Connor's Application for Apprenticeship! {270}

Discussion in 'Project Lead Apprenticeship (CLOSED)' started by Taicho, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Taicho

    Taicho Director of LS13 Staff Member

    19 Years of Age.
    Years with LLA:
    I've been with LLA for four years and a month now! To be even more specific, I first joined Powerful Station 13 in its early days back in... what, January of 2011? I then went on to apply to join the administration team in April or May, and was accepted rather swiftly. My presence here has been mostly consistent, save for the odd break here and there. I have been compared to Batman by Don Zombie. I hide in the shadows, plot, plan, do things behind the scenes, and occasionally step out to swiftly bitch-slap a wrongdoer.
    Country of Origin:
    Britbong Land (also known as England!)
    Time Zone:

    GMT +0 (GMT Standard Time)
    Admin Rank (if applicable):
    I'm currently Head Administrator, Senior Administrator, and Handsome Coverboy.

    What skills and knowledge sets you apart from other applicants and makes you valuable?
    Outside of the community? It's hard to tell! Within the community, however...

    Experience in all aspects of Liberty Station, as well as the period of time I've been here, I'd say. From joining four years ago, my skills have extended to every department of Liberty Station 13 - Head Coder for a time, Administrator, one of the few people who forged the concept of the feature that is now Perseus and arguably the sole individual who rebooted LS13 alongside Zombie, the wealth of experience I've gained through the various roles I've held has been absolutely invaluable, not only in making me far better as an individual (some oldermins can attest to this....) but also as a representative (to some degree) of a community, and as a leader. Furthermore, I've had the pleasure of witnessing various styles of 'management' of communities that would be handy to reflect on and put forth as suggestion for improvement.

    What does this mean, exactly? Coding. Development. Dedicated Server Management. Administration. Team Leadership. Four years handling this in LLA alone has provided me with more than enough experience to oversee all of these things without incessant hand-holding a guidance.
    Tell me a story about the time you disappointed yourself most, and what you learned from it.
    College! Our educational system in Britain is a bit different to bear with me. High School was a rough time because I'm a major slacker and procrastinator. I don't delay things for any particular reason other than wanting my work to be at a certain standard, and then remaining unsure as to whether it's of a decent standard for a while, and then tweaking, and then leaving it to fester a while longer, and so on. I flopped a lot but somehow haggled pretty awesome grades in High School. Cue college. I take the results I got the year for prior for granted, believing I could haggle similar grades with a similar lack of effort, and the truth was quite the contrary. In my first year of college, I failed two of my four subjects. That, already, is a sign of "You're never going to University" but I refused to resit the year - stupidly - and pressed on. Thankfully the second year went a lot better and I did get into a very good University with a lot of effort to drag everything back up, but the disappointment of failing and almost discarding any desirable future for it was massively disappointing and upsetting.

    As a Head Administrator, sometimes I disappoint myself in hindsight when I look back at how I've handled things. This tends to only occur when dealing with specific individuals, giving them guidance and input, and then looking back to see for any improvements in the future. Sometimes, I find I've not done as much as I could have to help them and direct them, and any consequences they may suffer because of that puts me at fault. It's pretty hard when I find I haven't resolved something to the best of my ability.
    What's your favorite color?
    Green, but not the filthy mangy green you've picked for this application. More of a cute pastel. Love those pastels.
    What's your favorite number?
    My favourite number is 4. There's no real reason why. Though I did fall off a slowly (read: snail speed) moving skateboard once and break my hand in four place so it could be argued that the number isn't actually lucky but whatever.
    What's your favorite video game?
    l-league of legends...? or the dragon age series. look i know LoL doesn't count but i sink so much time into it so shhhhh
    also bayonetta......
    What's your favorite film?
    Instellar. Not just because Matthew McConaughey is a very handsome man, but because the premise of the film was kind of fucking amazing, and it was just... really beautifully done. I approve.
    What number am I thinking of right now?
    270, maybe? Or 4. If you weren't thinking of those two numbers before then you're definitely thinking of one of them now. GG.
    Look to your left, what do you see there?
    A well-painted silver wall, decorated with a few framed Mass Effect and Star Trek prints. There's also a lamp -- nothing special, and it doesn't really serve it's purpose because the new bulb I bought doesn't FUCKING WORK.
    Do you know where my keys are?
    Yes. In the same place you leave them every single day!
    Have you ever been a babysitter, or babysat before?
    if you're trying to turn this from intern application to 'babysit don zombie's baby' application then i WON'T DO IT ever and don't try to make me.

    I babysit my little brother every now and again when I visit home. I also have a lot of younger cousins that I've had to look after over the years. Never for money, obviously, because I'm treated like some sort of slave labourer, but I've done my fair share of babysitting - reluctantly - over the years.

    im also head administrator so you could probably argue i babysit every single day ayyyyy lmao
    Do you think this application is too short?
    It's not too short but I don't think that matters anyway. The questions are tailored to allow for a focus on the quality of the applicant, to get an idea of their personality and have them admit to flaws and take initiative. I think it's nicer than the standard "Tell us your 1000 keys and what you've done before" deal.
    Rocco Ward likes this.
  2. Taicho

    Taicho Director of LS13 Staff Member

    Two admin are fighting, the headmin is offline, you can't reach me by phone, what do?
    Um. I'm... er. I can probably answer this from a different perspective, because I've been every other rank before Head Administrator. The easy way to deal with it, when you don't have the authority to deal with it, is to politely ask the two to take their gripes into a private chat. Public fighting amid individuals in a position of power not only reflects badly, but tends to encourage toxicity, as I've seen from past experiences. I'd find out what the dispute is over from both individuals, and if it was something I could perhaps resolve, I'd endeavour to address it accordingly and see the issue fixed. Assuming I didn't have the authority to do this, I'd politely ask for a Senior Administrator to intervene, or just stress that the dispute should be kept private, or that the two should avoid communication when it's doing little to quell tempers, until the Head Administrator is online.
    You have a decision to make, and both answers are wrong. which one do you pick?
    This is really nothing out of the ordinary with the role I hold. Often, I pick the option that'll have the least backlash, and will affect the least people negatively. You should always endeavour to avoid an outcome wherein you're left with two paths that'll lead you to crash and burn, but in the event it's inevitable, your focus should definitely be on minimizing damages and putting yourself in a position wherein you can turn the negative into a positive.
    You are tasked with writing an application question for your own application. What question would you write, and what would you answer?
    "Why don't you play LIBERTY STATION THIRTEEN when you hold such an esteemed rank in community?! Surely you can't LEAD when you rarely even log onto the server UGHUGH"

    To which I respond:

    "Because I don't need to! Keeping myself up-to-date, co-coordinating with the right people, and paying attention where it counts and putting a particular emphasis on feedback is all I need to make a decision that is hopefully unbiased, and will usually achieve what we set out for!! Don Zombie has managed to do it just fine for years, and I've not had too much trouble with it myself!
    You are a kid again and your parents caught you doing something wrong. They ask you what you think your punishment should be, how would you respond?
    As a kid? I'd refuse punishment altogether, and if that weren't an option, a punishment that'd affect me the least. My aim when I was younger was to irritate my parents out of punishment, so repeatedly hissing "What punishment I'm not being punished lol silly noobs what are you even talking about" should do for a while.
    Tell me about a time you didn't have to make a difficult decision and what you didn't do to resolve it.
    This morning I rolled out of bed and injected myself with coffee and tears which really wasn't difficult because I smashed my head on my bed headboard and I'm a caffeine addict.
    You are filling out an application for an apprenticeship for LLA Don Zombie, you come to a question that asks you to imagine you are doing that hypothetically, how would you answer?
    I would answer that by hypothetically considering my hypothetical answers in the event of a hypothetical application for an apprenticeship that may or may not be hypothetically for the very real LLA Don Zombie, noting my hypothetical answers down in the hypothetical application, add a few doses of hypothetical wit and snark, hypothetically proof it, and then hypothetically sell my soul upon posting my hypothetical application.
    You have 22 seconds of air in your sinking submarine, 3 matches, a loaf of bread, an admin, and a player. How do you spend your final moments?
    jam loaf into mouth and chew vigorously, use matches to sacrifice admin and player to the blood god to ensure survival.

    i hope u enjoyed
    be gentle
    Rocco Ward likes this.
  3. Although you've stepped up your game lately and you have been level-headed with everything you've handled, your activity levels as a headmin have more often than not left a lot to be desired. Complaints and reports have sometimes taken months to resolve because you haven't cared enough to spend five minutes taking a look at them, typing up a paragraph or two, and slapping a "resolved" tag on them. I know "this is a volunteer position and people have lives," but that's a pretty weak catch-all excuse to voluntarily assume a role entailing certain things and then not put the time in. Would rather someone reliable took this on. You're already holding LLA back from having an active headmin by taking up that position.
    Rocco Ward and Infernus44 like this.
  4. Taicho

    Taicho Director of LS13 Staff Member

    Complaints and reports (assuming you're referring to administrator ones) are handled in private and whether a thread is closed or not isn't really representative of whether the issue is dealt with. My job is to manage administration and everything related to it, most of which happens in the private forum or on skype, and whilst my intervention is occasionally required on the forums, time is better spent managing things as I do as opposed to humouring arguments and disputes on the forums that rarely have any positive outcomes because of how the involved parties approach it. I have a team of administrators to deal with those things. My activity isn't even slightly and issue. Those who I deal with, and who deal with me, and need managing can contact me and be contacted at... well, really any time of the day.

    Either way, thanks for the feedback!
    Rocco Ward likes this.
  5. Fair enough. All I will say on that is that even if, hypothetically, you were putting in 70 hours a week behind the scenes, how the playerbase perceives such things does matter, and my perception (which I dare say I believe is shared by many others) based on what information is available on the public side is that you are a largely inactive and apathetic headmin. I would love to see you prove me wrong and pop in on the forums and/or server more often, just to let the common player know that you're still alive and paying attention.
    Taicho, IMVader and Rocco Ward like this.
  6. Cody522

    Cody522 Well-Known Member

    You've said before that you hate the game right? Or that "I remember why I don't play anymore" whenever you do.

    Would you really want to become the leader of a project of something you dislike? You've answered this in part already, and sure Zombie was able to do it satisfactory after all these years. But we didn't advance a whole lot, and being just satisfactory isn't the best thing to aim for. Maybe a person who enjoys the game and what's it about could go farther than his predecessors had?
    Taicho and Flatoftheblade like this.
  7. Taicho

    Taicho Director of LS13 Staff Member

    Don't confuse things. I appreciate the game and what it's about. SS13 is such a fun concept that I've poured years of time into. If I didn't 'like' the project, I would have quit a long time ago. Head Administrator is a lot more stress and hassle than it's worth for someone who doesn't care.

    I don't hate the game. I hate the stagnation of the game. I hate the repetitiveness of the game. I hate that such a unique concept is bound by a platform as shitty as Byond and the expansion of it is limited because of that. It's one of the reasons I got so excited about 'New Source' back in the day, because the concept we'd planned was awesome and unique. A combination of commitments and loss of motivation meant we just didn't have the power to pull through, and that was massively disappointing. The surge of coding lately has been awesome, and hopefully it'll continue and allow for bigger and better projects that really modify the gameplay as a whole.

    I'm quite aware that's a rather common misconception and I can't really argue that it's without reason. In the past I've only ever really popped onto the server if I need to do or check something, because I really don't need to be actively on it to do what I do. Now, we have tools to drag notes and other such things straight into the skype administrator chat (HiGH TECH!!!!!) so even that's not particularly needed. At the end of the day, so long as the administration team is running smoothly, things are being gradually improved, and there's a constant stream of feedback for me to work with, misconceptions and negative opinions about activity and apathy don't matter to me very much. I understand it can be a bit discouraging from the communities point of view though so it's probably something that needs to be addressed.

    I do agree with your earlier comment. I've spoken quite thoroughly about this with Don. My approach to this current role has been fine, and thankfully, I'd argue it's put the server and administration team in a better place in comparison to where we were back in September. At this point I think the head administrator role requires someone who's willing to dive in head first and make change as opposed to directing change from the sidelines. I'm applying for this role because it's far more beneficial towards the contributions I can make, and if accepted, will hopefully allow for the entry of the aforementioned pro-active Head Administrator whilst I work towards push everything in a good direction.

    That's how I'd see it working, anyway. It's hard to tell what'll happen right now. Thanks for the feedback!
    Flatoftheblade, Cody522 and IMVader like this.
  8. LemonSoup

    LemonSoup LS13 Admin

    Do you believe this is preferable to a from-the-frontlines style of leadership? Why?

    If I was to say that during my time on the admin team, I have seen your impressive wrongdoer-slapping skills deployed many a time, but very little support, rehabilitation, or attempt to reach a mutual understanding, would you agree? Why, or why not?
    PistolPete, Cody522 and Flavo like this.
  9. PistolPete

    PistolPete ForumGuard Staff Member

    Having asked the others this,

  10. Taicho

    Taicho Director of LS13 Staff Member

    I can't comment whether it's preferable or not. People have different styles of leadership that work for them. I, for instance, prefer to plan and direct. It's a far less direct approach, but often lets me approach issues without any sort of bias, and a broader perspective of opinions to consider when dealing with things. It works for me. I suppose the downsides is that it enables people to yell "TAICHO IS NEVER AROUND" because I scarcely need to venture onto the forums, but that doesn't really matter too much. A from-the-frontlines style of leadership is certainly more practical, though, and is likely to provide results a lot quicker, instead of a lot of discussion and planning prior to them being executed.

    For the second question, I would say it depends on which side of the community I'm dealing with, and the context of the situation at hand.

    I'm not going to claim everything I deal with is handled perfectly because it's not. Like any other person, I get frustrated and restless, and sometimes I just want things to be done and dealt with. I think I mentioned being disappointed in that happening somewhere in the application. On a one-to-one basis, particularly in the case of administrators, however, I try to reach mutual understanding as best I can, providing ways of dealing with issues and alternatives to straight up punishment. It doesn't always work. There are a few administrators in particular who have been subject to this, and I'd argue in some ways I give them far too much leeway. In group discussions when things blow up, you'd be quite right in saying there's little 'rehabilitation' or 'support', because the intention is to put a point across, do discussion, come to a conclusion, and then shut the debate down before it becomes too heated. Sometimes it's a lot more abrasive than it needs to be, admittedly! That's my bad and I try to apologise wherever I can. More often than not this then breaks off into private chats where I need to individually inform why whatever happened was wrong and how it can be avoided.

    I'm not sure if this was what you were asking for. I wasn't entirely clear in what cases you were talking about.

    1. I think the path LLA is on currently is quite fine. We're a rather laid back community of friends who play vidyas together. I think expansion would be nice, certainly in the case of allowing support for more games that people can play together, and perhaps seeing a larger audience of individuals coming in from places outside of SS13 as a result. Regardless of what direction we take, it should always remain a tolerant, diverse, and enjoyable community. The LS13 Project Lead's job is primarily overseeing the expansion and development of the game as opposed to the whole community, and whilst I'm always eager to help in the latter, my priority lays with the former. What I'd like to see there is LS13 returned to it's former popularity. There was a time wherein we'd hit peaks of 80+ players. Unfortunately, periods of developmental stagnation and questionable leadership resulted in a rather heavy decline, but with focus in the correct places I think we can certainly get back up there.

    2. Development is the obvious answers for this, particularly in the cases wherein the most people are affected. It would be nice to give LS13 it's own image. Take larger features and put our own LS13 spin on them, and break away from the '/tg/ clone' image that saw us fall in the first place. Replace the engine. Change up how atmospherics works. Add new jobs. A new map. Rework systems. Gamemodes. More importantly, though, I think there needs to be a time wherein content is put on hold and there's a particular focus on optimization. Byond is a shitty platform and I put my coding boots down a long time ago because it's really difficult to enjoy working with, but I think there needs to be some effort to optimize and clear the source of unneeded crap. SS13 is such a resource heavy thing that the lag can become really unbearable. The game, in my opinion, would be a lot more desirable to play were it not so clunky and laggy!

    Sorry if any of this is incoherent im writing whilst intoxicated and thats not a good thing to do

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