Meet Your Instructor: Jerry Medeiros
February 03 2022
Jerry Medeiros is the Circuit Stream's Head of Education. Jeery hails from Sáo Paulo, Brazil where he worked on various game projects and visual simulators. He specializes in Unity and XR Development and has a Certified Unity Instructor certification along with a Master’s degree in Computer Science.
Jerry has over 10 years of leadership experience in areas related to real-time 3D development, educational technology program evaluation, and higher education. He has taught and advised hundreds of students. He led over 200 entertainment and educational game projects in the last decade and as he says it - he loves to teach!
Learn more about why Jerry, his opinion on the metaverse, and how he can help you get just as excited about the XR and Unity. Arky Miller, our student experience coordinator, sat down and ask him a bunch of questions. Did you know that Jerry is proficient in scuba diving and he started ice skating since he moved to Canada not long time ago?
Check the full interview below or if you prefer, read the summarized answers below.
Q: Tell me about your background and experience before you joined Circuit Stream
A: Before joining Circuit Stream, I worked for a mobile gaming company to develop mobile games, and I also taught during evenings. Then I started looking for companies specializing in XR since I already had some experience. Circuit Stream is a perfect fit for me because it is about development and teaching, which is exactly what I am passionate about.
Q: Were you Interested in XR technology and Unity development before?
A: I have always been interested in computers and technologies. However, when I first started university, my first choice was chemical engineering. But at the last minute, my friends and I decided to enroll in a game development course - just to see how it would go. It was a big risk at that time. Looking back I am glad I took the game development program instead of chemical engineering. I know I made the right decision.
Q: Where does your teaching experience come from?
A: It is funny because I never thought I would be an educator initially. It was all by chance. When I was in school, I had a research project where my group worked on motion capture. I worked with a very knowledgeable professor during that time. I helped him do research papers and class materials. After certain time he invited me to teach a game development course at the university. Back then the professors teaching in universities usually had a master's degree or even Ph.D. I had none of that. However, they made an exception to accept me as a teacher. I had a great time teaching and I guess I never stopped. I worked on my full-time job during the day and teaching game development at the university at night. Later in life, I acquired a master's degree and I am more qualified for teaching.
Q: Since you’ve been at Circuit Stream for two years, what have you found is your personal teaching style?
A: I constantly tailor my teaching skills to suit my students. For example, teaching technically more experienced people is definitely different from teaching beginners. I always try to find a spot where my students know what they are doing and how to do it.
I do believe a good theory is essential. But being able to apply your knowledge and start accomplishing things in the real world is also important. In my classes, I will make sure my students learn the necessary theories and how to do hands-on projects as well.
I also use a problem-based approach where I'm not giving students the complete solution. Instead I will help students how to find the answer. This way I make sure students are always the main characters on their learning journeys and I will support them whenever they need me. This is how the real world looks like anyway. You will run into problems and you'll have to find solutions by yourself.
I believe learning is hard and sometimes it is important to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. That's how you learn and grow. The technology industry is competitive; that is why I use problem-based teaching techniques to motivate students to find solutions on their own and not just by watching me teaching.
Q: What gets you up in the morning? What are your favourite moments and experiences teaching Unity and XR skills to new students?
A: As an instructor, I have seen many of my students start with zero experience. I have seen how much they were struggling during the course. But they were all able to present great projects to me in the end. That is very rewarding and fulfilling for me as an educator.
Q: You’ve taught hundreds of students so far. What separates great students from good ones and what is your personal recommendation for somebody who wants to take a leap into XR and Unity?
A: I believe passion and the amount of effort people put into the project is what separates them from the others. Great students are not afraid of challenges or difficulties - they are always trying to solve them.
Technology is an ever-changing industry. If you are really interested in XR and Unity, you will improve as long as you make efforts and put the time into it. It is a complex field — you need to be analytic and practice it like learning a new language. It is hard, but as long as you commit yourself to it, you will get it.
Q: What happens when someone starts falling behind and then struggles to keep up with the program? Do you have methods to help that person catch up?
A: It is very common for students to struggle, especially when learning how to program. I always try to identify the problem because different people struggle with different things. For example, if the student is struggling with a syntax problem, I will show them this is just like a language, and actually, this is easier than any language because it doesn't have as many words. However, if the student is struggling with a logic problem, I will try to help them remember how they solved problems in real life. It the same with the computer — you just need to tell it the right steps.
Practice is key. We have to figure out what exactly the student is struggling with and then practice it. If the student struggles with logic, then practice logic. If the student struggles with vocabulary, then practice vocabulary.-
Q: I know you don’t want to play favourites but do you have a favourite example of a student success story that you've witnessed?
A: I have witnessed many students succeed, but the one specific example I can give is Kim Valente. She is an artist, and she used to paint and teach painting. After the pandemic happened, she wanted to dive into the VR world. Her final project was extremely impressive and successful. Her project was a painting lesson where the audience could paint in the VR world. It was a complicated project, and it was challenging for both of us. She had a lot of work to do on her side, but in order to give her the support she needed, I had to do lots of research as well. The project she completed would still be challenging for someone already experienced, so I was very impressed since she came from a different background.
Q: What’s your opinion on the future of Metaverse and the Real-time 3D? What do you think is the “next big thing” in our lives?
A: Metaverse is a fancy name for something that has already existed for a long time. This is a controversial topic, and maybe not everyone will agree with me, but I think metaverse is basically the Internet. However, we have more immersive technologies now to make the metaverse more realistic. I think the future metaverse is the improvement of hardware and software, so together, we can make the virtual environments better.
I have two different thoughts on the “next big thing.” The first one is adoption. Many people have headsets at home since they are affordable. Many people are already familiar with AR experiences such as TikTok filters and Pokemon Go mobile game. Two decades ago, not everyone had computers or mobile devices, but now pretty much everyone has them. The same thing goes for immersive technology devices, they will be more accessible with time, and people will take advantage of this technology.
The second big thing is the development of immersive technology hardware. Right now, virtual reality is not perfect yet, because audiences don’t feel they are in the virtual reality world when they are using VR technology. It would be more immersive and realistic in the future, where audiences will feel and sense things in the virtual reality world.
Q: Who are you outside Circuit Stream? What do you like to do for fun and pleasure?
A: I love to learn new things, and I am an outdoorsy person. Back in Brazil, I used to scuba dive and hike. Since I moved to Canada, I haven't done anything crazy yet, but I still go hiking when the weather is nice. I am exploring some winter sports such as ice skating and hockey as well. However, I have to mention I am good at individual sports and not at team sports. I am just always trying to learn new things to keep myself active.