It’s with great pleasure I now announce the Member of the Month award, resurrected from too long ago!
The new Member of the Month for February 2019 is m_hutley !
m_hutley , or I may call you Marc for a more informal interview. Your month happens to be the shortest of all months in the year, but not the least important! This is the month that curates the calendar to be accurate century after century, so I’m very proud to on the behalf of the SitePoint Forums hand you the MotM award for February 2019!
The questions I’m about to ask in this informal interview came up with good help from all staff, and are a little more than they used to be.
Now Marc , I’ll ask away and you answer what you like to. We’ll se where it lands then, right:
Q: First the ultimately most important question in this part of the universe; How did you find SitePoint? What brought you here, and what makes you stick around?
A: It’s been quite a while since I found SitePoint - long before the current forum technology was in place. I can’t honestly remember what first brought me here, though I’d wager on it being simply “I googled something I was stuck on and found an answer”. What makes me stick around… I like puzzles. I like coding. So the most obvious combination of the two is to help other people with their problems, because it means I don’t have to come up with my own puzzles to solve!
Q: One question we used to ask a lot is what our Members of the Month like most about SitePoint, and if being an active member in the forums is beneficial or advantageous for you?
A: Being an active member of the forums is most definitely beneficial to me. A lot of times I think I’ve solved the problem or given a good suggestion, and then someone else gives a better solution or pointed out some new service or method that I’ve never heard about. I nearly as often as I help others, learn something new from the threads. Also, it makes sure I keep my own skills up to date and practiced.
Q: You have proved to be inventive a few times and I wonder what SPF would look like if you were the all mighty overlord here. What do you think could be improvements in the forums (or of the main site too if you like)?
A: haha… I’ve often said I’m not good at being a manager, I’m the code monkey. I used to be a Mentor here (on another username, years ago). I find it much more enjoyable to not have the responsibility. Also it allows me to step away when I am losing my patience with a thread. Yes, it does happen.
Q: A recent discussion behind the scenes was about how intrusive are the current ads in the forums. What do you think? - Or if you rather prefer; Generally speaking, what are your thoughts about advertisements in user active places?
A: Ads are a necessary evil on the web. I’m not a particular fan of them, but I recognize the need for sustainability. Placement I find is often the hardest thing to get right. Constant evolution and adjustment. I don’t find the ads on SitePoint to be too bad. The lower-third styling can be a little intrusive at times, though I think that more for me depends on the content of the ad rather than anything that can be controlled by the site.
A: To answer in reverse order: Necessity. I learned to code HTML because I wanted to make websites when I was a teenager.
As far as posting knowledgeably, understand that while I may have experience, I’m googling things as much as anyone else. I have been told I have a knack for being able to read and boil down very technical things to make them understandable by the less skilled. My own form of coding. Or is that de-coding?
Q: What is the most rewarding topic you’ve read (or created) in the forums?
A: Oh lord. That one’s a hard one, because I find reward in a lot of places. Every once in a while I find (and even rarer, post) a post that manages to take a complex post and boil down an answer into a single, compact paragraph that doesn’t need expansion. That I think is the most satisfying sort of post. One where you just put your hands up and say “Yup. That’s it.”
Q: What question, if any, are you sick of reading/answering in the forums?
A: Anyone who’s been around for more than a few years will answer that question with “I want the values of the ‘model’ select box to be based on the option selected in the ‘make’ select box”. For those that don’t think regular users of the forum notice - yes, we know what questions your college professors are asking you to do. Yes, they’ve been answered before. All of them. Many times.
I find the Marketing forum the most repetitive forum of the lot, to the point that I invented a buzzword bingo card for them. I wouldn’t say I’m sick of them per se, just glad that I don’t have to read all of them.
Q: The poem-like quote in your profile sounds like it stems from Tolkien, does it?
A: actually opens his profile for the first time in a long while to figure out which quote he’s put up there That one comes from a video game. Thief…2, I believe it is. Though I do enjoy Tolkien, and Rothfuss. Normally my profile quote is one I came up with myself: “Never grow up. The instant you do, you lose all ability to imagine great things, for fear of reality crashing in.”
Q: Is your current avatar related to that?
A: My avatar relates to my normal online alias - EtoileLion - and comes from this comic. I find it appropriate as I often find myself being completely derpy and missing the simplest things.
Q: What games are your passionate with? Console or online? Player vs player or solo vs everyone?
A: I’m actually mostly a strategy player, 4x, simulators and the like. I’ve never been a ‘twitch’ gamer, meaning FPS’s and such aren’t my thing. I have absolutely no interest in PvP at all. PvE, solo or cooperative. I own the current generation of consoles, though to be honest they haven’t seen much use in a good while. I’ve also been an online D&D DM for nearly a year, and find it a good outlet for my imagination.
Q, What game would you most like to make and/or distribute?
A: I don’t know that I would ever be able to make a game. I have trouble in taking the world inside my head and expressing it in words (or code) in such a way that it adequately depicts the living, breathing thing in my imagination. I don’t think I’d ever be ‘satisfied’ with any such project, to the point that it would probably never see the light of day.
Q: What work do you like to do most?
A: As I said before, I like puzzles. I also have no problems with repetitive tasks. I currently work as a QE (Quality Engineer) with a technology company, and find that line of work rather satisfying. Testing things, thinking through every possible scenario, trying to find the potholes (hopefully before falling into them…) and making sure that the best possible product gets put out.
Q: And a question of more general interest: What tools can’t you live without? (We’re talking web stuff here…)
A: Depends on the platform, but working on a Windows PC, Notepad++. If for nothing else than the ability to have a free ‘dark’ editor with syntax highlighting. I spend a lot of my time staring at screens, and already suffer from poor eyesight, so the less staring at white that I can do, the better.
Q: What are you excited about in the future regarding web development?
A: I think we’re approaching an epoch in web development, as AR, VR, and other technologies start to permeate our lives more, I feel that the web itself will be adapting to keep up, which will necessitate an evolution. Something new is coming, and that is always exciting.
Q: Where are you heading in that regard?
A: I’ll be honest and say I’m not exactly riding the bleeding edge of such advances, which isn’t the best shining example you might be hoping for. Mostly I’m riding the wave, rather than cresting it.
Q: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not online or suffer a power outage? Can you think about anything else of interest than coding while on UPS power?
A: What is this ‘not online’ thing you speak of? I have a good imagination, perhaps too good. If I’m not online, I’m probably imagining something. I used to referee youth soccer, but life has taken me away from that. Besides that, I’ve got a pair of teenage children who will find ways to fill my time without fail.
Q: What is your long term goal in life, your dream of where you want to go and what you want to do?
A: Is this a job interview now? I don’t really have big goals in life. I want to enjoy my life with my wife, live long, and make enough money that we can both be happy. Also keep the internet bill paid.
Q: If time and money were no problem, then where would you like to go?
A: If time and money were no problem, then I think I’d go a lot of places. My wife hates the cold, and I hate the heat. So no matter where it was, someone would be grumpy. But the benefit of not having to worry about time or money is, we’d end up going places that each of us enjoyed.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and how did you learn from it?
A: I make mistakes daily. Some of them I just don’t know that I’ve made. I’m not sure I have a ‘biggest’ mistake.
Q: Would you have bought bitcoins when it was all new and you were among the first to learn about it? …you did?
A: I think at some point I ‘mined’ something like a million billionth of one percent of a bitcoin way back when. So technically I did get some when it was all new. No, I didn’t keep track of it. I don’t think I would have been an investor in them. I’m far too frugal. Keep in mind that Bitcoin was ‘all new’ a decade ago, and only just recently exploded. That’s a long investment lead time.
Q: Last but not least: Now while all the lights are on you, don’t be shy; Do you have anything, business or charitable or not, you’d like to promote or share with everyone?
A: Definitely not anything of my own. Go out and support your local charities, your schools, and your communities. Best thing we can do is support one another, even when we disagree.
Wow, you had answers to all questions! And I can’t come up with a better ending than you just gave.
On behalf of all staff I thank you very much Marc , I much appreciate you could take the time to give this interview.
Now lets here a cheering applause for m_hutley , the new Member of the Month February 2019!