Another month has passed, the days are shortening (they are in this part of the world ), and I am proud to present our Member of the Month for October 2011:
Please join me in congratulating him and thanking him for his on-going help and support on the forums.
And now, on with the questions.
Where does the name 'oddz' come from?
The name oddz is actually latin for… j/k it's merely the last three letters of my first name crammed together with the first of my last name. At the time I originally registered I had already been a member of several other forums (not related to web development) so was looking for a change. Oddz kind of sounds like ozzie (which I am not a particular fan of); none the less, I rolled with it and seems to be doing me just fine.
You've been around for some time, but maybe you still remember: what brought you to Sitepoint, what made you stay? What motivates you to help others?
Before I joined Sitepoint I was wee young lad studying graphic design, and at that time was involved in a graphic design forum where I’m still an active member. That forum had some activity in web design but not really much at the time. In the last quarter of my freshmen year at college, I took a computer class geared toward teaching some basic Illustrator, Photoshop and web design, or let's just say Dreamweaver. Within that class there was this one person who could already write HTML and CSS. His work really kind of inspired me to start learning the web stuff.
So, over the summer, I began looking more and more into web, finding quite a few valuable resources from the graphic design forum I had been a part of. One of the recommended resources was Build Your Own Website the Right Way. I was a little skeptical at first, so I tried out the first few chapters for free and was immediately hooked, purchasing the book the next day and reading it in about a week. Once I started on the path I figured the community would be as great as a books for my noob questions and I couldn’t have been more right. What motivates me to stay active today? … Honestly, I think the SitePoint forums are like crack.
Seriously though, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others and in return perhaps learning a little something new myself. Also, I really enjoy looking at things and thinking how they can be made better, which is an attribute shared by most of the active developers at SitePoint (wish I could say that for my job) … ooops – hope they aren’t reading this . Besides that I would say the crowd here - on the whole - seems pretty chill, and I dig it (well, apart from some people …)
Well, that isn’t completely true … I was lucky enough to be offered a part time gig, which turned into a full time position, doing web development with a focus on front-end in my last year of school. An opportunity that I would say totally paved the way for where I am today. Having had three full time gigs now, I like to think that my skill set would never have evolved to the point it has if I had not been able to really own most projects I work on.
That said, above all else I consider myself a problem solver; all the lingo is merely a means to an end – a way to solve a particular business problem. Though, having been put through 4 years of the design trenches, I can’t help but think of design in terms of usability, every step of the way, when I am creating something. There is nothing I love more than starting from a clean plate, being able to make my own poor decisions and truly own projects start to finish. If I ever were to have a dream job, it would have to include clients who prefer ground-up work with a proper budget – none of that Drupal, Joomla or (god have mercy on your soul) WordPress BS.
What do you see in the future for the world of web development?
Not to be biased towards desktop software or anything, but I eventually expect most software applications to be run on the web. With the advent of the mobile web, I think it is becoming clearer and clearer to many companies that the web provides a much more cost effective means of creating software that everyone can easily enjoy without the cost involved in creating native applications for multiple devices. I think as time goes on we are eventually going to see things like Photoshop, Illustrator and Word move to the web rather than be native applications. That is my long-term, 20 to 30 year prediction. I don’t think the software is there yet, but eventually it will be. Short term, I expect - and already see - that mobile development will take precedence over desktop. Which is cool, considering it gives everyone a chance to re-imagine their products.
What do you like best about SitePoint and what areas do you think could stand some improvement?
Like I said previously, I enjoy the laid back atmosphere and interaction with like minded people the most. In regards to improvement, at this point it is mostly aesthetics, with the recent forum upgrade and all. For example, I miss the 100% width design and easy access to other forums via the sidebar. Other than that, though, I think overall the community is world class. Though some people could perhaps be a little more understanding at times and in some cases I include myself.
Apart from spending time at the SitePoint forums, what are some of your other favorite things?
Well, aside from hanging out here as I have mentioned previously, I have a 9–5 development gig, during which, in most cases, I do not visit Sitepoint – shocking. About 3 months ago I picked up disc golf, since it is quite a big scene where I am at, having moved where I am now just a little over a year ago. I try to get out at least twice a week and throw a couple discs around. If nothing else, it’s just nice to get my mind off work.
That said, before moving here though, I was really into Airsoft, went to one or two games a week – if you think Sitepoint is like crack, try Airsoft!!! Anyway, not much Airsoft going on where I am at now: have to drive 2 hours away on average, which sucks, so I have only attended a handful of games in the last year. I have a 7,000 - yes, you heard me right, 7K gun alone just collecting dust.
Other than that, being fairly young (25), single and enjoying an occasional drink or two or three or … isn’t out of the question. Oh, and what is that generic one everyone always says … hanging out with friends - its like hard worker on a resume – I do that too.
Though it seems very difficult to meet new people … I don’t know if that is just where I am or everywhere in general but yeah – it's life. I almost forgot I still frequent a graphic design forum that I have been a part of since my first few weeks in college. Though it's more entertainment than actually helping people out these days, unless it’s web related or I’m feeling particularly talkative or frustrated.
This is your chance at blatant self promotion. Is there anything that you would like to promote?
If I had things to promote I would, but really, I've got nothing. Well … other than a few abandoned GitHub projects. I look at some of that code now and, well … it works, if the sun is just right . I think it’s a rite of passage to roll your own ORM and meta based CMS though … so yeah.