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Sunny State Developer: Grad finds new path with help of CLHS teachers

By Aleana Branigan ’17

During his senior year, Nick Judt made a drastic change from geologist to software developer. With support from Mr. Scott Storm and Mr. Aaron Spencer, they persuaded Judt to reach out toward his passion of video games and drop geology.

“I've been playing them since I was 2, and my parents would play them with me and used them as a tool to teach me better reading and math skills. Mr. Spencer and Mr. Storm helped hammer out my direction a bit,” said Judt, Class of 2013.

Storm hosted a robotics club, which Judt was a part of, plus he held a summer programming class on the introduction of visual basics. Spencer introduced the idea of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla. 

Spencer, an alum himself, convinced Judt to apply, and he was accepted by the end of the month. At the time of application, he was debating between whether to go into math education or accounting, but programming class was natural for Judt so he stuck with it.

In 2015 Judt graduated from Full Sail University with a major in video game development, which is software development that involves gaming techniques and technologies. It only took two years, and Judt stuck with the major throughout his college career. 

“I went to Full Sail because it's very project oriented and fast paced. The ‘accelerated' course I took (which is considered the norm there) is two classes every month, alternating by the day, with a four-hour lecture followed by a food break and then a four-hour lab,” he said. “It's very hands on and gives solid applicable skill sets. It's a regular issue I've seen with normal colleges where the interns we pick up can be part way through a programming degree but haven't even written a line of code.”

The decision to stay in Florida came with a job offer to work for Dignitas Technologies. The job came to be due to Judt knowing how to engineer games and the company in search of that skill to start up bigger things. Due to the possession of the skill in need, Judt managed to make his way onto some “core projects and consulting various teams as a result.”

Now Judt is a resident of Winter Park, Fla., which happens to be down the road from University of Central Florida. 

The 1,098 mile journey couldn’t have been made without the initial steps taken by his Concordia teachers.

Judt’s main job is on the programming team which improves and expands the functionality of “in-house tools, creating demos for various contracts using game engines like unity or unreal, and assisting with some of the long term research contracts.”

One of his projects will be shown this year at ITSEC!

He specializes in gaming technologies while occasionally working on designs for war-sims and also working alongside modelers to give their customers the best quality of animation and models.

As his parting words, Judt leaves the advice to students.

“Don't feel too pressured about what life choices you will soon make,” he said. “Just go with what you want to do and refine it as you progress.”