Student Spotlight - Daniel Jost


This post is the full question set of the article published in University News, a publication at RIT. Thank you to Derrick Hunt for the questions, and shoutout to Brandon Littell for sharing the article space.

Name: Daniel Jost
Year: 4th year (senior)
Major: Game Design and Development
Minors: Psychology, Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture

The sun was bright and my eyes were squinty.

What brought you to RIT?

Two big reasons stick out: a solid game development program and the school culture. When I first visited RIT I knew I had found a place that I would fit in and make lasting friendships.

Why did you choose to major in game design and development?

I've held an interest in game development for years. I started out doing public relations for game mods as well as community moderation, but I didn't come to appreciate the programming aspect of games until I arrived at RIT.

How did you land your co-op at Microsoft?

A recommendation from Brandon got the ball rolling. My interviewers found my involvement in the open source community as well as my work with games to be good enough to take a chance on me.

What did you work on?

I was a web developer for the Admin Console in Windows Intune. Intune is a computer and mobile device management package for companies to manage their employees' machines, and my efforts were aimed at improving the administrator experience. Yes, it's not games, but I have been doing web development professionally for a few years and I am happy to have been able to work with that group.

What is the RIT community like at Microsoft?

It felt like it was kept under wraps, but I met people from RIT everywhere I went. I think we're slowly going to take over the entire company.

What do you like the most about Seattle?

The area feels like an extension of the culture I love at RIT. Plus it feels like they built the area around nature rather than trying to overrun it.

How did your co-op prepare you for graduation?

Well I got a full-time offer, so pretty well! This will be the first semester that I haven't had to worry about finding work, so I am looking forward to focusing my efforts into my school work (read: creating games) and contributing more open source code wherever possible.

What are you most excited for about graduation?

Getting to work at Microsoft! This is the kind of opportunity you don't ever think will happen going into school, and I am excited to start that phase of life.

What have been some of your best memories from your time at RIT?

Last semester a group of six students created an open source game engine, Dash, while a group of eight that I led created Spectral Robot Task Force, a turn-based strategy game built with Dash. We called ourselves Circular Studios, and that group offered me the most rewarding work I've done at RIT. Getting to work with people who have developed specialized skillsets offered all of us the opportunity to bring forth something bigger than I had imagined possible in a semester of work, and I can't wait to see what we can do with one more semester left.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

Go get a Tiger (now listed as a Mascot) from the RITZ Sports Zone. Why RIT doesn't lather all their food with Tiger Sauce I will never know.

How would you sum up your years spent at RIT?

Rewarding. I was constantly challenged to better myself, and I developed lasting relationships with students and faculty.

What will you miss most about RIT after graduation?

Tiger Sauce.

Is there anything you wish you could have done during your time on campus?

I wish I could have attended a hackathon at RIT. But keep your eyes peeled, my dream may yet come true...


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