November 2019 Member of the Month

I’m happy to announce the Member of the Month winner for November, @fullstackdev!

@fullstackdev got the attention of the forum staff for creating insightful posts on various topics in a very clear and understandable manner.

To celebrate this I’ve sent some questions to @fullstackdev, which yielded some great answers, as you can read below!

Please join me in congratulating @fullstackdev! And now, let’s dive into the interview!

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??

Over the years, I’ve visited SitePoint when searching the web for the answer to a technical question. Most recently, IIRC, I was exploring the reddit API. In searching for information about it, I came across this article about the reddit API on SitePoint. I think at that point I noticed something different about the site - I noticed the “Community” link at the top, which I don’t recall seeing in the past. I’m a member of a few different forums about tech and web dev, but I don’t usually spend too much time at that, because I’m just busy with work and life.

Anyway, I had a little time, and I poked around the SitePoint forums a bit. They seemed active and friendly. So I decided to join and just keep it in mind if I ever had a question.

Once in a while, I have some free time while waiting for a response from a client. When that happens, I might spend some time surfing discussion forms … When that happened last time, I noticed an interesting question in the forums here, and I responded.

I don’t feel comfortable posting in many forums, because things can get kind of harsh. So, I think it’s the friendly atmosphere here, together with interesting and active discussion, that keeps me coming back and participating.

The other thing that makes me return is that I live in a kind of “tech desert”. It takes a couple hours to get to my closest tech meetup. Participating in forums helps to keep me au courant with the latest tech developments. Not to mention, it lets me use words like au courant without getting lambasted. I hope…

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?

I like the forums :slight_smile: I haven’t posted a question, yet, but I feel like answering questions kind of keeps me on my toes, technologically speaking. That’s useful!

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)?

I’m pretty easy to satisfy - I’m not the mighty overlord type :slight_smile: I actually like Discourse as forum software, so I think that’s a plus. It’s easy to read, add html markup, etc.

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?

I haven’t found the ads intrusive, but maybe that’s because I never visit the site on a mobile device. I’m sitting at my desktop with a large monitor and I hardly notice the ads at all. That may not be what your advertisers want to hear :wink:

Q. You post knowledgeably in a number of forums both back-end and front-end, mostly PHP and Javascript I think, but also in other areas you have been very helpful. Could you tell us a bit about your background in these areas and how you came to learn so much?

Well, you can never know too much. I still have a lot to learn. But I’ve certainly accumulated some skills over the years. I’ve been a software developer for mumbledy-mumble years. My first “real” job as a developer was doing web development with Java ( Servlet s, and that sort of thing)! I’ve had several jobs at smaller companies where I had to be flexible, and do development in Java one day, PHP the next, and then fix a little JavaScript bug or add a small frontend feature the following day. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of different skills. It’s helped a lot having friendly people who would answer my dumb questions, too :slight_smile: I hope to do the same thing for others.

Q. What is the most rewarding topic you’ve read (or created) in the forums?

I haven’t read enough posts yet! I actually really like this recent thread about “responsive” sites. It made me think.

Q. What question, if any, are you sick of reading/answering in the forums?

LOL I haven’t been a member long enough to be sick of reading anything, yet!

Q. What games are you passionate with? Console or online? Player vs player or solo vs everyone?

Only solo. I used to really enjoy playing computer games when I was a kid. The first computer game I played a lot was a text adventure called “Colossal Cave”! A few years ago, I played Final Fantasy IVwhen it came out on the Nintendo DS. But, I have to be careful, because I can easily get sucked into gaming and spend all my time there. So, usually I try to just stay away from gaming.

Q. What work do you like to do most?

I like doing software development. I prefer backend web development. I’m kind of agnostic on the language or framework - it’s fun to be exposed to new things!

Q. If you do this for a living, do you freelance or have an employment or do you own your own business?

I’m a freelancer. I do web development and Android development.

Q. And a question of more general interest: What tools can’t you live without? (We’re talking web stuff here…)

Wow, there are just so many, it’s impossible to list them all! Well, for JavaScript development, currently, I like VS Code. I still sometimes use Sublime, which is what I used up until recently. I like Android Studio for developing Android apps.

Then there’s my OS of choice, Linux. I use Ubuntu for my dev environment, and I’m used to working on CentOS and similar on remote servers.

There are soooo many software libraries that I rely upon as a developer, I’m sure I’m not even aware of them all.

Then there’s the hardware on which my dev software runs… and the entire web of knowledge, with sites like StackOverflow… and SitePoint, of course :wink:

Q. What are you excited about in the future regarding web development?

Recently, I’ve become more interested in AWS! I had some client work that involved one of their Machine Learning APIs, and I’ve started toying around with more of their services.

Q. What do you like to do for fun when you’re not online or having a power outage? Can you think about anything else of interest than coding while on UPS power?

Sure! I love being outdoors. I like to go hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. But if the weather’s bad, and the power’s out, what could be better than popping the laptop into my car, and heading to a local cafe to surf the Internet while sipping a hot latte??

Q. What is your long term goal in life, your dream of where you want to go and what you want to do?

I’d like to FIRE, travel the US and world, and do a lot of sports that I like: skiing, rock climbing, snorkeling… SitePoint is a website, and you must have people here from all around the world. For context, I live in the US. So I have a lot of freedom and opportunity and I know that I’m lucky to have this as a long term goal.

Q. If time and money were no problem, then where would you like to go?

I love France!! I’d go take a long vacation there. I’d probably buy an RV and travel around all the US states, visiting big skiing and climbing destinations… and then I’d do the same across the world. There aren’t so many places to snorkel in the US. I’ve been to the Great Barrier Reef once, and I’d like to go back. And there are some great places to snorkel in the Caribbean too… there are so many cool things to do in the world! That’s just the tip of the iceberg for me.

Q. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and how did you learn from it?

I hate to be crass, but probably my biggest mistake was not thinking enough about money in my earlier career. I thought that all that mattered was doing stuff that I enjoy, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about money. So, I didn’t think it mattered much what my salary was. But now I see that money is actually quite useful. I guess I was raised in an idealistic way by my parents. I know money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy fun :slight_smile:

Q. Would you have bought bitcoins when it was all new and you were among the first to learn about it? …you did?

Nope!

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?

Sure! I’m a talented and skilled freelancer :slight_smile: so if you need someone to help you build a web application or an Android app, feel free to PM me here at SitePoint. You can also find my contact info on the “About” page of my blog. I blog about problems I’m working on, or new things I’m trying, about once a week. So if you are interested, you can subscribe to my blog, too!

Q. OK, is there anything else you would like to add, or say?

Be kind :slight_smile:

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Congratulations @fullstackdev!

That’s a nice interview and I hope to see you around the place some more (not least of all as it’s great to have another Linux user around).

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Well done @fullstackdev, interesting to read. I share your (not crass, but realistic) disappointment about not thinking enough about money early on - though that’s not strictly correct, I did think about it a lot, I just didn’t convert that into action in any great way. Oh well, can’t do anything about it now.

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Congratulations, @fullstackdev! weee Thank you for your positive contributions to the forums.

Don’t forget to visit Scotland on your world tour. png I can’t vouch for the rock climbing (although plenty of folk do it), and the skiing can be a bit hit-and-miss, but it’s a great place to hike. smile

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Congratulations @fullstackdev! :smiley:

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@James_Hibbard - same here, nice to meet another Linux user!

@droopsnoot - love your name! I noticed that you were Member of the Month in April! I read your interview, and now I know the meaning of “droopsnoot” :slight_smile:

@TechnoBear - I have a friend who went hiking in Scotland and did some hut to hut hiking, and it does sound fun… although the chance of rain is a bit off-putting lol.

Thanks all for the nice welcome!

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Awesome job @fullstackdev! It has been fun seeing your name appear as replies to several topics, this was well earned.

And @John_Betong, great job keeping it interesting with the questions! I enjoyed this a lot.

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Great answers, especially the last one summarizing it all; Be kind :slight_smile:

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Congrats @fullstackdev. Well deserved. Great answers too.

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Congratulations @fullstackdev and great interview. :slight_smile:

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Congratulations @fullstackdev. Well deserved indeed :clap:

I always love it when people take their time to post well thought out answers in an easy to understand -and like you said, kind!- way, so thanks for that :+1:

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Congratulations! Thanks for your input :v:

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Good job, @fullstackdev, and thanks for helping out!! :+1:

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