Graduate Student Spotlight | Tom Darby, Computer Science

Tom Darby

"Hood College is giving me a golden opportunity to simultaneously refresh my existing knowledge while introducing me to entirely new fields of study"

Tom Darby, M.S. Computer Science

Program

  • Computer Science (M.S.)
  • Cybersecurity (M.S., C)
  • Information Technology (M.S.)
  • Management Information Systems (M.S.)

Department

  • Computer Science & Information Technology

Tom Darby is a Hood College computer science graduate student and the founder of Magic Chopstick Games, an independent game studio located in Frederick, MD.

Please share about your educational and professional background.

I graduated from Carleton College in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I am currently enrolled in Hood College's Computer Science Master's program.

Since graduating college, I've worked in a number of positions at several companies. I was a senior developer and foreign liaison for Syntegra, a digital services company; a programmer for a major Washington DC political polling and strategy firm; the IT Specialist for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth; and, most recently, the Director of Multimedia Development for Pearson Online and Blended Learning.

Could you tell us more about your entrepreneurial endeavors?

I am the founder and sole proprietor of Magic Chopstick Games, an independent game studio located here in Frederick, MD.

I work independently and with collaborators on small, casual video games for mobile devices and desktop computers. This means that I need to be able to do a little bit of everything: programming, design, art, music, marketing, production, and everything else that goes into making a video game. My latest release, "Obliteracy", is a two-player word game set in a futuristic dystopia filled with giant robots, monsters, and linguistic virtuosity.

My soon-to-be-released project, "Jardinains", is a modern overhaul of the original hit game from the early 2000s.

What made you come back to school for your graduate studies?

Computer science and computer programming is a rapidly evolving field. While much of what I learned in school 25 years ago is still relevant, a lot of that knowledge has become obsolete and outdated.

Additionally, there are entirely new fields of study in computer science that simply didn't exist all those years ago. Hood College is giving me a golden opportunity to simultaneously refresh my existing knowledge while introducing me to entirely new fields of study that weren't available to me the last time I was in school.

Are you planning on starting another company? How will your graduate degree help with your entrepreneurial journey?

I plan to use the skills and knowledge I'm gaining as a Hood College Computer Science graduate student to improve the games I create through Magic Chopstick Games.

I've already started incorporating a lot of the things I've been learning into my games, and I've found that I'm able to do more in less time thanks to what I've been learning in my graduate program.

Do you have any advice for Computer Science students who are currently  looking to find a job?

You'll find a lot of truly outstanding professors and students at Hood College. Many of these students and professors have strong connections to the local and regional business community.

Take the time to get to know your professors and your peers. Build a strong network of Hood faculty, staff, and students while you're here. You'll be able to help and support each other for years to come, to say nothing of the fact that you'll make some solid, lifelong friendships, too!

Inspired by Tom's story to #GoFurther in your education to boost your career? Learn about Hood College’s graduate programs, including the M.S. in Computer Science, by clicking here.