Since launching my membership site, I’ve always wanted to connect with my subscribers and offer them opportunities to share their interests. As a result, I’ve decided to launch the Subscriber Spotlight series which features you! Today, we’re kicking off the series with one of my best friends and first paid subscribers, VirtualFlat.
This interview is kind of special to me because VirtualFlat actually helped me get my first website off the ground. If you never knew I used to have an old website, it was called Cybrotronics, and you can read all about why it doesn’t exist anymore. Long store short, I had a lazy friend—not VirtualFlat—who was piggybacking off my work.
At any rate, let’s dig into the interview.
Table of Contents
To kick things off, I asked VirtualFlat to tell us a bit about himself:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a mechanical engineer that specializes in 3D CAD, specifically SolidWorks. I run a YouTube channel where I post tutorials on how to use the software. The twist is that I like to model things from TV and Video Games to make things much more interesting. If you’re interested, you can find me at my YouTube channel: VirtualFlat [SolidWorksNerd] or at my website virtual-flat.com.
How did you find The Renegade Coder?
I stumbled upon Renegade Coder during my quest find resources to level up my coding skills. Even though I studied Mechanical Engineering, I understand what a good background in coding can do for any discipline. The biggest thing I want to use my newfound coding knowledge for is robotics!
Why did you decide to become a paid subscriber?
Monetarily supporting the Renegade Coder was an easy choice for me. He shares a similar mission as I do: to make educational knowledge as fun and as accessible to as many people as possible. We have different disciplines, but I can get behind supporting his cause any day!
New Coder Questions
Surprisingly, VirtualFlat self-identified as a new coder. As a result, I asked him a few questions about his experience as a new coder:
How has The Renegade Coder helped you learn to code?
The Renegade Coder has many different varieties of articles about coding. This serves two purposes. 1) it creates a wide array of examples of which to learn from and 2) it keeps the learning experience fresh. The series about “Hello World in Every Language” is especially interesting because it shows many different types of languages for many different purposes, as well as describes the different considerations before writing code in that language.
What is one tip you’d give to anyone interested in learning to code?
See as many examples as possible. Having an influx of new, fresh ideas is one of the keys to mastering most skills.
Never Coder Questions
While VirtualFlat said he was learning to code, he did admit that he doesn’t code very often. As a result, I decided to ask him a few questions about his current projects and whether or not code plays a role:
What sort of projects do you work on?
The two main things I (want to) code for is SOLIDWORKS API and Arduino Robotics projects. I am also playing around with Construct 2 as a game building engine. While it isn’t strictly coding, it requires the same concepts of logic a coder would apply to make sure his code is (relatively) bug free.
How has The Renegade Coder changed the way you approach those projects?
The content on the site has exposed me to new languages that I want to pick up for fun (python, C++). It gives me new perspectives and teaches me clever ways to tackle coding challenges problems.
What advice do you have for people looking to get involved in the same kind of projects?
Just jump into it! There is ample help online to accomplish what you are looking to do (especially on this website). You are not going to learn or grow as a problem solver if you sit there thinking you are not ready. In the wise words of Shia LaBeouf, just do it.
Before I let VirtualFlat go, I had to take a moment to ask a few fun questions:
What is your favorite article on The Renegade Coder and why?
Readability and Style in Java: I for one think that code is poetry, and I wish more coders considered readability in the way that they write their code. I think the article does a fantastic job of going over making beautiful code and code that just… works.
What is one thing you would like to see more of on The Renegade Coder?
I am a huge fan of video games and am always fascinated about glitches. I think it would be cool to discuss these glitches and the fault in programming, as well as what could have prevented the glitch.
Do you have any shameless plugs for the community?
Game Glitch Series
Thanks, VirtualFlat! I appreciate you chatting with me.
Before we finish up, I want to respond to this glitch series idea. Awhile back, VirtualFlat mentioned this idea to me which I actually dug into a little bit. In fact, I had two articles set to publish at one point. The first article was going to cover a Heroes of the Storm glitch which gave Kael’thas the ability to cast living bomb spells without a cooldown or mana cost. The other article was going to cover the rank wraparound glitch from Overwatch.
Sadly, I abandoned both articles because I couldn’t come up with enough content, and the articles were a bit too speculative for my own preference. In other words, I was essentially guessing at the root cause of the problem without ever seeing these systems under the hood.
That said, I’d be interested in reviving the series if there was enough interest. Let me know in the comments if this is a series you’d like to see.
Thanks for Subscribing
As promised, I mentioned that I’d write a little thank you note to my first paid subscriber. As a result, thanks VirtualFlat! I hope that my work will continue to provide value to you for years to come.
In addition, I hope you continue to be a part of The Renegade Coder community. I’m sure others would love to hear more about your experience with SOLIDWORKS. In fact, I’ve heard that you’re making quite the name for yourself in that community.
If anyone is interested in learning more about VirtualFlat, I’ve decided to share one of my favorite videos of theirs below:
In this video, VirtualFlat shares some time-lapse footage of the creation of Luma in SOLIDWORKS. Check it out!
At any rate, I’m hoping to make more of these articles, but I need more paid subscribers to make it happen. If you’d like an article written about you like this, you should consider heading over to the memberships page. From there, I’ve detailed the various membership options from monthly to lifetime. Choose one that’s best for you.
At any rate, thanks for stopping by!
Happy 30th to me! In honor of the big day, I figured I'd drop a list of some of my favorite video games of all time. As usual, don't expect any sort of objectivity. This is my list after all.
Looking back at some of my fondest memories of my mom.