Interview with Alexander Ebert - WBB Senior Developer

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The Sandman

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The Sandman submitted a new Article:

Interview with Alexander Ebert - WBB Senior Developer

If vB, IPB, and XF are the 3 biggest players in the forum software scene than WBB (WoltLabs Burning Board) is Number 4. It's full featured and popular, especially in Germany, and it's got designs on a spot in the "Big 3".

This is an interview with Alexander Ebert (AKA dtdesign), a TAZ regular and the senior developer of WBB. :)

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Tell us a bit about yourself.


My name is Alexander Ebert and I’m currently 26 years old, born in Düsseldorf and moved to Berlin in 2010 to join WoltLab.


What is your educational background?

I took my high-school diploma (Abitur) in 2008 and started studying computer science at the RWTH Aachen and later at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, but eventually I quit it to join WoltLab.


What does your username, dtdesign, represent?

I used to create designs for websites before I switched to software development and nicknames are these kinds of things that usually stick with you over the years. Oh, and it’s short for “deltateam design”, but where that originates from is another story.


What are your accomplishments up to this point?

School isn’t exactly teaching the stuff one needs to know to develop software, over the years I gathered all the knowledge from books, tutorials and a huge pile of trial-and-error attempts. It all started with a simple ‘Hello World’ in PHP and as of today I’m working almost 5 years as developer at WoltLab. Building all this up on my own is a rather big achievement for me.


Any failures you'd care to tell us about?

Studying. It is a bit hard to explain, but when it comes to software development, studying computer science is just a waste of time. You actually want to learn how to do it, not how development and computers theoretically worked two decades ago. Maybe it has changed meanwhile, but looking back at it every other decision would have been better.


What is your fulltime job?

I’m Senior Developer at WoltLab, the company behind Burning Board.


What is your ultimate professional goal, your dream job?

Working on our software is more like a passion than for me; I spend a lot of time working on it, even off-hours. That might sound stupid, but what I’m currently doing is exactly everything I ever wanted and my father taught me that “turning your hobby into a profession is the best you can do”. Today I well understand what he meant....
Read more about this article here...
 
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zappaDPJ

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It's always to good to hear from someone who enjoys their job. That kind of enthusiasm is often reflected in the quality of the product. Great interview :tup:
 

radu81

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Your father was right and you did the best choice. Glad is going good for you and good luck with your software ;)
 

LeadCrow

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Nice learning more about rising underdogs :tup:
dtdesign said:
I guess the only thing that is yet outstanding is an Audi RS6 Avant. Yep, others want a house, plant a tree and all this fancy stuff, but I want that masterpiece of a car. Challenge accepted.
TAZ will remember.
 

Anubis

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I enjoyed reading this interview, and there's certainly a lot to commend Alexander for. My only pet peeve concerns this statement:
Additionally all 3rd party products offered in our Plugin-Store are required to provide a full English translation and product details, leaving no one behind.
I wish plugin authors were encouraged to provide an English translation of the addon description on the store page. Several developers insist on promoting their product in German only, leaving those who don't speak the language guessing or trying to put together a botched Google translation of it.

It's been a while that I wanted to get this off my chest, and this seemed to be a good opportunity. But criticism aside, this is very interesting and enlightening interview. It was a pleasure to learn more about Alexander and his passion for coding.
 

dtdesign

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I wish plugin authors were encouraged to provide an English translation of the addon description on the store page. Several developers insist on promoting their product in German only, leaving those who don't speak the language guessing or trying to put together a botched Google translation of it.
There have been a few authors that managed to get away with this for whatever reason, please report these plugins and we'll take the proper actions :)
 

LeadCrow

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I wish plugin authors were encouraged to provide an English translation of the addon description on the store page.
I'll jump on this and insist on screenshots in english (at least for english speakers).
 

Anubis

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There have been a few authors that managed to get away with this for whatever reason, please report these plugins and we'll take the proper actions :)
Thank you for listening, this is a step in the right direction. English speaking people will appreciate it. Whenever I will stumble across German-only descriptions I will report them.

I'll jump on this and insist on screenshots in english (at least for english speakers).
I agree with this too.
 

Tracy Perry

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As I've said a few times in the past, the script authors AND the add-on authors are going to need to get out of that German-centric train of thought if they want to start penetrating the larger market. The WBB developers are aware of that and taking steps to address it - but many add-on authors appear not to be to concerned with it - and that in the long run effects the adoption rate of the script by those that do not speak German.
I've bought several add-ons on the off-chance that they would be what I wanted, but since they were in German only I was not sure until I could install it on my site.
 
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