Interview With Jason Murray (jmurrayhead)

By jmurrayhead · Mar 20, 2014 ·
  1. jmurrayhead
    Jason is just a regular forum administrator with experience using vBulletin, MyBB, and XenForo. He is currently interviewing himself and speaking in the third person purely for your amusement.

    Let the self-interview begin!

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    Please tell us about yourself.

    Oh joy, where to begin...I recently celebrated my 30th birthday, (March 1st). I was born in Saginaw, MI, USA where I lived for 10 years. From there, my family moved to west Michigan to a town known as Grand Haven, (a scene from American Pie 2 was actually filmed there, but it was called "Grand Harbor" in the movie). I lived in Grand Haven for 11 years. At about the age of 13, I had developed a great interest in the world of IT and would spend hours on the computer figuring out how things worked, (more about that later). I worked a retail job for 4 years until I finally had enough and enlisted in the Navy as an Information Systems Technician. After my time on active duty was up, I landed a position in Northern Virginia, part of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. I've been married twice, divorced once, and have two daughters from my first marriage: Emma (8) and Ava (7).


    What is your educational background?

    I've always hated school, but I decided that it would be important for me career-wise to go to college. While I was in the Navy and partially into my civilian career, I attended ECPI College of Technology, (now known as ECPI University). I graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems in 2008. In December of 2012, I was convinced to go back to school for a Bachelor's degree. I am currently attending Thomas Edison State College for my Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology in Technical Studies.


    What are your most important accomplishments thus far?

    A lot of people probably say this, but my wife, kids and career are definitely my most important accomplishments.


    What got you started with running forums?

    I was a member and moderator of ASP Free forums, which runs the vBulletin software. I was really impressed with the software at the time - I believe they were running version 3.0.4. - so I decided to play around with a copy. Around the same time, Developer Shed, which runs a network of sites including ASP Free, was sold to a larger company. Shortly after, the neglect of the sites began and they became ad farms. Seeing this, I decided to open my own software development community and a lot of ASP Free members followed me.


    What is your full time job?

    As I mentioned above, I have been interested in IT since I was 13. I started writing applications at that age, which turned out to be a good fit for me. After I left the Navy in November, 2006, I landed a position as a software developer. The more interesting part about that is that I'm a federal contractor. My first contract had me working for the Defense Intelligence Agency. After that, I wrote software for the Department of State Foreign Service Institude. After a few years of that, I moved to a contract with the Army Intelligence program. I'm currently working on another Army contract writing software that manages the careers of General Officers and Colonels.


    What does your daily schedule look like?

    Up at 04:30 and head to the gym with my wife. Back home by around 06:15 and get ready for work. Arrive at work around 07:30. Leave work by 16:00. Arrive home by 17:00. Dinner, school work, Netflix, sleep.


    What is your favorite forum software and why do you like it so much?

    Currently, my favorite forum software is XenForo (shocker). Having come from vBulletin and the mess that ensued after Jelsoft was sold, I found XenForo to be very refreshing and different. Being a software developer, I really appreciated how well the architecture was built and the possibilities the software has to offer. Not only that, it's probably the most intuitive and user-friendly forum software available.


    What communities are you apart of and what is your role, if any, there?

    I don't have time to spend on many sites these days, but this is my list:

    LazyLoaders.com (formerly DeveloperBarn.com) - Founder/Admin
    XenForo.com - customer, PIA
    AdminExtra.com - Moderator
    forums.aspfree.com - Moderator (although, I don't spend much time here at all)
    XenAdmins.com - member
    **********.com - member


    What's your opinion regarding the future of forum communities and the influence of social networks?

    There's no doubt that social networks are eating up a lot of time that people might otherwise spend in our communties. I do have some mixed feelings about this subject. However, there will always be a place for forums when there are people who want to remain anonymous or want to communicate with others that have similar interests. Not only that, the ability to get answers to problems from experts around the world really shows the power of forums.


    What advice do you have for people who want to learn how to program?

    First off, we were all beginners once. It's perfectly okay to learn from other developer's code. It's actually something I encourage. Secondly, don't just throw some hacked up code into your application simply because it works. Look for a better way of doing it. There are well-established design patterns that solve common problems in software development. Read some application design books by Martin Fowler and the Gang of Four.


    What are your favorite books? Movies? TV shows? Music? Games? Foods? Beverages?

    I don't really read much other than technical books, but I do enjoy the occasional Manga. I don't really know what my favorites are because I watch so many movies and TV programs. I'm currently on the second to last season of Dexter and am watching a variety of different anime. As far as music goes, I like almost anything except country. I do have a favorite game and that is Cards Against Humanity.


    What do you do for fun and relaxation?

    Not much of that these days, but I really like marathoning shows on Netflix, working on some personal software projects, and a lot of summer outdoor activities.


    What does the future hold for you?

    I'm on my last few classes for my degree. After that, I will be working on getting the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Other than that, I'm hoping for some more free time to do the things I like and spending more time with my family.

    ===================================================

    This was surprisingly taken more seriously than I expected. Whoops.

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