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MAKer Spotlight: Paul Zimmons, Senior Graphics Programmer

 Say hello to Paul Zimmons, MAK's Senior Graphics Programmer on the VR-Vantage team. A MAKer since 2014, Paul is responsible for creating, debugging, and optimizing many of the features in VR-Vantage that make it look amazing. And as part of MAK's "engineer down the hall" commitment, he also spends time working 1:1 with customers to help solve technical challenges.

Paul graduated with a PhD in Computer Graphics from the University of North Carolina in 2004 where he developed an interest in Virtual Reality before it was cool. Paul then spent time with Electronic Arts as a graphics programmer and worked on games for both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. His first game was Superman Returns, which he credits as a great learning experience, followed by NFL Street, and then for five years, he worked primarily on Madden Football. Paul discovered that, if you work long enough on Madden Football, you get a signed football from John Madden himself! Nice work, Paul.

After his time at EA, he changed things up and spent a few years at Quantlab Financial, a high-frequency trading firm in Houston, Texas, where he added trading system features and optimized code, before he realized how hot it gets in Texas. So he packed his bags, moved to Massachusetts and worked with Irrational Games (Bioshock) before joining the MAK team.

He was excited to join MAK since our technology focus has a lot in common with game companies he worked with in the past — building virtual worlds, using a bunch of different tools, feature optimization, and collaboration with skilled artists. When asked why he's stayed at MAK so long, he cites the tight-knit community; MAK is full of friendly people who work together and help each other out. There's a lot more care for the individual at MAK, and that's something that Paul values.

Outside of work, Paul is a runner who averages three miles a day (!). He's an avid follower of Formula 1 racing and has been for the past 15 years. And as you may have guessed, he's super into gaming. But now that he and his wife, Erika, are homeowners, Paul admits that much of their free time is dominated by home improvement projects (or should we call them home "feature optimization" projects?)

We are fortunate to have Paul as a part of our MAK family, and we hope this spotlight piques your interest in our MAK team. Stay tuned for more MAKer spotlights!

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