Thursday, December 10, 2009

Interview with Arikado

I just took my first press interview. You can read the interview here:

I'm copying and pasting the interview here to preserve it here as well as on whohub.

How did you begin programming and at what age?
I began programming at the age of nine out of self-interest. I did so by purchasing and religiously studying the book Beginning Programming by Greg Perry. Since then I have continued to train in the art of programming.

What languages do you code, and in what platforms?
I'm fluent in Liberty BASIC, C, C++, XHTML, and CSS. I know a handful of Lua, Java, and general assembler as well.

What machine configuration and operating system do you use?
I use an Hewlett Packard laptop with an Intel quad core processor with 8GB of RAM and the latest NVIDIA sound and graphics cards. I use a Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux dual-boot operating system.

Please list web addresses where we can see some of your work
Wii Shooting Gallery:
Video of the upcoming release:



ALLEGRO Sprite Class: (...)

My main site which links to everything I've ever done publicly:

What motivates you to undertake a new project?
I work for free so I only undertake projects which I would like to see come to fruition. I'm always open to suggestions for what to work on next.

What part of project development is most gratifying to you?
The point at which something I'm developing works, but still needs to be tuned up to be enjoyable.

From the outside, it seems a rational job, but is creativity necessary for programming?
Certainly. You know, it's funny; When you learn how to program you learn a solution for every problem you could possibly encounter. But when you step away from the books and actually get on to the IDE, you'll end up up making and (re)using your own solutions to problems instead of the one's you were taught. To that end, I truly believe creativity is an essential asset for all programmers.

What conditions do you need to concentrate when programming?
I generally need as much piece and quiet as possible to concentrate on my craft. The nice thing about working on a computer is that you're never truly isolated from people yet you can easily ignore them (think facebook, IRC, etc.)

After working for long periods of time, have you ever felt as though you were in a bubble?
Yes! If I ever work for more than for hours at a time or work very late into the night I find it nearly impossible to talk in a socially acceptable manner to other people for at least twice as long as I worked for.

When you check out code you wrote time ago, what's the main difference with respect to code that you write nowadays?
Usually the code I wrote a long time ago is much neater than the code I write today.

Do you still buy programming books, or do you learn everything from online sources?
Yes I do. It's nearly impossible to find exactly what you're looking for on the internet. Books are still the best reference medium for technical information as they localize exactly what you're looking for and more.

Do you think programming should be taught at the basic education level?
If you're going to force to me to learn how to paint then you better force me to learn how to program. They're both artistic endeavors and can completely change your views on things. At my high school I currently attend, there aren't any classes which teach a programming language.

What has been your experience in marketing your software?
As I dont charge anything for people to use my software, I really haven't marketed anything. The users of my software usually market it for me ;)

What do you learn from software users?
That humanity is slowly declining into a cesspool of miserable little illiterate hermits. I can count the number of users that ever actually taught me anything on one hand. Even though that makes users in general sound bad, there are many users who I truly enjoy talking to. They just... never taught me anything.

What would be your solution against piracy?
To make as many aspects of a piece of software as possible linked to an online account which verifies that you've actually purchased the software before using it.

Would you consider yourself rigorous in the organization of the coding that you write and on commenting it?
Depends. If I'm writing something people are supposed to learn from or build off of then there will be more comments than code.

How do you calculate the budget for a software project?
The only thing I budget is my time. The more I'm interested in what I'm working on the more time I'll put into it.

What are your favourite games and on what platform do you play them?
I really dont play games that much. My favorites are mostly classic or "retro" games. I generally play them on the platform they were made for.

How often do you clean dirt-buildup on your keyboard?
I've honestly never done that.

How do you feel when friends or family ask for your help in solving domestic computer problems?
I'm always happy to help out.

As machines for development, what opinion do Macs deserve?
I'll keep this as short as possible. The only reason I would ever get a MAC is so (like most developers) I can develop for their ipod platform.

How do you protect your computer from viruses?
I don't. If I get a virus I'll eradicate it myself.

In social settings, do people become interested when you tell them you are a software developer?
Absolutely. But it's because I generally don't tell people until I trust them enough to tell them. There are people I've known for years that don't know I develop software. If I tell someone about it too early in a relationship (be it a loving relationship or merely friendly relationship) people get kinda "weirded out".

Do you work alone or in a team? Which do you prefer?
I could really go for either one. When you work alone you dont have deadlines. But when you work with people you have people to help you out when you get stuck.

Are you one of the first to update to new software when it comes out, or do you normally wait until more stable versions appear?
I wait and see what people who have updated think of the new software. If everything looks good, I go ahead and update.

What is your main reason for not meeting project deadlines?
I lost the time I should have used coding to schoolwork.

In your opinion, which company helps software developers the most?

How many breaks per day do you normally take?
I don't regularly code every day (although I would like to) so I really can't provide a clear answer to this question.

At this point in your career, what would be the project of your dreams?
DeSmuME Wii. Hopefully I can get it working really soon.

What is your next project?
There's this game I'm writing for PC. I've put a ton of time into it, but I'm not going to reveal it until the day I release it.

Which websites or forums for programmers do you frequently visit?

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a programmer?
Just start doing it. You'll never be a programmer if all you ever do is think about it.


  1. I love the interview. The funny thing is that it describes a lot of parts about me. I mean I read this and thought: hey there is a lot of me in this. Did someone personally interview you or did you post that with the "create your own interview" option?

  2. It was a personal interview done via e-mail and then uploaded to the whohub site for universal reference.

  3. Awesome interview, but 8GB of RAM? How much did THAT cost? The only 8GB of RAM I have is in a 64-bit Shitsta mobile used with an engine dyno....and another thing I laughed at:

    "How often have you cleaned dirt build-up off of your keyboard?"

    Never, but I should. It was originally matte black, but after 8 years its got dirt stains on the sides of every key. And so my beautiful keyboard is an ugly grey. Most of my friends dont even want to touch it. But I just love the feel of it. Something about it freaks them out.....;)

  4. Costed close to $1200 for the computer. Then I bought a 2GB SDRAM stick for laptops to max out the RAM carrying capacity for about another $50

  5. WOW. I'm up to about 800$ in saving up for a gaming rig. Steve wont touch it. How does 8GB RAM, i7 quad core, 1TB HD, 2GB VRAM, 4 fans, (cant remember the motherboard but its bookmarked) sound? Best I can get for 800 and I think I'll do a little fabrication to get it into my old Dell case. Or I'll just own up and buy an Alienware ALX case for 40 bucks used....Luckily I wont have to buy any software (besides games :o) since my dad has a 64-bit XP disk from our computer guy.

    On the topic, if I did an interview like this, it would be about 2 lines.

    "Hi. I'm an asshole."

    OK, 1 line. O.o

  6. wow you do have a MONSTER-PC. DesMuMe PLZZZ I'm Dying here!!.