Dan Horne, Dad, Dog Dad, and Developer

So what was your path to Revelry?

I have always had a deep understanding and positive relationship with technology. I started my journey back in the `80s, where I played Oregon Trail and other classics, plotted pixelated images, and learned the basics of BASIC on the green-screened Apple IIe’s that were ubiquitous in those days.

I was hooked from the first byte.

From there, my path and my love of all things digital would diverge and cross many times. I learned to love gaming not on the NES I got back in middle school, but on the PC that belonged to my friend and future brother-in-law in college. There, I played Dune II for hours, days even. Sierra games (especially the Space Quest series), Syndicate, and my favorite Star Control 2 were some of the classics of the day that graced that ancient hard drive and sub-100 megahertz processor. My future wife and I would bond over saving as many Lemmings as possible.

Have you ever had any weird or wacky jobs?

Before turning to technology, I held many jobs – from dishwasher to farm work, landscaping to grave digging. When I was finally able to purchase my own computer, one that I, myself, was responsible for figuring out how to get working and keep working, that’s when I knew that I wanted to dedicate my career to learning all its intricacies.

Since then, I have held almost as many titles in technology as I did in other fields. I have been a Cisco certified networking consultant, a Windows network administrator, system architect, database administrator, director of a small ISP, email administrator, web developer, app developer, and more. Sometimes several of those at the same time!

Throughout each step in that process, there was programming. Sometimes, it’s creating a configuration for a router or a switch. Sometimes it’s creating a website or an application. Sometimes it’s automating processes through scripting. When I break down my days, then and now, the best and most rewarding parts have always been the times I was creating something real and useful by programming.

And so I am naturally overjoyed that I have the opportunity to create real and useful products here at Revelry. The people here, the knowledge here, the atmosphere… all of this is what makes Revelry so great. I can honestly say that I have never worked with a better group of people, and I look forward to seeing what we can do together.

 

What is Wrong with WordPress?

It’s PHP. A lot of people don’t respect PHP because of its history. But PHP has grown an incredible amount over the past several years. And it’s… it’s not as bad as the rap it gets, but then people seem to hate things that are popular. Like JavaScript gets among the worst raps of all programming languages, but like almost 100% of the web uses JavaScript now in some way. So why is everyone using it if it’s so bad?

Why do you think PHP gets a bad rap?

Because it is so old, it started so long ago. And it has evolved along with the times, so it didn’t have any kind of object-oriented nature at first.  Then it was added in. Then it wasn’t a functional programming language. Then functional programming elements were added in. 

I think the main reason is that it does a lot of weird things that you wouldn’t expect. Some of its functions, you would expect it to do one thing, but they are actually doing something else entirely under the hood when you look at the code, you know, or they return weird results.

Is there any good left in WordPress and PHP?

I think that WordPress is good for people who don’t want to hire developers but really need a CMS (Content Management System). A lot of people think they need a CMS when they don’t. Something like a static site generator like Jekyll or Hugo would work perfectly for most websites. 

People think that they need a database. Just because they’re changing the content often, they think it means that they need this and that and all these other features, but they really don’t. You can make a perfectly good website and modify all the content you want at your leisure, just using markdown files on your PC. 

Many people aren’t comfortable with that, so you accommodate for that. WordPress is how you accommodate for that in a lot of cases, because it’s easy.  It’s very easy for a beginner or someone who doesn’t know a lot about computers to go in and use it just right off the bat.

If you have something more complex that still requires a CMS, I would highly recommend Drupal. Drupal also has the same kind of plugin system that they refer to as modules. The stability of the Drupal ecosystem is what makes it better. Their plugins are curated and security issues extend to their plugins. 

Drupal expects to be used by enterprises. If you want a CMS “off the shelf” it’s not a good option. Drupal is not an off-the-shelf CMS, it’s one that you have to bang on until you get it to work for your application.

Drupal likes to call itself an API instead of a CMS. So it gives you the tools to build really complex sites, but you really do need to have a developer in a lot of cases, but you can build really complex sites with intricate functionality. Also, they have Views. 

They have a concept called views, which is absolutely incredible. It should be in WordPress, too. It allows you to set up complex views of your data without having to be a database query wizard. You can literally create any kind of query, for the kind of data that you want to show. You can present it however you want, and then just create a block out of it so that you can stick that in any page. You can basically massage all the data that is in your database and present it on the front end in whatever way you want. It’s fantastic. Still PHP, but fantastic.

What’s your favorite Slack channel?

I just like the watercooler. I love hanging out on the watercooler, you know I love when the all hands is going on and people are just posting irrelevant things in the water cooler. I like when people post, you know, links to crazy websites, stuff like that. I don’t really browse around too many of the other channels.

I like, how-do-I, because I think asking questions while it’s not set as one of the core values of rivalry, I think it is one of the core values that everybody at revelry cherishes is the ability to say “I don’t know how to do this, can someone help me?”. 

 

Any favorite Slack hacks, tips, or tricks? 

Pasting a link over text, attaches that link to the text. And I think that’s amazing. You select some text, you click paste with your link on the clipboard and it automatically attaches that linked to the text. 

 

Do you have a favorite Slack emoji?

Well, I uploaded my own boognish emojis that I like to use. That’s my favorite, I think other than that, I also uploaded a confused husky.

 

Do you have any pets?

Yea, a Husky and a Basset Hound. I’m a hound dog guy. My previous pet was a Beagle and that’s probably my favorite breed. If I had my choice, every dog I had would be a Beagle, but I didn’t have that choice. Sometimes you don’t get to pick your family, your family picks you.

Who inspires you?

Maybe The New Day, from professional wrestling. They are really inspiring guys with inspiring messages not related to wrestling. Power of positivity. That’s the New Day’s tagline, the power of positivity.

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