Ai LIVE: Samsung’s Diego Rivera Helps Ai Students Design Their Own Themes and Games
In this episode of Ai LIVE, host E. Vincent Martinez talks to Diego Rivera, a Samsung employee who’s been with the company for over 14 years. Now a proclaimed senior developer evangelist, Rivera takes his passion and helps other developers cultivate a passion of their very own.
One of the first things that Rivera explains is the word “evangelist” in his job title. It’s not about religion or philosophy, it’s a person who has the ability to communicate about a technology or company—in other words, a person who connects with a wide audience. As part of this role, he’s created workshops at various conferences and online webinars to teach others. With these events, Rivera discovers what developers are doing, and what they want, and how he could assist them in their projects.
Before Rivera was a developer, he was a fan of video games. While app development and video games may not have much in common at first glance, there is some overlap between the two. Part of both application and game development involves understanding the coding and mechanisms in place that most people never see or think about. For anyone interested in game development, Rivera urges them to look at games with a critical eye, and try to figure out what’s going on behind the scenes of gameplay. Then, figure out what tools are needed to create the types of games they enjoy, including whatever programing language best works for them.
Within his own field of development, Rivera has been involved in creating apps for Samsung’s Galaxy Store, as well as helping others design custom watch-face screens for the Samsung Galaxy Watch. As part of a partnership between Samsung and The Art Institutes (Ai), Rivera has helped Ai students learn to create their own apps and themes, as well as give them the tools needed to build more complicated projects, such as a game. He’s often blown away by the creativity of Ai students, and is impressed by the creativity of Ai students.
Rivera’s experience in the industry means he works with a lot of individuals who want to make apps, but often don’t feel that their ideas are any good because they’re not the next “big thing.” But apps don’t have to be widespread to be successful. He shares an example of a local baseball team developing an app to help with various schedules. Even if only a few dozen people download that app, so long as that app is useful, he claims it’s a success.
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