Interview with Chris Graham, Managing Director of ocProducts

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The Sandman

Jan 1, 2004
The Sandman submitted a new Article:

Interview with Chris Graham, Managing Director of ocProducts

Tell us about yourself, and the company

I'm an English software developer, recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Computer Science. I'm 23, I think. The worrying thing is that I already have to stop and think for that, so in a few years maybe I won't remember at all. As well as a programmer, I'm managing director of my company, ocProducts. I basically do everything that no one else in the company does, and that includes much of the programming, all the business stuff, and lots of technical support and documentation. ocProducts is an incorporated company, since about 1 and a half years ago. I've been just working crazily the last few years to get to the company to the point it's at - that doesn't leave much time to do much else, but I do manage to keep a personal life and my sanity afloat.

At ocProducts we do anything relating to helping people make websites. At the moment most of the efforts go directly into pushing the development of our ocPortal website engine product forward, but we also succesfully been running professional services for quite some time.

What made you decide to use your programming prowess to develop a website engine?

I never really made a decision. I used to do open source 3D and gaming stuff for fun, and needed community software to power the development community I was creating - there wasn't really any at the time, except for forums, so I wrote my own. It was fairly straight forward because I did C++ work all the time, and really PHP (which ocPortal is written in) is just like a much simpler version of that.

As time went on I worked on a number of websites related to my gaming hobby, and at some point the code for those sites got to a point where I wanted to package it all up together and reuse it as a kind of product. At that point I was persuaded by people around my to try selling it, so I made some improvements and cleaned it up, and it was far more popular than I expected it to be. Since then we've been speeding ahead at an enormous pace, adding new features, improving the quality, making it easier to use, and generally making it suitable to a wider audience.

Do you think you will ever return to programming games?

I very much doubt it. Around the time of my life when I did write games, as a student, it was just a hobby. I was very involved with it all, and I did get to know the industry well enough to realise that all but a handful end up working ridiculous hours for...
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Chaotically Proportional
Jan 6, 2004
Fantastic interview :) I enjoyed it so much I'm installing a copy on one of my (many vacant) domains to see if it'd suit a project I have in mind :D


The New Architect
Feb 8, 2006
I also believe strongly in archives - I never like to delete anything unless there's very good reason to do it. If I wanted rid of something, I'd make an invisible archive for it. I suppose I just don't like to erase the historical record.
That is awesome. I share the same attitude; I cannot stand the idea of removing the content built up on my forum, and would rather preserve it in some way, even as an archive. Along those lines, I remember that the administrator of StarDestroyer BBS has been talking about doing just that for his big board. In any case, I suppose it helps to look upon your content as a resource that you or someone else may find useful as reference now and again.