SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49
  1. #1
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,207
    Mentioned
    456 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)

    PulloŚMember of the Month, December 2012

    One really cool thing about these forums is that brilliant people choose to hang around and help others by sharing their knowledge and expertise.

    This month, we'd like to highlight the efforts of Pullo, who is our Member of the Month for December. Pullo has been giving amazing help and advice across a wide range of disciplines of late.

    Here's an interview I conducted with him recently.


    Congratulations on being awarded the MoTM badge for December, Pullo. Were you surprised?
    Absolutely. It came quite out of the blue. That's not to say that I'm not pleased, though


    Well, itĺs certainly deserved.

    There are lots of things I'd like to ask you, but firstly, can you say something about your username? It's often intriguing to know what led to someone's choice of username (unless you have a boring one like mine!)
    Sure. I love watching HBO series in my spare time (Sopranos, Deadwood etc.). When I signed up for the SP forums, I was half way through watching Rome, and Pullo is one of the main characters in this series. At the beginning he's a centurion, but later on he ends up as a gladiator, so if there are any aspiring graphic designers out there that want to make me a trident as my avatar, I'd be well pleased.


    Now, I've got to ask: your profile page features a mug shot of the gangster Jack Zelig. What's up with that?
    Well spotted. I guess you used TinEye, right? Or are you up on your gangsters from the early 1900s?

    Heh heh, I used Google image search, actually.
    Anyway, to answer the question, I read about Big Jack in a book called Gangster City, which documents the New York underworld from 1900ľ35. I'm quite fascinated with this period in history and found Jack to be a lot more interesting than your average mobster. He's even got his own website: http://www.jackzelig.com/


    You post knowledgably in a lot of areas of these forumsŚfrom JavaScript, PHP and databases to CSS and HTML, and I gather you are also proficient in other areas such as Ruby, Rails, WordPress and network administration. Could you tell us a bit about your background in these areas and how you became such a polymath?
    Polymath, there's a word! It's certainly better than "Jack of all trades", I guess

    Well, I got into computers in about 2004 when I volunteered to make our diving club's web page. However, I didn't have a shred of computer knowledge and volunteering was one thing, but actually making it was another.

    There was quite a steep learning curve involved at first, but from the moment I started, I was hooked. I then spent ALL of my spare time learning about web technologies and about PCs in general.

    At some point I noticed that friends and family were starting to ask me for advice, both with their computers and with web projects. This gave me the confidence to apply for a part-time job at the local university, as a network administrator (which, suffice to say, I got).

    Since then I haven't looked back once. I have never stopped learning and in the course of this job, have been lucky enough to work with a variety of technologies, some of which you allude to in your question.

    I am also continuously looking for ways to apply what I Iearn. For example, our department's secretary wanted to make minor changes to two or three pages of our website, so I built her a mini CMS using Ruby.


    I gather that you haven't always made your living from web development, and that you have a rather interesting life story. Do you mind telling us a little about that?
    Not at all.

    As my profile states, I live in Germany. I am, however, not German, but rather a misplaced Brit.

    I came to Germany whilst studying, but loved it so much I ended up moving back when I had finished.

    I originally worked as an English trainer, but as soon as I realised I could make money from working in IT, I took the plunge and became a freelancer.

    That's not to say that I don't teach any more, I do. I currently teach a team of engineers who work with the compounding of thermoplastics. It's great fun and gets me away from the computer, but has left me with a ridiculously in-depth knowledge of a compounding line, that I'll almost certainly never need again.


    These forums attract a lot of people who are having specific issues with their web work, but it's really nice when people choose to stick around to help others and share their expertise. What brought you to these forums, and what inspires you to help others?
    What brought me to the forums was simple. I was having a PHP problem (the problem being that I couldn't write PHP) and a Google search brought me to SitePoint. I asked a couple of questions and was impressed by the friendly nature of the people who answered, as well as their levels of expertise.

    What's lead me to help others? At some point I noticed "Oh, I could answer that question", so I did. And then I answered another, and another, and the whole thing just snowballed.

    I enjoy helping people, and sometimes, when I get positive feedback from someone I helped, it makes my day.


    You also have a really cool blog site that provides lots of tips for web designers at http://hibbard.eu/. What inspired you to start that up?
    Thanks. I was in the habit of documenting problems I had solved in the course of my work anyway.

    It was only a short jump from writing things up in a text file on my PC, to writing them up in WordPress for the world to see. WordPress is great like thatŚthe ease with which it lets you publish content is almost unparalleled.


    Times have been pretty tough economically of late, especially in Europe. How have you weathered the storm as a freelancer? Do you have any tips for making a living as a web developer?
    Despite the global financial crisis, Germany has been booming, so I don't know if I'm really in a position to answer that.

    What has worked for me, though, is to plan ahead and when I do find myself "between jobs", I use the time to learn or to practise something that will strengthen my rÚsumÚ.


    What is your outlook on web development in the foreseeable future? Are there any technologies you are especially gearing up for, or do you have plans to branch out in any particular direction?
    In a wordŚmobile.

    I've just finished redesigning my blog. Not only did I make my new design responsive, but I designed for mobile first.

    This was a very interesting experience and was inspired by the amount of clients perceiving the relevance of a website that is accessible to mobile users.

    On a separate note, I'm also looking forward to the release of Ruby 2.0 next year. That'll be fun to play with.


    Can you tell us a bit about your interests outside of web development? I gather you are into fantasy books, running and even diving!
    Indeed. I am an avid diver and have been diving all over the world, from Holland to Spain to Egypt to the Maldives to Cuba to the USA to South Africa.
    Saying that, I've not visited the Barrier Reef yet. Are you located near there, Ralph? Do you fancy a house guest or five?

    Iĺm actually a long way from there, way down in Melbourne, but I can highly recommend the Barrier Reef as a place to visit. Itĺs awesome. (Donĺt wait too long, though, as it seems global warming is killing off the reef at an alarming rate. )
    I also love books of any kind, from technical to sci-fi/fantasy. I am currently reading a book on C++, as well as Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy, which I can heartily recommend.

    And, when I'm not doing that, I try to keep fit and do quite a bit of running. Now that it is winter over here, this is more or less restricted to the treadmill in the gym, but in summer I enjoy running outdoors (there is quite a lot of nice countryside where I live).


    If you had superpowers, what items would top the list of things you'd want to changeŚabout web development or the world in general?
    I'd want to maintain the chaos that is the Internet as we know it today. I think that Microsoft and Apple getting to decide what we can install on our machines is a dangerous and slippery slope (think Windows Store or iTunes) and that Microsoft's Secure Boot, while a good idea in principle, could easily be used for nefarious purposes.

    So, I'd use my superpowers to put an end to all that. I'm not quite sure how this would work in practice, though. Maybe with some cosmic rays, or something ...


    I've just slipped a sedative into the drinks of the other moderators, so while they're asleep, are there any websites or other causes that you'd like to promote here?
    Not without getting all political (which is probably not the best thing to do, even if the other mods are drugged up) ... Aw, but heck, why not? Check out these guys, they do great work: https://fsfe.org/


    Finally (and this is a bit of a long shot, but I'll ask just in case): can you shed any light on the meaning of life?
    Not without several bottles of strong German beer.

    Get those shipped over to me, then I'll be sure to let you know the path to true enlightenment shortly after consuming them


    That sounds great, Pullo. Iĺm off to get some of that German beer now!

    In the meantime, everyone, please congratulate Pullo on his award!

    Edit:

    Sorry Pullo, I drank all the beer. But I think Iĺve found the answer now anyway. Thanks for the tip!

  2. #2
    Foozle Reducer ServerStorm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Burlington, Canada
    Posts
    2,699
    Mentioned
    89 Post(s)
    Tagged
    6 Thread(s)
    Fantastic interview Guys... I laughed at many of the questions and answers. You are a really interesting guy (er Pullo not ralph.m ... kidding ) I'm glad that you let this interview out of the cage.

    Way to go @Pullo ;!

    Steve
    ictus==""

  3. #3
    padawan silver trophybronze trophy markbrown4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    4,108
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Congratulations Pullo, a very well deserved award. It's great to see another Ruby dev on the forums too

    And a great interview Ralph.

  4. #4
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
    guido2004's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    9,500
    Mentioned
    163 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)
    Congratulations Pullo, you deserved it
    And a great interview, well done to the both of you.

  5. #5
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    6,227
    Mentioned
    265 Post(s)
    Tagged
    5 Thread(s)
    Congratulations, Pullo. And well done to both of you for a very interesting interview.

    (BTW, I'm married to a marathon runner, and according to him, the secret of outdoor winter running is Icebreaker merino running gear. )

  6. #6
    Hosting Team Leader silver trophybronze trophy
    cpradio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,153
    Mentioned
    152 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congratulations Pullo! I've only visited Germany (for a few days), and I'm with you, I could have moved there.

  7. #7
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Hampshire UK
    Posts
    40,374
    Mentioned
    180 Post(s)
    Tagged
    6 Thread(s)
    Congratulations Pullo Your varied skills are certainly an asset to the community. Well done.

    ..and a great interview Ralph

  8. #8
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Great interview Ralph! I'm going to steal some of your questions for my next one!

    And Pullo... I loved your answers. It's always nice to meet up with someone who has a ready comeback for Ralph M. Just add that to your list of many skills!
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  9. #9
    GrŘ▀e aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,941
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Thanks everyone!!
    When I first came to SitePoint forums looking for help, I certainly wouldn't have thought I'd have ended up here ...
    Nonetheless here we are and I look forward to wearing my MotM badge with pride.

    Err talking of which, where is it by the way?
    What's going on @ralph.m ; ??

    @TechnoBear ; - Thanks for the tip on the running gear. It's just that a heated gym with a 42 inch flat-screen TV somehow seems more appealing than a dark, cold, slippery forest

    @cpradio ; - Germany sure is cool. The beer is great, the people are friendly, if I can just get my head around the language, I'll have it made

  10. #10
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    6,227
    Mentioned
    265 Post(s)
    Tagged
    5 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    @TechnoBear ; - Thanks for the tip on the running gear. It's just that a heated gym with a 42 inch flat-screen TV somehow seems more appealing than a dark, cold, slippery forest
    Oh really - where's your sense of adventure? If we'd known you were such a wimp, we'd never have made you MotM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    @cpradio ; - Germany sure is cool. The beer is great, the people are friendly, if I can just get my head around the language, I'll have it made
    I visited Bavaria twice on school exchange visits, many years ago, and I loved it. Hopefully I'll get back there one day. (The beer's of no interest, as I don't drink - despite living on an island with eight whisky distilleries. )


  11. #11
    GrŘ▀e aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,941
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    Oh really - where's your sense of adventure? If we'd known you were such a wimp, we'd never have made you MotM.
    Seriously?!?
    Don't call me a wimp. I've been diving with sharks, you know!
    ...
    Ok, they were less than a metre long and probably more scared of me than I was of them.
    ...
    I'll stop talking now. Do you want the badge back?

  12. #12
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    6,227
    Mentioned
    265 Post(s)
    Tagged
    5 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    Seriously?!?
    Don't call me a wimp. I've been diving with sharks, you know!
    Ah ... but bears are another matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    Do you want the badge back?
    Hmm, tempting - but as it's nearly Christmas, I expect we'll let you keep it (if you ever get it).

  13. #13
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,207
    Mentioned
    456 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    I look forward to wearing my MotM badge with pride ... where is it by the way?
    Unfortunately, the badge is like Tolkien's ring, and corrupts the wearer. So before we can give you your badge, the old one has to be prized from the previous winner, while he is asleep, and then a hobbit has to travel to New Zealand and overcome many ordeals—fighting off orcs and the like—finally to climb Mount Doom and cast the old badge into the fiery volcano. Then he has to travel back home and bow at the feet of the Galactic Overlord, who, if and when she pleaseth, awards a new one. So sorry for the delay.

  14. #14
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    HAWK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    12,550
    Mentioned
    957 Post(s)
    Tagged
    14 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    I look forward to wearing my MotM badge with pride.

    Err talking of which, where is it by the way?
    Sorry, it's Xmas Sale time so I'm a bit slow off the mark. It's there now. Congratulations.

  15. #15
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    from Madrid to Heaven
    Posts
    8,241
    Mentioned
    239 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Congratulations to both @ralph.m ; and @Pullo ; for a great interview.

    I have to say that I've been in Germany ages ago and I really liked it... but nothing is better than Spain (although right now I wouldn't move. Spain is not doing well financially and it depends how it goes in these few months I may be moving myself... don't know yet)

    This has been a fun read. Thank you

  16. #16
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
    Posts
    1,378
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    @Pullo ;, you've helped me a lot, particularly with jQuery, so if anybody would get this member of the month I am so glad it's you! You really deserved it!

    You're an inspiration, initially I though you were German, but it looks like your from good ˇld England. Stick around, and keep up the excellent posts.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  17. #17
    The Mind's I « silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    KSA - UAE
    Posts
    9,457
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Congrats! You really deserve this one

  18. #18
    GrŘ▀e aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,941
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the kind words everyone. I really appreciate it!

    @molona ; Spain is pretty nice, too. I visited San Sebastian once where I attempted to withdraw some cash form a cash machine. Everything was in Pesetas back then and I didn't know the exchange rate, so I chose the amount in the top left hand corner of the display, thinking it would be a tenner or at the most twenty quid. Anyway, I was pleasantly shocked at how little everything cost and we partied well into the night. It wasn't until the next day that I found out I'd blown over one hundred pounds (a lot of money back then) on ciggies and beer. One hell of a night though ...

    @Sega ; That's good to know. Thanks! Quite a few people thought I was German, actually. I guess I could change my signature to "Your friendly neighbourhood ex-pat polymath" or something, so as to give people a clue

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,278
    Mentioned
    50 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Congrats!

    If you're in Germany, why do you need German beers shipped to you??

    Aha, you must live in Frankfurt! They don't know beer there. Just #1 apfelwein. ^_O

    More Ruby guys, eh? Y'all need to find some Pythonistas for MotM to even it out. For great power.

  20. #20
    GrŘ▀e aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,941
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    If you're in Germany, why do you need German beers shipped to you??
    Erm, cuz you can never have enough

    Never tried Apfelwein, but am partial to an odd GlŘhwein now that the Christmas Markets are all in full swing.
    Makes shopping for presents that much more interesting ....

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,278
    Mentioned
    50 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    We got that. Albert-Heijn GlŘhwein :P

    You need to make a trip over to Belgium. Om nom nom. Beer and chocolates, la, la-la la la!

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear
    The beer's of no interest, as I don't drink - despite living on an island with eight whisky distilleries.
    Now that's just a cryin' shame.

  22. #22
    Community Advisor silver trophybronze trophy
    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2,805
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Congrats , Pullo. Really nicely done. Nice interview answers too! It's good to be well balanced on web techs, and a taste good bear never hurts either.

  23. #23
    Under Construction silver trophybronze trophy AussieJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    776
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice one Pullo - Congrats on the badge. Keep up the good posts

    Like Sega, I too thought you were actually German (and just thought your English was really good for a German guy :P)
    var details = {
    . . web: "afterlight.com.au",
    . . photos: "jvdl.id.au",
    . . psa: "usethelatestversion.com"
    }

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,278
    Mentioned
    50 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by assieJohn
    (and just thought your English was really good for a German guy :P)
    Kohoutek's English is excellent. :P

  25. #25
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,207
    Mentioned
    456 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AussieJohn View Post
    just thought your English was really good for a German guy
    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Kohoutek's English is excellent.
    If people around here have excellent English, I just assume they are from Germany, the Netherlands or places like that. I'm always shocked when I find out they are native English speakers.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •