It's that time of the month again when we announce the next recipient of the SitePoint forums' coveted Member of the Month award.
And this month the award goes to none other than ... drum roll ... solidcodes (a.k.a. Warren) who can be found all over the forums, both asking and answering questions, as well as generating lively debate.
To mark the occasion, I caught up with Warren and asked him some questions, so that we can learn a bit more about the man behind the rhino.
Congratulations on being awarded the MoTM badge for September, solidcodes. Are you surprised?
Yes, actually I'm here in this forum to grow my knowledge and to share my knowledge too. So this award is really unexpected.
Well, it's well deserved, nonetheless. So, first things first, how did you discover SitePoint forums and what made you want to hang around?
I think Google helped me to find out about SitePoint forums. The people here are friendly and knowledgeable.
And what's with the name solidcodes? Is there any reason that you chose that user name?
It's a dream that I hope someday my coding style will be one of the finest and most professional.
And yes, I work in [Odesk and [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elance"]Elance](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ODesk).
Ok. I added a couple of links to help folks who haven't heard of those platforms, but I guess this makes you a freelancer.
So, what are the advantages of being a freelancer (apart from not having a boss)?
Bosses are a thing of the past. Online work is on the rise. You don't feel the pressure.
And are there any down sides?
Yes, there is the competition. And you always need to keep your skills up-to-date to get jobs.
And as a freelance developer, what are your favourite tools (code editors, design programs, time tracking software etc…)?
Code Editors: Aptana and Notepad++
Design programs: I prefer manual but sometimes I use Dreamweaver.
Your profile states that you live in the Philippines. Isn't it monsoon season there now? (Sorry, I had to ask. I'm British and consequently obsessed with the weather)
Yes I'm from Philippines and yes it is monsoon season.
Storms are normal in my country.
Apart from the weather, what's it like living in the Philippines? Is there anything about it that you love or hate? What's the food like?
Living here is easy, If you are a foreigner your money here will last way too long.
95% of the people here can at least speak basic English (because the Americans stayed here for so many years after the Spanish).
I hate politicians, they are corrupt, but I love my country because it is blessed by beautiful natural resources.
Just imagine the beach resorts and islands here. My country is composed of more than 7,000 islands.
And the food here is superb.
It sounds lovely. The closest I've been to the Philippines was diving in Malaysia. That was a lot of fun!
What is the one place in the world (that you have NOT been to) that you would love to visit? Why?
Israel, the place of GOD. (I'm a Christian.)
You list your interests as reading. What kind of books do you like? What are you reading right now?
I love web programming and investment books.
Investment: Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis. I'm a noob in stock market investment, still learning...
Well, let me know when you strike it rich
Is there anything else you enjoy doing when you are away from the PC and not at work?
Yes, I spend my time reading and in meditation.
Your signature also contains a link with the words "Don't click this link".
I obviously had to click it (reverse psychology and all that ...) and landed on a site called coder9. Would you mind telling us what this is about?
That is my site where I test my code. Behind that front page lies my portfolio, which I only show to my clients.
This interview obviously wouldn't be complete without me asking you what you think about the SitePoint forums redesign. Do you love it or do you hate it?
It's clean and much better than the old design.
I think so, too. Now, normally self-promotion is forbidden on the forums, but I guess I can make an exception, seeing as it's you.
Is there anything we haven't discussed which you would like to let us know about?
To give you an impression of how beautiful my country is, check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6qZx85sqrE
And finally, do you have any words of wisdom for other freelancers who are just starting out?
Are there any pitfalls to avoid? What makes a good client or a client from hell?
If you love your job, your job will love you back.
Don't get stuck, learning must be continuous.
Good client: They give value to the people working for them.
Bad client: The opposite way.
And very finally, the obligatory question to start a flame war: Mac, Linux or Windows?
Linux: For web hosting.
Windows: For my desktop.
Mac: It's alien technology from outer space. (it's good too).
OK everyone, it's over to you. Please join me in offering Warren your hearty congratulations!