Let me tell you how I ended up here.
Since before I can remember, creating has just been a core part of who I am. As a kid, I was busy “improving” things with K’nex, putting Legos together without the instructions, or, to my mother’s dismay, spent my time strewing live wires everywhere. It didn’t take long before my family caught on, and they would joke about how I would “re-wire the entire house” if I were given the chance. My first few projects were simple; a button that my bedridden brother could get my attention with, or a program that logged who spent the most amount of time on the Xbox.
One day in elementary school, I took the initiative to go against my father’s wishes and convert the family desktop into a web server, since I did not have my own credit card, any my parents were skeptical of giving a 10-year-old access to theirs. I read up on how to port forward, how to setup DNS, how devastating it was to have a dynamic IP, how TTL could be set to alleviate some of the pain, and how to get the actual AMP stack up and running before diving straight into HTML, then PHP, and finally SQL. By the end of that week, I already had a forum up and running and started marketing my website around my school. Word got around, and students were busy posting things from their favorite flash games to how to bypass the YouTube block by using HTTPS. It wasn’t much longer after this that I got my first job offer as a developer, solely from word of mouth.
In middle school, I was casually reading about the development of a cartoon when I came across a link to a forum. A dead one. Most people would have just shrugged it off, but it bothered me that the information was lost to the world. The thought of someone putting in the time and effort into that content just to be forgotten hit me hard, and I decided that I wanted to create my own searchable archive of posts on the internet. I wrote scrapers, designed a frontend, and configured the entire stack on my home computer, which I had bought from odd-jobs being tech support. I shared the link to it in a few places, and fast forward to today, and the website receives 70 million HTTP requests a month, holds 1 billion posts, stores files on 30 Terabytes of space, and users spend a year of time collectively browsing posts every week. The project has taught me so much about optimization (I’m on the ramen noodle budget!) and how every component in an application stack matters. It forced me to get hands-on experience with production environments and has gotten my own hardware placed in a real California data center.
I am passionate about creating. Nothing drives me the same way that bringing an idea to life does, and that is why I became fascinated by the endless virtual items that could be made with computers. And even through the years, the one thing that I know never changed, was my passion for creating, and it’s no doubt that Praxis will allow me a much better chance at getting my ideas out to the world and to assist others in making their ideas a reality. And just like how I was excited to see that my brother used that button, having the opportunity to be a part of Praxis has me more excited now than ever before.