Word Count: 1024
Takes: 5 minutes and 20 seconds to read
Interview with Conor, talented forum owner and staff of myBB support forum. At 14 he is doing very well for his age and this interview looks at his past and his future.
Name: Conor Calby
Site(s) You Own/Work At: To many But to name a few: MyBB.com, MyBBSource.com, ShockingHost.com, HudsonValleyHost.com, LibertyCityRP.net
Hobbies: Gaming, Hanging with friends, Computing, Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and Mixed Martial Arts.
What made you so interested in computers at such a young age?
I would have to say my godmum. She was a IT teacher along with Maths and English. When I was 2, I would be playing on 5-6 year old games. When I was around 5 I would be writing my own (not the best though :P) stories about random things. When I was 11 and moved to Canada (me and my family moved there in 2005 when I was 8) we lived on a mountain so I made a website for a Facebook game Farm Town and it all went uphill from there
Did you have to put up with a lot of criticism because of your age when you created Farm Town Forum?
No not really. I have learned that people seem to stereotype me because of my age so I don’t tend to tell everyone my age, however the few that did know on that forum all said I should be proud of that forum and that my future looks very bright and that I was talented.
Why did you want to expand your forum into a website?
Mainly to gain independence. It was hosted with CreateMyBB when I was 11, I had very little knowledge of self hosting a forum. CreateMyBB had a few limitations in place like no being able to use plugins, themes, template edits, etc and that really drove me mad, so I told my team its time for a change and moved.
What would you say to any young struggling forum owners?
Keep positive and don’t let others discourage you. Someone may call you a ‘Kid’ as I was the other day ((A)) but they don’t actually know you so their opinion shouldn’t matter. Another is be honest with your parents don’t be creating forums, sites, etc behind their back, just be honest with them… 99% of the time the ‘This is what I want to do for a living’ works and explain that you are very talented (Trust me you are if you are building websites and forums) and a 1 in 200. Pick a ‘role model’ type of person that does the same things you do, for me personally… my role model would have to be either Chris (MyBB Owner) or Jesse Labrocca (Talented code and website owner)
Do you want your future job to be online and why?
As much as I enjoy what I do online, I don’t really. My jobs I am hoping for are a Police Officer, Air Force Pilot or a Commercial Pilot however I do plan on having a part time job online just because its a part of me that is in my blood and it would be really hard to let computers, internet, MyBB and all that go. I have always wanted to be a Commercial pilot ever since I was a little boy but as for being a Police Officer that started when I was around 8 and just something I think I would enjoy doing.
What got you interested in MyBB?
My Farmtown forum. I tried PHPBB with FreeForums, SMF I used and almost went blind (The default theme was that bad). I found CreateMyBB on page 3 of Google and tried them It was love at first site :P. One feature that I love is thread prefixes. I love love love them. But much of the MyBB Community improves MyBB. They may not know it but by developing plugins and themes, they are improving MyBB… ALOT.
Why did you decide to join the MyBB Support Team?
I really don’t know, I just wanted to be a part of a wonderful team and help people that had the same ‘passion’ as I had. I think Polarbear541 also encouraged me to apply and when I was accepted gave me a bunch of tips that helped alot.
Are you currently developing any websites or thinking of making another?
My latest was MyBBPlaza which was meant for me to release my plugins and give general support etc, but I had to sell that due to time. I don’t plan on making anymore at this time as I have my SAT’s and GCSE’s coming up soon… and having a teacher as a godmum you can imagine the pressure
Without Farm Town do you think you would have ever started a forum?
Honestly, No. I highly doubt it. Everything was kind of mapped out.
So what do you do when your not online?
Hehe, Thats a hard one because I am usually online in my spare time, but here is my classic day. I get up at 6:00AM (its 6:39AM writing this) and check my emails, see what I can get done in a hour. At 7:20AM I get my school bag ready, wallet, keys, etc and watch a bit of news. At 8:20AM I leave my house and arrive at school at 8:45AM and then go on the school computers for 15 minutes then I have the job of setting up the projector and sound system so I do that and get that done. Lessons start, but at break and lunch me and my friends (we all hang in a ~17 people group) all play Football (soccer) and talk about whatever comes to mind. When I get home at 3:30PM its straight on the computer and mainly on MyBB
On some nights, me and my family sit down and watch a movie or two and on some weekends I head to my godmums and get some relaxing time there. However since she was a English, Maths and IT teacher she bug and bugs me to do my homework
Is there any decisions you’ve made online you regret?
I have made alot of decisions online that I regret and regret a lot but in the end I learned from them. Something my parents always told me was to learn from your mistakes. Something I have noticed is I check MyBB and see some flaming going on, I tell people to stop and it continues and if I issue a warning, people tend to dis-respect me mainly due to my age. They think they are right because they are older and I don’t know what I am doing. Somedays seeing how dis-respectful these people can be I regret even getting involved but in the end, its my job.
Thank you for interviewing me today