Interview with Russ (PixelExit)

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Interview with Russ (PixelExit)

Russ should be familiar to everyone on TAZ - he's an Administrator here and him and Steve are the co-founders of PixelExit and are responsible for designing and maintaining TAZ's custom style. They do a great job and we're lucky to have them here! :D

Russ is insanely busy these days but he managed to carve out enough time to participate in an interview with us. Thanks Russ!

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What is your educational background?

As it stands I'm about half way through my associates degree for Computer Science. I need to put my butt in gear and get it done!


What is your full time occupation?

I run Pixel Exit full time currently however I also keep busy with being a full time dad too :tup:


How did you get into designing? How long have you been at it?

Designing websites intrigued me about 17 years ago, at the time I was extremely young and had a group of friends that we played games together. I always thought it would be a great idea to have a website so I made it happen. I think I started on a Geocities website with some matrix theme to it, oh the days. I was never quite happy with any site I had to be honest, I would always re-code and re-design quite often liking it more and more each time. The site itself was never anything big back then, it was more simple posts and that's it.

I got into larger websites in about 2003 where I ran a rather popular resource website for Battle.net (powers all of Blizzards games). Regarding forum design itself I started on phpBB originally matching designs for free templates the site I was staff on (clantemplates.com). I'd occasionally take on custom jobs but nothing serious by any means.


What are your particular areas of expertise?

I'd like to say I specialize in styling of XenForo. I'm an extremely fast and resourceful coder when it comes to getting XenForo to look how I want it to look.


What does your daily schedule look like?

Get up, get the kid off to school then depending on the day go running or to the gym, or both depending on the mood. My runs are nothing crazy, mixture of running and walking for about 4.4 miles (2.2 mile laps where I go). Since I sit down all day it's a nice way to get the day started. When I get back, I spend my initial work day responding to emails, conversations, support tickets and general questions....

Read more about this article here...
 
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Alpha1

Administrator
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May 28, 2007
Messages
4,039
Russ said:
About 3 months ago I was not fond of Reddit at all, I was so use to a traditional forum layout so the posts were a little confusing but now I think I'm addicted.
Can you explain what you find addictive about Reddit?
 

eva2000

Habitué
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
1,787
Late last year, I decided it would be healthy if I did have a solid cut off time like a normal work person but I can't seem to resist
haha well and truely know what you mean :LOL:

I have a health and fitness forum with no name on my localhost that I've been working on the side customizing it. It's in the early stages but in the past year I've taken on a new life style in regards to my health so I figured it would be an interesting project

wow, Russ you and MattW's running and focus on fitness/health is inspirational with everything else you guys have on your plates with family and all :tup:

And Pixelexit's greatest creation personally for me would be their free Xenforo style https://xenforo.com/community/resources/flat-awesome-pixelexit-com.3409/ been using it for ages and just waiting on whenever a paid Flat Awesome Pro style + XenBase framework will happen - I'll be first in line for that :D

That and the awesome work you do in making custom matching Xenforo styles for existing forums - some of my clients I referred to Pixelexit have been very happy with their custom matching Xenforo styles just like the awesome work they did on TAZ's custom style :cool::D:tup:
 

Russ

Administrator
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
1,377
Can you explain what you find addictive about Reddit?

There are a few reasons I enjoy browsing reddit:

Fresh new content every day
You'll rarely see the same thing on the front page the next day, it's quite nice. The community up-votes what they see fit and typically I enjoy seeing it.

Tons of information regarding anything just about
When I started my whole fitness journey I was a little lost to be honest. The gym seemed like a foreign place where I didn't speak their "language". Rather than hiring a personal trainer I wanted to do it on my own and Reddit's /r/fitness/ sub served as a great learning point. It's quick information, I was at the gym doing squats when I had a question arise which I googled along with reddit at the end and sure enough the first comment to the question asked was spot on. Of course there's subs for everything for the fitness sub is what drew me in originally.

The community weeds out the crap for you
The traditional media outlet tries to make a news story out of everything and it's really getting old. With reddit they might mention the same thing but in an entirely different manner such as a joke. If something serious does happen you'll hear about it on reddit I'm sure.

Just a few of the reasons :D.

haha well and truely know what you mean :LOL:



wow, Russ you and MattW's running and focus on fitness/health is inspirational with everything else you guys have on your plates with family and all :tup:

And Pixelexit's greatest creation personally for me would be their free Xenforo style https://xenforo.com/community/resources/flat-awesome-pixelexit-com.3409/ been using it for ages and just waiting on whenever a paid Flat Awesome Pro style + XenBase framework will happen - I'll be first in line for that :D

That and the awesome work you do in making custom matching Xenforo styles for existing forums - some of my clients I referred to Pixelexit have been very happy with their custom matching Xenforo styles just like the awesome work they did on TAZ's custom style :cool::D:tup:

Thank you for your kind words :), we've come a long ways over the past couple years and I hope it shows :tup:

As for Flat Awesome + (we've renamed it slightly :D), it's really near completion:
XenBase_-_1.5.0_Development_-_2015-08-23_13.24.04.png90secs1.png 90secs2.png 90secs3.png 90secs4.png 90secs5.png

Just some random quick 90 second style changes, it's even easier to work with :D

Regarding the fitness MattW is definitely an inspiration, I even hit him up for advice when I first got into running and he helped, although I can't quite run like Matt haha but it's ok. Losing weight and getting in shape is actually so simple it's just a matter of doing it. There's a ton of resources out there to help out and really the best time to start is today :D. I use to say: "Ok I'm going to be better and get in shape" then a year later I was at the same spot or in an even worse state of health. It got really old so I just did something about it. Also although I said it's so simple, it has been a constant struggle for me too but what you need to do is simple, it's the doing it part which is hard.
 
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eva2000

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As for Flat Awesome + (we've renamed it slightly :D), it's really near completion:
ooooooh sweet goodness :cool::tup:
Regarding the fitness MattW is definitely an inspiration, I even hit him up for advice when I first got into running and he helped, although I can't quite run like Matt haha but it's ok. Losing weight and getting in shape is actually so simple it's just a matter of doing it.
yeah MattW is my inspiration. For past 8 weeks been doing 15-45min walk/runs 1 to 4 times a day - gets easier but man I lost some hours to do work so it seems there's not enough time in the day right now. Guess my time management skills needs to improve :)
 

Russ

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Oct 20, 2011
Messages
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yeah MattW is my inspiration. For past 8 weeks been doing 15-45min walk/runs 1 to 4 times a day - gets easier but man I lost some hours to do work so it seems there's not enough time in the day right now. Guess my time management skills needs to improve :)

My timing is awful too :D, I've ended up doing runs at 11:30 at night because I completely lose track of time.

One thing that helped me a ton when getting into it all was C25K(Couch 2 5k), for me I never ran or worked out in years so it was a nice beginning program. It's nice progression too and you feel that progression which is best of all. Requires 3 runs each week, each gradually increasing the amount of running over walking. The program itself is ~30 minutes 3 days a week(I did Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,571
Easy to see why PixelExit are so popular :tup:

Russ I'd be interested to hear a little more about the creative process especially where custom work is involved. If there's no pre-existing artwork, how do you go about turning your client's imagined theme into something they can visualise?
 

Russ

Administrator
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
1,377
The real reason is that he likes pictures of cats :D:ROFLMAO::lildevil:

Daily aww, cats or dogs the occasional random animal basically :D

Easy to see why PixelExit are so popular :tup:

Russ I'd be interested to hear a little more about the creative process especially where custom work is involved. If there's no pre-existing artwork, how do you go about turning your client's imagined theme into something they can visualise?

Really depends on the type of work, if it's a graphical heavy design then obviously we'll do a full PSD. Past that we'll design various elements for the design prior to coding it.
 

Daniel Hood

XenForo Add-On Developer
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
300
About 3 months ago I was not fond of Reddit at all, I was so use to a traditional forum layout so the posts were a little confusing but now I think I'm addicted.
Couldn't agree with this more. I still can't really get past the layout and stuff but there's chrome extensions that help. I think it's kind of just the size of it and how each section (sub-reddit) is integrated but different. You can post on nearly any topic and get a comment/answer/opinion very quickly. You have to filter through bull scrap sometimes (like in the stocks one) but it's a great way to get other opinions.
 

Ummagumma

Adherent
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
481
We're with Russ at PixelExit and I am really happy with what you provide Russ....
Excellent themes and designs, but most importantly to me; a real personal service.
not in that way of course :D
But you do respond very quickly and most of all, you're human. I like that when talking to designers and coders. because I am human too, and for me, in business - there's nothing worse than two brick walls trying to engage in something and acting as if one is the others' peer.
So a really human service, professional and very down to earth...

So much so I've even approached Russ recently to ask is he and the team can help me keep our design we use, but customise it more for our needs and work with me on some niche work I need rather quickly.

Hear you RE: Reddit. But I also find the community can be bitchy too if you're not careful. A fine line there..
Anyway a great interview and nice to put some history and info behind the person who I seem to nag a lot about tweaks ;)
Interesting read and keep up the good work, the running and obviously improving the health of your life.

Enjoy more time spent with your family too, I work for myself 7 days a week, 15-18 hours a day.. and my children are growing up far sooner than I expected.. Hell it feels like only a couple of years back our 23 year old was 7!! :morganna: :eek:

Good luck and yeah, nice read. :)

EDIT, I didn't mention Steve and I should have, I know he is as much PE too, but I haven't really spoken much with you.. So my sincerest apologies there. Sorry.. But you too, you both/all do a grand job there. :p
 
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