Stop. Collaborate and Listen…

Starting from March 16th, I am in full-time Work From Home mode, the transition is almost flawless, and nothing major to report on that topic.

I will share a few insights into what I am experiencing, these insights are things that have stuck with me over the past months, not one-off learnings, it is consistent throughout, which is why I am writing about it.



I manage a team who are in multiple locations, either in an office or remotely working from home, and that is not something new to me, approaching 3-years with that.

What we did as a team, shortly after the lockdown is set up a permanent Zoom link for any of us, at any time, to join and hang out together. The link is added to our Slack team channel description, it is very easy to find within the Slack UI, so, it’s effectively a one-click process and human contact, woohoo!

I find that very helpful, mentally, although it is not in-person contact, it helps to fill that void left by not working in an office. When the need arises to plough through some emails, it’s nice to join the Zoom link and catch up with a colleague at the same time, that banter, that random conversation, these things go a long way in keeping your sanity. Do not underestimate the positive effect this has on you.

Critical takeaway and learning from this, we don’t need to be in a lockdown to have a permanent Zoom link, let’s keep it, permanent.

Zoom Exhaustion:

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 11.26.37

This needs to be an official term within the workplace. Zoom meetings are dominating my days, I rarely have a gap, and by the end of the day I am exhausted.

At first, it was hard to think why, as I sit a lot in my comfy chair most of day, meaning a real lack of physical exercise (that’s another problem), so how can I be exhausted. Naturally, I did some research, and this is the article I related most too, titled: The Reason Zoom Calls Drain Your Energy.

  • Video calls require more focus.
  • Video chats mean we need to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language.
  • Connection issues, lag, audio problems all contribute to additional stresses.
  • Every time we join a Zoom call we are reminded of the Pandemic.
  • Aspects of my life used to be separate – work, friends, family, now, it’s all in the same place.

Critical takeaway and learning from this, take Zoom calls that are absolutely necessary. Take 25/50 minute calls instead of 30/60 minute calls so you have a small gap. Turn your camera off in larger group meetings.


Arrow Circle

Consistency is a crucial ingredient to high performing teams, we need to be able to spot the great things we do and keep doing those things consistently over a sustained period. At some point in the future, the great thing you started doing becomes second nature.

The Pandemic certainly made an attempt to disrupt our consistency, it is important, as a leader, I am aware of any potential dips in performance and guide the team through any difficult periods.

Crucial takeaways and learning on this. Always be aware of performance dips, lookout out for them proactively so you can course-correct before it becomes a bigger problem.

Producing Work is Slow to Non-Existent:


Producing any type of work is very difficult during these times, my days are filled with Zoom meetings and working with our customers in helping them to create amazing games.

I need to adapt my work output quite drastically, I lean more on my team for the work I would have produced in the past. Tasks such as Proof of Concepts, Development work, Technical Training have had to take a back seat. My focus is solely on how I can be as effective as possible in my Zoom meetings, then onto the next one. In the evenings and on weekends, the term Zombified has been brandished in my direction many times. Time to fix it.

Crucial takeaways and learnings from this. I am starting to break out of this cycle as off this week.

  • Only taking those necessary Zoom calls
  • Making time to connect casually with my colleagues
  • Identifying what I was doing really well consistently before vs now

Bringing those back into my workday is working remarkably well so far.

What have been your crucial takeaways and learnings from the lockdown experience.


This festive period has given me the opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the craziness that has been 2018. Also, a sense of wonder lingers, what could lay ahead in the future, personally and professionally.

A new life:

I have to begin with the birth of my first child, Leila is a dream come true, I could not have imagined having such a beautiful, funny and well-behaved baby. My life has dramatically changed since and nothing prepares you for being a parent. Of course, you can read all the books, research on the internet etc, but there is a big difference between reading how to do something vs physically doing it plus every baby is different. I wasn’t one for reading the books, I put my faith in instinct and evolution, with the backup of Google (which has come very handy).

Next year will bring her first birthday, and here comes the cliche; it is true what everyone says, the first year goes by very quickly. I think of how far Leila has come since her first days on Earth, the development is crazy fast. Let’s have a little fact; A human develops the most in their first year of life.

State of mind:

I am in a much better place mentally, I have improved my confidence and I open up more than I ever used to. However, I am still very cautious, if I don’t know someone I think I am not very approachable, but once I am approached I make the effort to be nice and welcoming. I want people to feel they can approach me, this is something I will work to improve upon in future.

The Wedding Planner:

My fiancee has done the heavy lifting so far, the spreadsheet we have set up is brilliant; We will be having two weddings, one in England where we will legally get married and a celebration wedding in Poland for the wider family and we decided to do these in a space of seven days in 2019. Planning for these big days have been very challenging, we might be 50% there but there are a few things that have popped up which we didn’t originally think off, so 50% is more a guestimate, either way, we try and complete at least one big task and couple of little things a month.


My profession is in Software Development, Software which powers some of the most creative and immersive games and experiences in the world. Although I don’t create those experiences first hand, I help people to do this, and it is most fulfilling. I get to meet people from all over Europe (and other parts of the world) and help solve development pain points and issues with the end goal of helping them be as successful as possible.

I lead and manage a team that does this. Being a manager has some great pros and cons. What I love is growing a team, through building, coaching and recruiting.

I am responsible for headcount requests, budgeting and hiring. I created an interview process for these roles. I also learned how to write an inclusive and non-discriminative job advert (I am shocked how many job adverts are discriminating). I hired five people, retained four and lost two.

Lost feels like a negative term, those two moved on to better things which I fully supported, I hope I managed to play a small part in their career development, seeing team members move on to better things should reflect well on any manager, I support progression and I am passionate to help as many people as I can.

There has been a lot of changes in the organisation I work in, good people have left and good people have joined. It feels like evolution but there has been some teething problems. However, I am no stranger to change, I have been at this company for nine plus years (at the time of writing this post), I have experienced the company growing from fifty to sixty people to two thousand plus(?). Navigating and supporting these drastic changes is a challenge. Change can be scary but you have to embrace it, as long as it is something you believe in to be positive.

I registered with LinkedIn: Career Advice program, it gives me an opportunity to connect with people looking for advice on career progression. I have found this to be very rewarding, I hope I helped, I at least received some positive gracious messages.

I managed to complete three training courses such as Leadership, Technical Engineering, and Solution Selling. I must admit the sales training had me sceptical at first but I learned a few things that I can use in my everyday life.

Final Destination?

Overall, a lot has happened in 2018, sometimes it feels like it could be great to spread these things out over a number of years but on the other hand, I think everything I am doing is really positive and I put all my energy into it. I expect 2019 to bring further change, I have a daughter who is developing and growing fast. I will be married. Maybe the dust will settle at work, but drawing from experience the company is a very dynamic and ever-evolving workplace that a term such as maybe the dust will settle shouldn’t be associated with it. Finally; It’s exciting times, and one day I might look back and think what a crazy busy year but you know what, it was fully worth it!

Getting Started with ProBuilder – Tools and Tips

A personal wish of mine is to have mesh modification tools in Unity. Seeing ProBuilder become part of the engine is a delight, one that I cannot stop smiling at.

The goal of this blog post is to help you to overcome any barriers and start you on the right path to having fun playing with this toolset, using it efficiently and effectively to mitigate any risk of becoming frustrated. So, I wanted to share some tools and tips around using ProBuilder for the first time because it is an excellent tool! If you are a noobie to 3D or an experienced modeller, this post will provide you with some great insights into getting started with ProBuilder. I should mention this is not a step by step tutorial, but I will be sharing helpful tips to getting started in using the tools available to you.



Here are some great keyboard shortcuts that’ll get you building and modifying meshes in no time:

Ctrl + K – Spawns a Cube.
Ctrl + Shift + K – New Shape Tool.

Hold Shift while moving – Extrusion:


Hold Shift while scaling – Inset:


Alt + U – Insert Edge Loop:

Inset Edge Loop.gif
Alt + E – connects verts/edges:

Connect edges.gif
Alt + C – collapse verts (this will merge all selected verts into one vertex, centred at the average of all selected points):

Collapse verts.gif

Ctrl + Z – Undo – same as anything in Unity.

Escape key – reverts to object selection mode.

Use H, J, and K keys to chose between Verts, Edges and Faces selection modes.

Multi-select faces/edge/verts – Hold Shift and LMB.

Use backspace to delete verts/faces/edges – Delete will delete the object.

In general, tooltips can take 500ms or so to show, in ProBuilder this can be instant by holding the Shift key when hovering the mouse cursor over the feature buttons in the toolbar.

Now, I’ll share some tips and gotchas which I found are useful things to know, but first, if you are new, remember to start simple, common mistake is to start pushing too much geometry, this can become very complicated fast. Start by boxing out familiar shapes, it’s a lot easier to add geometry than to clean up complex geometry. Here we go:

When collapsing vertices, you might want to collapse them to the first vertex that you selected. To do this you need to click on the + button next to the Collapse Vertices option on the toolbar and select Collapse To First in the Options menu pop-up (be aware that all future Collapse Vertices will now Collapse To First if this checkbox remains enabled):

Collapse to first

To select vertices that are hidden out of view on the opposite side of the geometry, you will need to ensure Select Hidden: On is enabled. By default, this is On so be aware when you go to select multiple vertices to modify them.

There are many circumstances where you will need to flip normals to invert the faces of your geometry, ProBuilder has a feature called Flip Face Normals located in the toolbar (you will need to first select some faces on your mesh):

Flip Faced Normals

Use Detach Faces to detach parts of a mesh to a new game object, useful for cleaning up meshes, especially if you have created some ngons. Things to be aware of when using this feature:

  • The pivot will usually be in an incorrect position
    • Use Centre Pivot selection from the toolbar
    • For custom pivot positioning – select a vert – use Set Pivot

When using the New Shape tool to build Stairs. There is an option to uncheck Build Sides. If you know those sides of the object won’t be visible this is especially useful for:

  • Not having to go back and clean this up manually yourself
  • Optimal for baked lighting to ensure you not wasting texture space
    • Also, helps reduce bake times

Uncheck Build Sides.gif

Preferences for ProBuilder – customise shortcut settings

If like me, you like to see how many faces, triangles and verts a mesh has (especially when building on the fly), you will need to enable this in Edit -> Preferences -> ProBuilder -> Show Scene Info (not a great name).

Show Scene Info


Used to make snapping easier, and excellent for controlling the unit size of your entire geometry, level design at it’s finest. Here are some quick tips:

  • Use +/- keys to scale the grid size – you can change this on the fly depending on your requirements for mesh modifying
  • Select all the verts – select the push to grid button to align current mesh with new grid size
    Hold V to snap objects around


A great addition, and lets you sculpt, smooth, texture blend, paint on textures, scatter objects etc.

To sculpt you may need to add additional geometry to your mesh, you can do this via using the subdivide tool, the way this works is it grabs all edges and connects them to the centre, a straightforward implementation, with nothing extravagant happening here.
To sculpt you will need to select the Push tool, which will push (sculpt) vertices on your mesh depending on brush settings, some tips for quickly editing brush settings for sculpting:

  • Hold ctrl to scroll brush up to a larger size
  • Hold shift to change the interior diameter of the brush
  • Hold shift + ctrl to adjust the strength (how much push will be applied to your mesh)

That’s it, I hope to write more of these posts over the coming weeks/months, please share your ProBuilder creations, I cannot wait to see what you create!

Los Angeles, U.S.A


Santa Monica Beach


Santa Monica Beach


Santa Monica Beach


Santa Monica Beach


Mixed Reality Capture playing Racket: NX on Vive


Visitor Pass for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory


1.1 Scale Model of the Curiosity Rover


1.1 Scale Model of the Curiosity Rover – It has a laser…


LED light representation of data received from live Space Probes


Antennas receiving live data


Current live Space missions


Inside JPL’s Space Flight Operations Facility


JPL’s Space Flight Operations Facility


NASA JPL’s DK1 with tracking balls


Unity team photo at NASA JPL


Aerogel is a silicon based solid which is 99.8 percent air. It is used on Stardust to trap fast-moving comet particles and also insulates the electronics on Mars rovers.


A piece of Moon rock


Substance Painter – Meet Mat 2017 Contest

I rarely get any spare time to allocate to other software packages outside of Unity, but every now and again my artistic nature gets the better of me and I’ll dabble into Photoshop or Modo etc.

Last week, I noticed my good friends at Allegorithmic launched a contest called Meet Mat, the contest is a 3D painting contest utilising Substance Painter. It seemed targeted to beginners as well as experts, so I decided to have ago. This is my first time using Substance Painter. I know I could do better but either way I wanted to share the iRay renders I submitted for the contest.

Meet Mat 2017

Meet Unity Mat – Final Render using iRay


Meet Mat 2017_1

Meet Unity Mat – Final Render using iRay

Meet Mat 2017_2

Meet Unity Mat – Final Render using iRay

Meet Mat 2017_3

Meet Unity Mat – Final Render using iRay

Meet Mat 2017_4

Meet Unity Mat – Final Render using iRay

I hope you like them! 🙂