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Looking For Technical Moderator(s) [Now found!]

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.
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Sedgistan
Senior Issues Moderator
 
Posts: 32188
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Looking For Technical Moderator(s) [Now found!]

Postby Sedgistan » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:19 am

17th August 2022 update: we have now appointed the following as Moderators as a result of this process:

Chingis
Esternial
Racoda
Roavin
United Calanworie




NationStates is looking to strengthen its technical experience on the staff team, with the eventual goal of increasing Admin representation to enable more development of the site. As has been discussed recently, bringing on a new staff member directly into an Admin role is not feasible given the level of trust needed. We are therefore recruiting initially for a Forum Moderator role, with the intent and hope that this progresses into a Tech Modling and eventually Site Admin role should it work out for both us and the new staff member(s). There is the potential for a level of technical involvement whilst in a Moderator role, including support for Development Managers, triaging technical requests/suggestions for existing Admins, and internal technical discussions and decision-making.

We are looking for those that are:
  • Ideal for a Moderator role, and willing to perform Moderator duties. This is essential, as serving as a Moderator is the first step in working with the team and building trust. Bear in mind that most Moderators tend to focus on their preferred areas of the site, so for example focusing on moderating the Technical forum is acceptable.
  • Proficient in programming/coding already. This is essential.
  • Willing to learn and work in Perl, which is what the majority of the site architecture is written in. While this is not a first-choice language for most people, the reality is that this is a necessity to be able to independently build new features.
If you are interested in this role, or you wish to nominate someone for it, please contact us via Getting Help Request. If you are nominating someone, please make sure they are interested first.

Supporting information on your/their coding skills is essential. Ideally please link to a github profile or similar, especially if it includes NS-related projects. We understand that some code mostly in their profession, so this is not always possible - but if you do have one, please add it.

FAQs:

What's the deadline for applying?
There is no particular deadline for applications - when we are no longer looking, this announcement will be taken down. Applications/nominations will be reviewed initially by the Moderator team for suitability for a Moderator role. Those that are felt to be suitable will be passed to the Admin team to review and contact as appropriate.

How many people are you looking for?
We do not have a target for a number of people to take on - it depends on the applications that come through. The end result could be no-one is brought on board, or multiple people are.

Is this for gameplayers only?
No. Whether your interest is invading, defending, region building, issues, cards, the WA, roleplay or something else, if you fit the criteria above and are interested, apply.

I want to be an Admin but not a Moderator. Is that possible?
No.

I have some blemishes on my Moderation record. Can I still apply?
Yes. This is considered as part of the Moderator team review.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you have in this thread, but do not use it for applications/nominations.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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West Barack and East Obama
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Postby West Barack and East Obama » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:28 am

Definitely not an essential question and only out of curiosity, but why is applying to be a technical mod allowed when normally self nominations for moderating are the easiest way to get rejected?
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Makko Oko
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Postby Makko Oko » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:32 am

West Barack and East Obama wrote:Definitely not an essential question and only out of curiosity, but why is applying to be a technical mod allowed when normally self nominations for moderating are the easiest way to get rejected?


I would think because unlike moderators, it's hard to just look at a person and know if they're a coder or not (virtually impossible). With moderators, they probably look for people who have good intentions, have no marks on their record, is helpful, etc. I'm merely a person though, I was never on staff so I can't speak for them, their reasons could be different but it's just my opinion.

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Socio Polor
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Postby Socio Polor » Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:15 am

Question, I know it says you guys are looking for someone already proficient in programming, but would you be willing to consider someone whose in college majoring in a technical field like CS and is currently in the process of learning a programming language and has a job in a technical related area and can show proof of such qualifcations like a college acceptance letter/student ID & a Job offer letter? I ask because this position would require learning anyway so I was wondering if being a student counts.
Last edited by Socio Polor on Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sedgistan
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Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:20 am

Makko Oko wrote:
West Barack and East Obama wrote:Definitely not an essential question and only out of curiosity, but why is applying to be a technical mod allowed when normally self nominations for moderating are the easiest way to get rejected?


I would think because unlike moderators, it's hard to just look at a person and know if they're a coder or not (virtually impossible). With moderators, they probably look for people who have good intentions, have no marks on their record, is helpful, etc. I'm merely a person though, I was never on staff so I can't speak for them, their reasons could be different but it's just my opinion.

Pretty much something along those lines.

Socio Polor wrote:Question, I know it says you guys are looking for someone already proficient in programming, but would you be willing to consider someone whose in college majoring in a technical field like CS and is currently in the process of learning a programming language and has a job in a technical related area and can show proof of such qualifcations like a college acceptance letter & a Job offer letter? I ask because this position would require learning anyway so I was wondering if being a student counts.

The announcement says it is essential to be "Proficient in programming/coding already". If someone isn't, then they should not apply.

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Socio Polor
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Postby Socio Polor » Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:26 am

Sedgistan wrote:
Socio Polor wrote:Question, I know it says you guys are looking for someone already proficient in programming, but would you be willing to consider someone whose in college majoring in a technical field like CS and is currently in the process of learning a programming language and has a job in a technical related area and can show proof of such qualifcations like a college acceptance letter & a Job offer letter? I ask because this position would require learning anyway so I was wondering if being a student counts.

The announcement says it is essential to be "Proficient in programming/coding already". If someone isn't, then they should not apply.

Gotcha!
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Sandaoguo
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Postby Sandaoguo » Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:21 pm

I don’t expect this to change anytime soon, but the Perl aspect is going to continue being a serious impediment to progress. Perl is barely used in the market, it’s not really taught in software engineering or CS/CIS degrees anymore, definitely not at coding boot camps.

There really needs to be a conscious effort to transition to a more modern language. If you have to keep the Perl foundation for a while, then I’d strongly consider building out an internal API that exposes those parts of the “engine” so new additions can use a better language. Hopefully this is something that can be looked at once there’s additional help on the team.

I would apply (don’t know that y’all would want me :P but still) but my experience is “limited” to JavaScript (& Node), TS, PHP, and SQL, with HTML/CSS of course and some stats languages that aren’t relevant. But not Perl!

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Lamoni
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Postby Lamoni » Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:46 pm

Impediment or not, Perl is what we are in need of, so that can't really be changed, at the moment.
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:55 pm

I think Glen is right that Perl is dead (or, if not already dead, moribund or dying) and that the site should seriously consider moving away from it. But I sympathise also with Lamoni's seemingly implicit point that even if the code base were to be rewritten, it would first require translation out of Perl (a write-only line-noise language) into something modern, which would require some level of Perl knowledge. Well, unless you go with blind reverse engineering by means of unit tests.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Mon Jun 20, 2022 11:07 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:I think Glen is right that Perl is dead (or, if not already dead, moribund or dying) and that the site should seriously consider moving away from it.

We have seriously considered it, but it's seriously impractical. It's a 20-year old codebase -- the amount of work required to rewrite is unfathomable, even if we had a team of paid staff, which we don't. The best we can do is convert parts to backend ops only and put something more modern in front of it. But even that requires peeling admin off other tasks and onto rewrites, so it's not ideal.

Perl is no longer taught at college & university level, so it may be we can't find anyone who fits the bill, but we thought it was worth putting out the call.

Imperium Anglorum wrote:(a write-only line-noise language)

This is such slander. Perl is lovely. :hug:

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Caro1inia
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Founded: Nov 09, 2021
Father Knows Best State

Postby Caro1inia » Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:52 am

Sedgistan wrote:NationStates is looking to strengthen its technical experience on the staff team, with the eventual goal of increasing Admin representation to enable more development of the site. As has been discussed recently, bringing on a new staff member directly into an Admin role is not feasible given the level of trust needed. We are therefore recruiting initially for a Forum Moderator role, with the intent and hope that this progresses into a Tech Modling and eventually Site Admin role should it work out for both us and the new staff member(s). There is the potential for a level of technical involvement whilst in a Moderator role, including support for Development Managers, triaging technical requests/suggestions for existing Admins, and internal technical discussions and decision-making.

We are looking for those that are:
  • Ideal for a Moderator role, and willing to perform Moderator duties. This is essential, as serving as a Moderator is the first step in working with the team and building trust. Bear in mind that most Moderators tend to focus on their preferred areas of the site, so for example focusing on moderating the Technical forum is acceptable.
  • Proficient in programming/coding already. This is essential.
  • Willing to learn and work in Perl, which is what the majority of the site architecture is written in. While this is not a first-choice language for most people, the reality is that this is a necessity to be able to independently build new features.
If you are interested in this role, or you wish to nominate someone for it, please contact us via Getting Help Request. If you are nominating someone, please make sure they are interested first.

Supporting information on your/their coding skills is essential. Ideally please link to a github profile or similar, especially if it includes NS-related projects. We understand that some code mostly in their profession, so this is not always possible - but if you do have one, please add it.

FAQs:

What's the deadline for applying?
There is no particular deadline for applications - when we are no longer looking, this announcement will be taken down. Applications/nominations will be reviewed initially by the Moderator team for suitability for a Moderator role. Those that are felt to be suitable will be passed to the Admin team to review and contact as appropriate.

How many people are you looking for?
We do not have a target for a number of people to take on - it depends on the applications that come through. The end result could be no-one is brought on board, or multiple people are.

Is this for gameplayers only?
No. Whether your interest is invading, defending, region building, issues, cards, the WA, roleplay or something else, if you fit the criteria above and are interested, apply.

I want to be an Admin but not a Moderator. Is that possible?
No.

I have some blemishes on my Moderation record. Can I still apply?
Yes. This is considered as part of the Moderator team review.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you have in this thread, but do not use it for applications/nominations.

Ok i guess I'll sign up to be a candidate for moderator

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Danternoust
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Ex-Nation

Postby Danternoust » Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:06 am

Well, hopefully every applicant can prove they are of good humor and temperament by writing some code. Maybe perl written with some poetic function names.

Well, anyway, code is amazing isn't it? Though it does seem sad that the game proper and forum extensions are too much to update. I did previously donate money and bought a few Max Barry books. Might buy another Max Barry book in the future, hopefully nationname changes will be possible.

Hopefully some lurker will show up and provide some good hard work to fix the current set of problems.

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Aeioux
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Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Aeioux » Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:46 am

[violet] wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:I think Glen is right that Perl is dead (or, if not already dead, moribund or dying) and that the site should seriously consider moving away from it.

We have seriously considered it, but it's seriously impractical. It's a 20-year old codebase -- the amount of work required to rewrite is unfathomable, even if we had a team of paid staff, which we don't. The best we can do is convert parts to backend ops only and put something more modern in front of it. But even that requires peeling admin off other tasks and onto rewrites, so it's not ideal.

And yet, rewriting a 20-year old codebase will be easier/cheaper than a 30-year old one. It's also debatable whether you actually need the original code for a rewrite, as those often are based off the feature set and documented "user stories", and the new architecture is usually very different anyway. You do have at least some sort of documentation, right?

You are also mentioning "other tasks", are there that many bugs to fix? Or does it involve doing things other than coding (since you're looking for admins, not developers)?

And finally, even though this is a volunteer work, how many hours per week/other interval do you expect people to dedicate to the project, at least the minimal amount? Or "story points" per week idk, there's got to be some applicable contribution metric.

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The Orwell Society
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Postby The Orwell Society » Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:41 am

Caro1inia wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:NationStates is looking to strengthen its technical experience on the staff team, with the eventual goal of increasing Admin representation to enable more development of the site. As has been discussed recently, bringing on a new staff member directly into an Admin role is not feasible given the level of trust needed. We are therefore recruiting initially for a Forum Moderator role, with the intent and hope that this progresses into a Tech Modling and eventually Site Admin role should it work out for both us and the new staff member(s). There is the potential for a level of technical involvement whilst in a Moderator role, including support for Development Managers, triaging technical requests/suggestions for existing Admins, and internal technical discussions and decision-making.

We are looking for those that are:
  • Ideal for a Moderator role, and willing to perform Moderator duties. This is essential, as serving as a Moderator is the first step in working with the team and building trust. Bear in mind that most Moderators tend to focus on their preferred areas of the site, so for example focusing on moderating the Technical forum is acceptable.
  • Proficient in programming/coding already. This is essential.
  • Willing to learn and work in Perl, which is what the majority of the site architecture is written in. While this is not a first-choice language for most people, the reality is that this is a necessity to be able to independently build new features.
If you are interested in this role, or you wish to nominate someone for it, please contact us via Getting Help Request. If you are nominating someone, please make sure they are interested first.

Supporting information on your/their coding skills is essential. Ideally please link to a github profile or similar, especially if it includes NS-related projects. We understand that some code mostly in their profession, so this is not always possible - but if you do have one, please add it.

FAQs:

What's the deadline for applying?
There is no particular deadline for applications - when we are no longer looking, this announcement will be taken down. Applications/nominations will be reviewed initially by the Moderator team for suitability for a Moderator role. Those that are felt to be suitable will be passed to the Admin team to review and contact as appropriate.

How many people are you looking for?
We do not have a target for a number of people to take on - it depends on the applications that come through. The end result could be no-one is brought on board, or multiple people are.

Is this for gameplayers only?
No. Whether your interest is invading, defending, region building, issues, cards, the WA, roleplay or something else, if you fit the criteria above and are interested, apply.

I want to be an Admin but not a Moderator. Is that possible?
No.

I have some blemishes on my Moderation record. Can I still apply?
Yes. This is considered as part of the Moderator team review.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you have in this thread, but do not use it for applications/nominations.

Ok i guess I'll sign up to be a candidate for moderator

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Sandaoguo
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Sandaoguo » Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:51 am

[violet] wrote:We have seriously considered it, but it's seriously impractical. It's a 20-year old codebase -- the amount of work required to rewrite is unfathomable, even if we had a team of paid staff, which we don't. The best we can do is convert parts to backend ops only and put something more modern in front of it. But even that requires peeling admin off other tasks and onto rewrites, so it's not ideal.


I do think some combination of refactoring and internal APIs would be the best option. It’s true that completely rewriting a legacy code base in a different language is huge multi-year task. Might be the best option in theory, but unlikely to be realized in practice. And might even just translate any existing issues into a new language, if it’s done quick & dirty, which doesn’t help.

When building our new features, how much actual Perl use is needed? There’s a difference between needing to learn enough Perl to interact with the code base when creating a new feature in a different language, versus being proficient enough to work on the code base itself (eg debugging).

I’ve self-taught myself new languages enough to accomplish specific tasks, without knowing all the ins and outs of it. But I’d be hesitant to apply if anything more than that is needed. Another hesitancy is that I’m not sure if NS was build around a documented framework, or if it was all custom code.

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West Opper Anteruider
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Postby West Opper Anteruider » Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:36 am

how about no

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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:46 am

Sandaoguo wrote:I’ve self-taught myself new languages enough to accomplish specific tasks, without knowing all the ins and outs of it. But I’d be hesitant to apply if anything more than that is needed. Another hesitancy is that I’m not sure if NS was build around a documented framework, or if it was all custom code.

The way Violet has described it seems to largely be a huge mess of non-framework based hacks. If it were something like a Rails app but written in some Perl framework that would be better I guess but Perl hacks slapped together are notoriously unmaintainable.

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Makko Oko
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Postby Makko Oko » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:53 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Sandaoguo wrote:I’ve self-taught myself new languages enough to accomplish specific tasks, without knowing all the ins and outs of it. But I’d be hesitant to apply if anything more than that is needed. Another hesitancy is that I’m not sure if NS was build around a documented framework, or if it was all custom code.

The way Violet has described it seems to largely be a huge mess of non-framework based hacks. If it were something like a Rails app but written in some Perl framework that would be better I guess but Perl hacks slapped together are notoriously unmaintainable.


Lol, this really makes you think about how often the admins go insane trying to maintain this website for its huge userbase

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The Blaatschapen
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Tue Jun 21, 2022 10:25 am

West Opper Anteruider wrote:how about no
then don't.

Easy, no need to tell the world about it either how you're not applying. More than 250k nations will do the exact same :)
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Diarcesia
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Postby Diarcesia » Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:58 pm

What time commitment is required for those who are accepted?

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Fachumonn
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Postby Fachumonn » Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:33 pm

Sandaoguo wrote:
[violet] wrote:We have seriously considered it, but it's seriously impractical. It's a 20-year old codebase -- the amount of work required to rewrite is unfathomable, even if we had a team of paid staff, which we don't. The best we can do is convert parts to backend ops only and put something more modern in front of it. But even that requires peeling admin off other tasks and onto rewrites, so it's not ideal.


~snip~

Remember they are also looking for a Moderator (to get trust), not just an admin who knows code.
Last edited by Fachumonn on Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:53 pm

Which version of Perl? I am guess the platform is *Nix based?

It’s been awhile. I used to use it. Probably the biggest piece was a virus management front end for mcafee. Off course that was windows based.
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Makko Oko
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Postby Makko Oko » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:27 pm

The Black Forrest wrote:Which version of Perl? I am guess the platform is *Nix based?

It’s been awhile. I used to use it. Probably the biggest piece was a virus management front end for mcafee. Off course that was windows based.


I see one problem with what you've stated, and that's that you used Perl for McAfee. Not to laugh, but McAfee's a joke lol, everybody knows it. But in all seriousness, if you don't mind me asking, why exactly were you using Perl for a commercial product and how deep and extensive was your knowledge?

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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:48 am

Makko Oko wrote:
The Black Forrest wrote:Which version of Perl? I am guess the platform is *Nix based?

It’s been awhile. I used to use it. Probably the biggest piece was a virus management front end for mcafee. Off course that was windows based.


I see one problem with what you've stated, and that's that you used Perl for McAfee. Not to laugh, but McAfee's a joke lol, everybody knows it. But in all seriousness, if you don't mind me asking, why exactly were you using Perl for a commercial product and how deep and extensive was your knowledge?


As I said; it was a while ago. Long story short; we messed up and a worm got in. We lucked out as it was a resource killer rather then a file killer. The person who did the setups simply installed mcaffee at the time. People also had too much authority and disabled the update processes or stopped the service itself.

Perl was what we were using at the time. Stuff I wrote; scanned the network for installations and reported information was it installed? What version? What’s the dat file? Much of that was through the registry as there were cases of versions didn’t report things correctly.

Like you said mcafee wasn’t the greatest. It was what we had.

To cut down the worm attacks; we used a starvation approach. Machines actively infected or critical were brought to current versions right away. To handle updates of the software; I used the taskscheduler module to setup one time tasks. To handle dats I used the remote commands which updated from a central place. Also did other things like forced scans after hours, etc.

To keep the dats in order, I used a web page module to get version levels of files, etc.

More automation was planned and then one day we found out the contracts also included the management console (sighs). I pulled the plug on the scripts as it made sense to use the products console rather then the scripts. Especially after we pretty much killed the worm.

Like I said it was awhile ago. It was a fun experience. These days I am not seeing new development with perl these days. Mainly python.
Last edited by The Black Forrest on Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
*I am a master proofreader after I click Submit.
* There is actually a War on Christmas. But Christmas started it, with it's unparalleled aggression against the Thanksgiving Holiday, and now Christmas has seized much Lebensraum in November, and are pushing into October. The rest of us seek to repel these invaders, and push them back to the status quo ante bellum Black Friday border. -Trotskylvania
* Silence Is Golden But Duct Tape Is Silver.
* I felt like Ayn Rand cornered me at a party, and three minutes in I found my first objection to what she was saying, but she kept talking without interruption for ten more days. - Max Barry talking about Atlas Shrugged

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Roavin
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Postby Roavin » Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:51 am

[violet] wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:(a write-only line-noise language)

This is such slander. Perl is lovely. :hug:


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