It gives me great pleasure to announce our esteemed Member of the Month for April 2019 goes to droopsnoot. A knowledgable member who has been with SitePoint for many years. Drum roll and congratulations to droopsnoot.
No doubt you would like to know more about droopsnoot so without further ado here are the results of the interview!
- Q: First of all, where do you live, have you lived there long or are you a global Cyber Worker?
- I live in the north west of England, near to a town called Nantwich, and have done for my entire life. I have worked mainly in the local area, though more recently I’ve done some work for a company in Melbourne (Aus) electronically.
- Q: You’re clearly a fan of the Vauxhall Firenza. What makes it so special?
- My first car was a Vauxhall Viva, then I swapped it for a Firenza because it looked a bit more sporty. Then a couple more, finally to the “HP” (High Performance) Firenza which I’ve had since 1986. What can I say, I get attached to things. It’s an unusual car, it’s hard to get parts for, but somehow I like the challenge, and someone has to look after the more unusual stuff.
- Q: Some questions are a must and this is one of them: what brought you to the Sitepoint Forums and what made you stay?
- I can’t honestly remember. I originally came here to learn about HTML and CSS when the company I worked for was setting up its first web site and I’d realised that, as quick as it was, MS Frontpage probably wasn’t ideal. I struggled a lot to justify the extra time it took, and how it’s not better to “just export it from MS-Word”.I came back more recently when I decided I needed to know how to do web programming in something more mainstream than the language I was using at work, and picked on PHP.
- Q: Any suggestions to improving the forum?
- Not really. It’s frustrating when IE gets left behind, but that’s not peculiar to Sitepoint.
- Q: Is programming your main profession or a sideline?
- I started off programming, then migrated into more general work including operating system support and hardware configuration, but have been back to programming for a few years, but it’s very part-time now. As well as this I make some small parts for my car because spares can be difficult to find. I restored one of my cars, which involved making a lot of repair sections, which I figured I could probably do again for other owners. I’d like to do more programming work, but I’ve little experience in widely-used langauges so I’d be stuck with low-cost sites like “fiverr” and while “every little helps” I’m not sure I can motivate myself to put the time in
for little return.
- Q: What got you into programming?
- School. When I was there, “Computer Studies” was largely about teaching how to program. When I left school I started working in a local business, and at the time custom software was more popular than it seems to be now, so programmers were needed. Once or twice I had a go with using “customisable” software, but it became frustrating to not have complete control over how stuff worked.
- Q: What is your personal programming speciality?
- I’m not sure I have one. I’ve done a lot of work with an operating system called “THEOS” (formerly Oasis), using the BASIC (and to a lesser extent C) languages on that platform. But for a while I did some development on mobile platforms such as Palm (when they were PDA market leader), Pocket PC, and Symbian mobile phones (when they were also leader). The trouble with specialising comes when the platform you specialise in stops being popular.
- Q: What are your favourite web coding tools and web resources (useful web sites)? (List as many as you wish.)
- I tend to write code using Notepad++, which has been sufficient for what I do. If I was doing more, I am sure I’d probably be looking at version control. For web stuff my main resource is Sitepoint (of course) and a handful of specific articles, but that probably reflects how little of it I’m doing at the moment.
- Q: Do you have a coding font preference?
- No. For PHP it’s whatever Notepad++ uses as a default. I am a bit of a “traditionalist”, so I have in the past configured stuff to use Courier or similar, but I don’t make a point of it. I started programming using dumb terminals, so back then there wasn’t a choice of fonts.
- Q: Have you any programming likes or dislikes?
- Speed of change is something I dislike, though obviously it’s an opportunity too. I originally came here as I said to learn about HTML and CSS, knocked up a couple of sites that were quite reasonable, turned my back for five minutes and suddenly we’ve got HTML5, CSS3,
“responsive” sites, mobile screens, a load of stuff to get my head around properly. So while I’d like to modernise my two sites, I’m struggling with getting to grips with just how far behind I am.
- Q: Any advice for beginner programmers?
- Keep an open mind, and keep learning stuff. Oh, and test things. And get an editor that syntax-colours so you don’t so much waste time chasing down typos.
- Q: What is your favourite language and what are you currently learning?
- Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and how did you learn from it?
- I guess it would be loyalty to a product when I should be looking at alternatives*. I resisted
producing a version of one product for Pocket PC and stuck with PalmOS, only giving in when the demand became too great to resist, then stuck with Symbian phone when I should have looked at iOS. I’m not sure I have learned from it - I still like using IE.
(* although I’m not sure I can call loyalty a mistake, always)
- Q: If time and money were no object where would you like to live, travel or holiday?
- I can’t think of an answer to that. I’ve pretty much always lived in the same place, and don’t really go on holiday. I don’t travel much. I look at stuff on the TV about exotic locations and think it’d be great, but I’m not sure it would - I don’t have a lot of patience so I’m put off distant locations, even though they are probably lovely when you get there. I’d have to change my outlook so much that I’m not sure I can.
- Q: Would you have bought bitcoins when it was all new and you were among the first to learn about it?
- I’d like to have, sure, but that’s probably with the benefit of hindsight. Same for gold, 60s and 70s Ferraris and property.
- Q: What’s your favourite movie and why?
- I don’t have one single favourite. I like a lot of films, but I couldn’t describe what makes me like a particular one.
- Q: How do you endeavour to keep fit and do you participate in any sports?
- I used to cycle when I spent all day behind a desk. Now I spend time working on my old cars, so that keeps me reasonably active. Also I walk quite a distance to the pub and back.
- Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
- A bit of both, really.
- Q: Why is 42 the meaning of life?
- I don’t know. I get the reference, enjoyed the original TV series, but the only other thing I know
about Douglas Adams is that, despite rumours, he’s not the guy that does the comedy double-take in several of the Bond films.
Many thanks for letting me do this interview and now let us give other members the chance to show their appreciation and to ask further questions!