I'm Casey Puentes, a passionate and curious software engineer. I'm excited by learning and am always looking for new challenges and opportunities. I've developed in many different fields such as game development, web development, and app development. I'm currently a rising Computer Science sophomore at the University of Maryland.
#EarlyBird20 was a week-long competition for Twitter's 'TakeFlight' challenge in which 4 teams competed to design the next best feature for Twitter. This program gave me priceless insight into the Tech Industry, taught me how to lead in any environment, and honed my ability to adapt to any situation.
During this 3 week program, I learned about web development through lessons taught by seasoned Google Engineers. For the final week, my team developed and presented to Google Engineers our WebApp, Citizens For Community, that aims to help citizens become more active within their community.
For 36 intense and highly collaborative hours, my team and I worked on Music Blox, an AR Application that aims to teach beginner programmers basic programming concepts. We were selected from 28 other projects to receive the AR/VR Grand Prize. This was my first(and certainly not last) hackathon, and I absolutely loved it!
Gladiator is a Minecraft plugin that aims to add a gladiator-style PvP minigame to servers. This project was never fully completed, but I learned so much about Object Oriented Design. Specifically, I learned that good structure and planning is much more important than rapid programming.
To feed my entrepreneurial hunger, I run Two Students, LLC. Originally founded in early 2017, my partner Nick and I have been developing software as co-owners of Two Students, LLC for over 3 years. Although we originally focused on game development, we've begun diversifying our projects into other areas like Web Development and app development for businesses and education.
In Hungry Hole, your main objective is to consume all the green spheres while avoiding the red ones. As you progress through levels, you will discover different intricate level designs and earn gems to unlock new skins. One of the main challenges that came along with the development of this game was determining how to simulate infinite levels with only a finite amount. I created an algorithm to loop through these levels in a 'random' way, thus creating the endless-levels feeling.
Cubz! is a unique and highly polished game. As you progress through the campaign, you encounter new bosses, new mechanics, and increasing difficulty. To keep players engaged, I created an activity reward system that would award players with loot from common to legendary rarity. The hardest thing about creating this game was finding a balance between difficulty and progression. Reflecting on this project, I learned it's better to award a player more progression than needed over less.
Gun Ninja is a fast-paced survival game in which you must battle your way through 100 custom levels, using your sword, 4 different guns and 2 different ammo types, to claim your victory! Similar to Cubz!, it was very difficult finding a balance between difficulty and rewards. Specifically, it was hard finding a balance between the amount of coins and health a player should be awarded per level. This resulted in the difficulty being too high, but I learned that balancing should be done earlier on.
In Ball Drop, your objective is to guess where the ball will land, given the randomly generated obstacles. Although never published, this game is completely developed. I learned so much from this game, like how my old development approach, consisting of 0 planning, produced games that were not well balanced and had lots of bugs. For example, the ball would often land in-between two tiles, activating both. Looking back on this project, this could have been avoided with more clever positioning.
As showcased by my business, I have a very strong entrepreneurial spirit and am fascinated by business and it's opportunities. Because of this, I sought out and joined a specialized business Scholars program, called Business, Society, and the Economy(BSE). Just by being a part of this program, I have had the opportunity to learn inside the classroom, through special BSE courses, and outside of the classroom through academic trips to companies like Harley Davidson, and to the annual New York Toy Fair. Additionally, I understand the importance of continuous learning, and am always trying to improve my skills and learn new ones through personal projects.
Since my childhood, I've always cherished the idea of giving back to the community, and I strive to fulfill this need. I've volunteered at A Wider Circle, a non-profit dedicated to ending poverty, and helped assemble cribs for babies, put together gift packs for children, and fill school bags with supplies for students. Additionally, I have volunteered as a tutor, taught young children how to play tennis, and helped organize a local library book sale. Furthermore, I've taken what I've learned so far about the Computer Science industry and returned to my old highschool program to share this knowledge and my advice with younger students.
On campus, I have found a number of clubs I'm interested in. I'm part of the Data Cloud Computing Society(DCCS) as I'm interested in learning more about cloud technologies and frameworks. Additionally, I am part of the UMD Rocket League club, and participate in friendly matches against other UMD students. Another club that I was interested in becoming a part of was the Parkour club. The idea of parkour has always interested me and I wanted to learn how to apply its principals to myself, all the while staying fit in a fun way.
I have many other passions outside of the items listed above. For example, I cannot go a day without listening to some of my favorite tunes which range from Alternative Rock(Like Coldplay and One Republic), to EDM(Like Throttle and Savant), to Pop(Like Owl City and Maroon 5), and even to Rap(Like Travis Scott and Drake). I also value staying healthy both physically, through eating healthy and exercising, and mentally, through balancing work and life. Possibly most notably, I love dogs! My adorable dog, Muffin(shown in the image), is a little under 2 years old, and is always ready to play!