Today we sit down and ask some questions to StoicJoker,member of donationcoder.com.
Q. Hi, tell us a bit about yourself.
Well… To start this is actually the very question most likely to sink me in a job interview (as I hate trying to describe myself). I will be 45 this coming Tuesday (1/19), and my 21st wedding anniversary (which really is on 12/21/2012) it currently scheduled as the end of the world (this I find amusing). I have a dry and frequently dark sense of humor, and while I do have a kind smile…I seldom use it. My demeanor is always calm and I tend to be expressionless, which is how I got the label Stoic Joker. I like dogs more than I like people, but the few I label friends I will fight for without hesitation (or mercy). I am a biker.
Q. How did you first get started in computers? Did you teach yourself your skills or learn from school/university ?
I graduated high school two years early at the top of my class (top 5 statewide) and set out on a career as a motorcycle mechanic. I never had any interest in college and I hated computers. Years later while running a small optical lab for an optical shop, Tariq a co-worker and friend told me that you could get the answer to any question by using the (then rather new) internet. [I’ll come back to that in a moment]
At the time I was helping a long time friend (that had taught me what I know about Harley mechanics back when I was 15) at his motorcycle shop on nights and weekends. I worked for free but got all the parts I wanted at cost (I was there to help). He had gotten to computers (internet porn…) and thought they were fun, so… He bought one for me as a Christmas present one year. When I brought in the “gift”, looking at the size of the boxes I was sure he had gotten the rims I needed for the custom bike I was building. Only to be mildly devastated when I realized what was actually in the box. I covered as best I could, allowed him to set it up, and after that night never touched it for 6 months.
[back to above]
Having been told It would answer any question…I gave it (as a test) what I felt was to me the ultimate question. That being an adopted child was simply, who is my mother. This was also around the time the movie Hackers came out and my plan was to learn enough about hacking to ensure the question was answered. I had (quite simply) made a deal with the devil. Six months later, I met my mother for the first time at the age of 31. The deal had been made, and I have stuck to it ever since. I am a completely self taught MCSA (200/2003), and have never set foot in a classroom
Q. Do you have any other projects on the go?
I made the mistake a few years back of scratch coding something for the office…and now I can’t even keep track of the number of currently running projects that we have going. In fairness, that’s actually the part of my job as network administrator I like the most.
Q. Which tool do you use for creating apps?
I started with a copy of Borlands C++ v4.52 that I got from the Staples cut-out bin for $10. It came with a copy of the book Sam’s teach yourself C in 24 hours. Sam incidentally is completely full of shit (it took way longer than that). From that I briefly experimented with Borlands C++ builder, but finally settled on Microsoft’s Visual C++ which I use to this day.
Q. How much time do you usually spend on Donationcoder & on computers?
I stop by DC frequently during the day (schedule permitting) and typically spend between 10 & 16 hours on various computers (nature of the job).
Q. Do you have any hobbies and interests away from the desk?
Back in the day I loved street racing (motorcycles), but I’m getting a bit old for that. I still like to ride and frequently take my 1987 Harley Davidson FLHTP (police model) to work. It’s very not stock, will go from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds, and gets 50+ MPG … What’s not to love?
Q. If you could name five must-have apps you use everyday, what would they be?
Um… No particular order:
Angry IP Scanner
Q. Your favorite stuff from: Food/ T.V.Show/ Music/ Books/ Website?
Whatever the wife feels like cooking, I’m really not picky.
Bones, House, CSI, TopGear, Dr Who, Myth Busters, Dirty Jobs, SiFi, etc.
AC/DC, Nickelback, Eagles, CCR, Aerosmith, Tom Petty – Basically rock back from before there were different kinds…
In my younger days SiFi like Heinlein, Douglas Adams or Ann McCaffrey – Now I only have time for technical stuff.
DC is the extent of my “Social Networking”, I am semi active on other forms but sporadically. Mostly spend time Googling technical stuff.
Q. Where do you see yourself in future ?
Hopefully right where I’m at. I like what I do, and the people I do it with. It’s far too late in life to get rich…so I’ll just concentrate on being happy.
Q. Any advice you’d give to new programmers?
Decide early on if you want to be rich or happy with what you’re doing…because the chances of pulling off both are basically crap.