Today I had the pleasure of conducting a virtual interview with manager and CEO of Exhedra Solutions Inc, Ian Ippolito. Ian runs Planet-Source-Code.com and also RentACoder.com. In this interview, Ian talks about how PSC started, why it's been so successful, the infrastructure behind the site, and his background in computer programming.
Virtual Interview: Ian Ippolito - The Interview (Page 2 of 3 )
1. So, what's your background and how did you get into programming?
I started programming when I was 12, on an 8080 Interact computer and taught myself Basic and assembly language. I won a science fair for creating a program that could solve the Rubik's cube and have been in love with programming since then.
2. How many people work for PSC, and what do each of them do?
My company, Exhedra, has 4 employees. There is only one that is dedicated exclusively to PSC. She's a Webmaster in the broadest sense of the word and is in charge of arbitrating when people get into disagreements as well as keeping the site maintained and adding new content.
3. When was PSC started and why?
1997. At the time I was frustrated at the lack of quality VB sites on the web: they were small with just a few snippets of code here and there. So, I decided to do something about it. I thought it would be cool to have a site where people could post code snippets, and was surprised when so many people (wow...50 a day at the time) actually came by to visit. Later, I added zip file uploading and things really took off!
4. You have an extremely large user base. Why do you think your site has been so successful?
Word of mouth, but also being first helped a lot. The value of PSC is exactly like the value of a network...each node increases the value exponentially. With 6.5 million page views a month and 30-40 new submissions a day, PSC is growing like a huge snowball rolling downhill...its got a lot of momentum.
5. What is the configuration of your web server(s), what software is it running, and which programming language(s) was used to develop the site?
Our servers run Windows 2000, and the site was designed with Active Server Pages. I could write a few white papers about using Windows Load Balancing in a high capacity environment as well...but once you get it working it is sweet. The SQL Servers are a federated cluster.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Perhaps retired, with the way Rent a Coder has been taking off! But seriously, I'll be on the cutting edge of whatever technologies are prevalent at the time, and looking for ways to provide value that other people haven't found yet.