Thread is open for 7 days. (Saturday 8th of June)
A: To be honest, when Mike first started working on PkHonor I had no interest in it at all. My RuneScape days were far behind me and I thought it was a waste of time. But most of all, I thought it was never going to be a success. I'm a skeptic, but I'm glad Mike proved me wrong on this one. Anyway, from time to time Mike asked my advice. Sometimes he asked me things that challenged my knowledge, causing me to learn new things. I liked that. He also gave me a super account in-game, so I could take a look at his work and possibly help a little. From that point, the community sucked me in. I started paying occasional visits to the server and got quite a reputation among the core players of PkHonor. Unlike Mike, who was working really hard at the time, my visits were purely recreational and allowed me to enjoy the sense of community. In the summer of 2011, Mike asked me if I was interested in taking part in an ambitious project: getting rid of pretty much all the lag on the server. It was a one-time job, but I liked the challenge so I agreed to it. It took one month of very hard work (often 16 hours a day) but the result was a great success. During this month, Mike and I discovered that (despite our differences) we made a really good coding team, so I was offered a more permanent position on the team. I had to prove myself worthy at first, but after a few months I had become a real member of the family.
Q: Can you give us some more detailed things about what you work on at PkHonor?
A: I mainly serve as a system and database administrator. So what does that mean? Well, I designed and created the database. I also maintain it to ensure it keeps running at optimal performance and I make changes whenever Mike needs me to. I install and configure the servers when necessary and spend a lot of time optimizing them to get maximum performance. I also make sure everything is being monitored, so I can respond quickly when something goes wrong. On top of that I perform regular analysis to detect problems before they start having an effect on your experience. I also take care of server security, which can be a tricky job at times. It's a big responsibility and when something goes wrong, it can be a stressful week for me. But that doesn't happen very often, and nowadays, barely ever. Aside from my regular duties I tend to the forums, mostly because I'm the one who set them up I guess. I don't really like webdevelopment, but the forums give me a window into PkHonor's community and I like to take a peek.
Q: What are the kind of things you mainly focus on?
A: Aside from the above? Well, I'm a perfectionist. When it comes to servers, that means maximum efficiency and performance. I really like automating things, just because it feels great to know I'm making the lives of other people easier, future me included. I'm also a little paranoid, so going wild on security can bring me great joy. ^^
Q: What kinds of schooling would you need to be able to write Algorithms?
A: That's a tough question, especially since every school teaches different things. I'm inclined to say most universities will do. Why? Well, the most important skill required for writing algorithms is analytic and abstract thinking. The theoretical aspect of most universities would cover those basics, as well as the maths required (yes, you do need some for algorithms). The last thing you need to become great at writing algorithms is creativity. A lot of people can follow rules and guidelines, but it takes some serious out-of-the-box thinking to tackle the toughest problems. Not everyone has the insight to write algorithms and I bet a lot of people find them very boring, but if you like logic and problem solving, it's definitely worth a try!
Q: Who's a better coder you or Mike?
A: We're very different, which is why we make a great team. Mike can code a lot faster, he has so much experience with Java in particular that it's almost like he's coding on instinct. He usually knows what to do pretty much immediately while I tend to need some time to think things through. I'm skilled in a wider variety of programming and scripting languages though. Mike can work tirelessly, I'm a bit better at complex algorithms. Unfortunately that means I sometimes miss the obvious, or tend to overcomplicate things. So yeah, it's really hard to simplify it to a decision on who is the better coder. But we make a great team, that's for sure!
Q: Who has the harder Job of coding?
A: I think it's about equal actually. We work as a team, if either one is stuck on a problem they ask the other for help. If something goes wrong, we pick up the pieces together. I think neither one of us wants to take advantage of the other, so in the end there's probably little difference. We do different things though, so yeah... Who has the harder job, the engineer or the surgeon? I really wouldn't know. I guess our jobs are as hard as we make them.
Q: If Mike was to leave us would you be able to take over his job?
A: I would try to, and I should be able to keep PkHonor up and running, but I definitely can't do Mike's job. I lack the knowledge of the inner workings of the game itself required to develop complex content, as well as his perseverance. If Mike were to leave us, there probably wouldn't be any real content updates anymore and it would take me a long time to find and fix bugs. Fortunately Mike has no intention of leaving PkHonor, and neither do I.
Q: Will we ever switch to a better forum system?
A: That's kind of a subjective thing. I'm guessing you mean: a forum system you like more? Who knows, that all depends on what you like. But considering we've put a lot of effort into these forums I don't think we'll be changing again in the near future. We'll do our best to improve on what we have though!
Q: What made you chose that avatar?
A: Are you kidding? Pokemon for life! Besides, I'm expected to behave like a grown-up most of the time, so it's not really surprising I jumped at the chance to unleash my inner child. So why Jigglypuff? I don't know, i think it's because I often identify with the *PUFF* reactions it has, as illustrated here: I also like how it's such a gleeful pokemon without worries, but when you piss it off it will fuck your shit up.
Q: Who's a better kisser you or Mike?
A: Wait what? How do you guys come up with this stuff lol... Well fortunately for us we have a different target audience so we never have to fight on this subject. But that also means we never kiss the same person, so there is no one who can compare... I guess we could have a survey?
Q: How many languages can you speak?
A: I can speak 3 languages (English, Dutch & French). I can curse in about a dozen more though, and program in 20-30 languages.
Q: how long have you been coding?
A: I had my first experiences with coding almost 9 years ago. I started learning from books in my spare time 6 years ago, which became a major hobby one year later when I went to university. I haven't really stopped since then.
Q: What's your name?
A: I prefer to be called Rapsey or Raps. It's also easier, as most foreigners (Americans in particular) have difficulty pronouncing my real name. There's a few people who know my real name, but there is some kind of unwritten law that divulging this information is a bannable offence. Ask White Guy, he'll confirm it.