Cjhopman SOC questionnaire

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki


Write a small introduction to yourself.
My name is Chris Hopman. I spend much of my free time coding, playing various computer games, and sailing/teaching sailing.

State your preferred email address.

If you have chosen a nick for IRC and Wesnoth forums, what is it?
My nick is cjhopman pretty much everywhere.

Why do you want to participate in summer of code?
I want to participate in summer of code because it is basically a once in a lifetime opportunity. That is, it is a chance to become a much better programmer, a chance to gain experience working on a real project, a chance to be mentored by an experienced programmer, a chance to become a member of the development team of a great game, a chance to join the community of that great game, a chance to make something that improves that community and that game, a chance to spend a summer doing something I love, and on and on... I mean, it's just an amazing opportunity.

What are you studying, subject, level and school?
I am studying Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison . I’m currently in my third year of my undergraduate program, planning to graduate spring ’09.


What programs/software have you worked on before?
Most of my experience of programming comes from work of done in class and some small projects that I have done on my own.

Have you developed software in a team environment before? (As opposed to hacking on something on your own)
Most of my work has been on my own, I have done some projects with another person but not much more than that.

Have you participated to the Google Summer of Code before? As a mentor or a student? In what project? Were you successful? If not, why?
I have not participated in the Google Summer of Code before.

What development model would you use (e.g. keywords: V-model, XP programming, agile programming, iterative; with the help of prototyping, formal specifications, tests, etc).
I plan to use what basically amounts to agile development. I have expected milestones, but for this project to be successful it will require significant communication with other developers and, especially, scenario designers – and the project should adapt to meet the needs of the community. It is most important that the project is useful to the Wesnoth community. Also, with the limited timespan of Summer of Code, it just seems to be most sensible to have short development iterations so that time is managed well, the most common mistake that it seems students make is to not manage there time well.

Open Source

Are you already involved with any open source development projects? If yes, please describe the project and the scope of your involvement.
Sadly, I am not currently involved with any open source development projects. However, I have, for a while now, been interested in becoming involved, and my experience with the Wesnoth community in the past few weeks has lit that spark that I needed and I will continue to be involved in open source development, regardless of my involvement in Summer of Code.

Gaming experience
Well… I remember playing the first Mario Bros. on the NES when I was 5. At that same time I started playing computer games, oh were those ever fun. Ever since, I’ve been hooked.

Are you a gamer? If so...
Yes, absolutely.

What type of gamer are you?
That’s tough. I’d say I’m many types, but I think primarily I’m a thinking gamer… that is I enjoy games that stimulate me mentally, either through good storytelling or through just mental challenges.

What type of games?
I’ve actually enjoyed all types of games, but primarily strategy games and role-playing games. Even when I first started gaming these were my favorite types of games, on the NES there was Chrysalis, Destiny of an Emperor, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms as my favorite games.

What type of opponents do you prefer?
Smart ones, I love the challenge of outsmarting my opponent. In online gaming, mature ones.

Are you more interested in story or gameplay?
This is tough, and it depends on the game. For example, the Civilization series all have basically no story, but I love the games. However, almost all RPGs that I enjoy are because of the story, not the gameplay.

Have you played Wesnoth? If so, tell us roughly for how long and whether you lean towards single player or multiplayer.
I have played Wesnoth, though not for long. I have played only single player, as so far that has kept me entertained more than enough.

Communication skills

Describe your fluency level in written English.
I am very fluent in English, at least I would hope so after 24 years.

Are you good at interacting with other players? Our developer community is friendly, but the player community can be a bit rough.
I definitely consider myself good at interacting with other people, even rough ones. Throughout high school and some of college I worked as a waiter, and let me tell you, you learn to interact with people or you don’t make money. On a more serious note, I also have taught sailing for several years now to people aged 7 – 72, and that requires very strong communication skills.

Do you give constructive advice?
I do. Again, this goes with teaching sailing, if you can’t give constructive advice, students don’t learn. And doing this you also learn that you really do have to communicate, and give advice, differently with different people.

Do you receive advice well?
I do. I know that there is a lot that I don’t know, and I understand that advice is primarily going to help me improve in many areas.

Are you good at sorting useful criticisms from useless ones?
Until recently I would have said that there is some worth in all criticisms, though for some the worth may be harder to find. Generally, I still consider that to be the case – though on the internet I have definitely come across useless criticisms. I do understand that not all criticisms are of a kind, and that, often, you cannot just accept a criticism as justified. In the end it basically comes down to the fact that yeah, I can take criticism, and I won't ever just dismiss it out of hand, but there are cases when the criticism just isn't valid, or isn't really helpful-- to anyone.


This information is all contained in my wiki-page at IntuitiveScenarioEditor

Practical considerations

Are you familiar with any of the following tools?
I am quite familiar with C++, and less familiar with sub­­version. I have only a little experience with Python, though by the time that summer begins I will significantly more as we are using it in one of my classes, and because it is one of my three goals for the time remaining before summer.

Which tools do you normally use for development? Why do you use them?
I’ll admit it, I primarily do work on windows. Why, you may ask… well, because my graphics course requires it, and my girlfriend doesn’t like using Linux. I do work on Linux, and I have compiled Wesnoth on both… and it is likely that if I were working on Wesnoth full-time that I would do my work on Linux.
I use both Visual Studio 2005 and Dev-Cpp… Visual Studio because it is required by the same course as above, and Dev-Cpp because it was the first IDE I used back when I began learning C++. I do really like some of the features of VS2005, particularly the debugger. For java programming, and programming on Linux in general, I tend to use Eclipse, partly because it is what I learned java on.

What programming languages are you fluent in?
I am fluent in C++ and Java… I have used Scheme, Python, C#... of those I am actually probably most fluent in Scheme. But mostly I’ve used C++ and Java.

What spoken languages are you fluent in?
Only English. Well, I also know a little Latin but that’s not really much of a spoken language anymore, and I'm far from fluent in it.

At what hours are you awake (please specify in UTC)
I am awake usually from ~12:00 – 5:00 UTC, and would be online usually 12:00 – 23:00 and 2:00 – 5:00, if working on Wesnoth for the summer.

Would you mind talking with your mentor on telephone / internet phone?
That would absolutely be fine.

This page was last edited on 20 March 2013, at 23:51.