This Post is by Nick Ristuccia (Game Designer)
BNSF Railway hosted its 22nd annual Technology Awareness Day in February. This was a virtual event for hundreds of students in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area, as well as students within communities across BNSF’s network. Oracle was thrilled to support students at this great event. The goal of this event was to create awareness and inspiration for opportunities in technology. As BNSF explains: “We believe that technology will reach all parts of the future workforce, therefore we like to emphasize the need to master technological skills to be competitive. To help us motivate students we showcase technology, role models, and celebrate local leaders in various technical fields.”
Oracle presented two sessions, which focused on the Java programming language and the Oracle Autonomous Database. These are powerful technologies, but they can be challenging for new developers. That’s why we took a game-based learning approach using Java Puzzle Ball. It was thrilling to see students excited to play and learn. This 60-second video explained our sessions to Technology Awareness Day students.
Java Puzzle Ball was developed at Oracle. It has 4 game modes. Each is designed to secretly build your understanding of different programming concepts. There are also in-game heatmaps that showcase Oracle Autonomous Database access. The current version of the game is written in the Unity game engine, which is an industry standard tool. That means the Oracle Autonomous Database may definitely be a viable technology worth considering within the videogames industry. There are slides in-game explaining each Java concept and how to start accessing the Oracle Autonomous Database from Unity.
Java Puzzle Ball will be available to play on the Oracle Cloud. Within the next few months, we hope to publish a course with lecture videos and labs to accompany the game. In the meantime, students can find free learning resources from Oracle Academy. We recommend their super fun Java Foundations course. Professionals can find learning resources and certification from Oracle University.
Thank you to BNSF Railway for hosting this event. We look forward to more collaboration in the future. We’re glad the students enjoyed the session, and hope you’ll enjoy the game and upcoming course too.