch with some people in office or bring in a sandwich and play Darts for a bit then stretch my legs. Later I’ll usually do some testing in front of a “Kinect” camera in a typical day. I try to take some time to think about improvements to “Capture” be they technical or in the user experience and document those for discussion too. After work, sometimes I hang around after work if the team are having beers or watching a sports game. Having been used to many late nights typical in game development the switch in culture here at Kitman is great.
What made you move away from the games industry?
Games projects can often have a difficult development cycle and burnout from trying to correct for mistakes can take a toll. Kitman Labs really do seem to have a handle on how to do software development in the right way so that really appealed to me. What is great here at Kitman Labs is that as a developer you’re not just getting handed a spec, but rather you participate & form the product vision with the team together involving input from Research, Sports Science and Design. The technology is also a major draw because computer-vision and VR have always interested me and the team here are as excited as me by the possibilities in this space. I also get to bring over a lot of the skills I learned from games development and apply them here
What is it you love about Kitman Labs?
The people here are top of their fields and so open to chat to. I really enjoy the cross-discipline learnings to be gained. Everyone here is so friendly and dedicated to making Kitman Labs a great place to work and it shows.