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ROBLOX: Helping Cultivate the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

March

11, 2013

by Andrew Haak


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Scripting in ROBLOX StudioIn late February, Code.org published a video, in which several tech-industry luminaries – from Bill Gates and Gabe Newell to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey – extol the values of being able to write code. While the video has an underlying goal of increasing the prevalence of programming classes in schools (Code.org claims that nine out of 10 schools do not offer them), it conveys a bigger message: anyone can learn to code and anyone can position themselves to be a successful engineer. And they can start today – even if their school doesn’t have a formal computer science program.

Since its launch, the video has racked up nearly 10 million views. We at ROBLOX took note of it for a few reasons. First, like many successful Silicon Valley tech companies (including Facebook, as noted by Zuckerberg in the video), ROBLOX has numerous open engineering positions we can’t fill because we’re growing faster than there are talented engineers. We know firsthand there is significant demand for experienced engineers.

Roundel PullquoteSecond, ROBLOX is built in a way that is meant to empower people, six years old or 60, to create amazing things with technology – and that includes writing code. Not only do we facilitate it, we encourage it through community and sharing. For example, many users happily share code that can be repurposed, allowing beginners to start by simply manipulating something that already exists. There are ROBLOX scripting communities and groups, as well as a detailed ROBLOX Wiki with beginner and advanced lessons, for users who want to dive into coding armed with resources. We love to see the ROBLOX community working together to help one another learn while having fun, and there’s no doubt that the experience gained will pay dividends.

Third, we continue to cultivate users whose technical prowess allows them climb to the top of ROBLOX’s ranks. We’ve successfully hired some of our most brilliant creators – people we may have never otherwise known – to develop content for ROBLOX in some capacity. We not only want these people to continue to help us make ROBLOX great, but to keep exercising and improving their obvious skills.

ROBLOlution

Pong Game

A rudimentary first attempt at a game by then-eight-year-old John Shedletsky

If you want to code, you don’t have to start big. Watch the video again; in the first minute, the founders of hugely influential technology companies talk about making programs that say “Hello, world” or ask simple questions or draw a green circle on screen. Your first work doesn’t need to be your magnum opus. It needs to be a start; a single place from which to build. Take a look at this game from early in the ROBLOX career of celebrity user (and current ROBLOX employee) stickmasterluke. It’s very simple, but well-liked and still played to this day. It’s the kind of thing you could build with a few days of determination.

Don’t hesitate to dive into coding or building (there’s something to be said the importance of 3D modeling and world-building, as well) on ROBLOX. There are many real-world skills you can develop, with many real-world applications: creativity, game design, programming, problem-solving, artistic, abstract reasoning, marketing, entrepreneurship, community management and more.