Member of the Month July 2014
Our Member of the Month for July 2014 is Patche. In case you have not noticed, his recent posts have been outstanding throughout the month, as well as his general helpfulness all around in the forums.
No doubt you would like to know more about Patche, so here are the results of the interview!
Some questions are a must, and this is one of them: how did you find SPF and what made you stay?
I first found SPF back when I was looking for help learning to use PHP. It was the first programming language I had attempted to learn and so finding the forums was a godsend to allow me to ask all my newbie questions. I stayed mainly for continued help and usually visited every so often to check out the old SitePoint Marketplace feature which was really interesting at the time.
Is there anything you'd change about SitePoint or anything you'd like to see improved?
Nothing springs to mind; but I am interested about the move to Discourse.
Yeah, these are exciting times alright. So, what do you think about that?
I've never used the platform before so I'm really interested to try it out. SitePoint has been using the forums for years so it will be interesting to see what kind of change it brings to the community.
Your username must have a story so please share the details.
Well, Patche is short for Patchesoft.com, which is my blog site that I'm trying to slowly build up. The name itself doesn't mean too much, it's just a nice sounding word I liked when I was thinking of a name to represent myself online haha.
It was way back in September 2005 when you first joined and I'm curious to know the reason for the recent increased activity?
I was very interested to be a part of a community, particularly about programming/computing and such, and especially as every working day I surround myself with these kinds of technologies. I think I was just browsing various programming sites and remembered about using SitePoint and logged into my old account—which still used my very first and old password haha.
What can you tell us about yourself? Any favorite movies, music, books, food, places, pets?
Hmm, well, I play a lot of football (soccer in the US) so that is my favourite thing to do apart from programming. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music from drum and bass artists like Chase and Status to the something completely different like Lana Del Ray. I like anything really—it depends on the mood.
Are your current circumstances beneficial to your ambitions and long-term career?
I'm slowly moving in the right direction; my long term career is to be a freelance programmer and I have been able to successfully do it for the past year but there are quite a few other opportunities that I want to explore and move into over the next couple of years. I know I definitely haven't reached my full potential yet so I'm still hungry to improve.
Best advice given and from whom?
Work hard, play hard. If I work really hard during the day, I allow myself to indulge in the more relaxing things I like to do.
Do you have any advice for aspiring developers?
Have a backup plan. Especially if you're going at it alone—being able to make a living from freelancing is tough in so many different ways from having a regular salary-paid job. There are benefits to both, but I digress; having some kind of backup plan if your dream of becoming a developer doesn't work is a good idea. Take a few classes at school/college too if you're really interested in it.
What do you like most about web development? What do you hate most?
The freedom is the best part. I don't really hate anything, but I do dislike having to run around some really rude customers, especially ones with self-entitled issues. But I'm quite a calm person so I can normally deal with it.
What was your computer software learning source and how do you keep up to date?
I once asked a relative to buy me a computer programming book for Christmas when I was 15. I was so excited about this, just because I finally had some solid learning material (we didn't have anything at school) and I remember reading it late at night. I usually keep up to do date by visiting forums and asking questions of other developers in the field. It's always good to have friends who are into programming because they can always offer you advice on the best solution.
Which was your first computer and what language was used to write your first program?
It was a Windows 98 Desktop that my dad had purchased for the whole family. I think we got like an hour each on it at a time. The first language I wrote, if you can consider it a language, was HTML. Just to create a fan page about my favorite video games. It was really bad!
I noticed you are familiar with CodeIgniter. Do you use any other PHP frameworks?
I also use Laravel too. For a long time I skirted around frameworks because I liked knowing all the ins and outs of programming scripts, but the more applications I created, the more it made sense to use a framework that did all the heavy lifting for me. CodeIgniter is still my favorite and is so very easy to use. I'm liking Laravel the more I use it too.
What do you do professionally? Do you work with the web?
I'm a freelance programmer full-time.
What do you love / hate about your job?
I love being able to make my own hours (though I do try to treat it like regular 9-5 job and do those hours). I dislike sometimes not being able to escape from work (for example, getting client emails late into the night that demand your attention to fix a bug or something).
What is your favourite server-side language?
What and why was your best holiday? If funds permitted, where would be your next destination you'd like to go next?
My favorite holiday was a trip to Menorca, because it really gave me a nice break from everything and I just really enjoyed the atmosphere. I'd like to visit New York City some time soon; most of my family have been but I haven't.
Do you toss a coin to make important decisions?
Not really haha.
Which country do you hope will win the World Cup?
England... ahh, but they are already out! So my second team would be Portugal... but they are almost out too.
What is your desired superpower?
How do you keep fit?
I play a lot of football, sometimes running and tennis too.
What is Patchesoft? What does it do and what is your role?
It is a the name that I work under for my clients. It is only me involved with it currently, but if I manage to expand it I'd love to bring other developers into the mix.
You appear to have written a Ticket System in PHP which recently hit 100 sales. Well Done! What were the challenges involved in writing that? What were you particularly pleased / displeased with? Any plans for future enhancements?
It was an amazing experience. I never thought it would ever do as well as it has done and it's really motivated me to make more products in the future. I think the challenges with it was dedicating lots of time to something you don't know will sell. I had to do a lot of the work for it during spare hours, which was quite hard to motivate myself to do. I was pleased with how well it was received (it hasn't had a bad rating yet!). I plan to update the layout of it—or offer a more simple themed version of it.
Is there something that you would like to shameless self promote?
My blog! http://www.patchesoft.com/. I'm trying to slowly build up content for it (I'm writing a simple HTML for beginners guide) and will also be using it to post updates on any of the new software that I make for Patchesoft.
Thanks for letting me do this interview and now let us give other members the chance to show their appreciation and to ask further questions!
To view past winners and their interviews, visit our Member of the Month list of winners thread.