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Coderlani QnA

Nicola Administrator Posts: 903 Achaean staff
As per Makarios' post, if you have any questions about applying to be one of our coders, here's the place to ask!


  • Haloshire
    Haloshire Member Posts: 31 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited June 2017
    1. How much of a split would you anticipate there would be between optimizing/refactoring old code/bugfixing and introducing truly new functionality?
    2. What is the expected level of documentation on the codebase? Every major function commented, layers of complexity commented?
    3. Is your usual methodology waterfall, agile, scrum?
    4. I have heard tell that coders are held to more strict standards than regular Celani, and that they can never return to playing Achaea or even other IRE games. Is this accurate? If not, is the limitation the same as regular Celani?
    5. For divine transition, the implication is that volunteer coders will also need to go through creative (content creation) training in order to advance and become a divine. Is this content creation training expected, or is it acceptable for a volunteer coder to just pound out some sweet lines of code into eternity?
    6. EDIT- or \n?
    7. \t or doublespace?
    8. EDIT2 - Is the rapture engine documenation still up to date?  (https://www.ironrealms.com/rapture/manual/files/Overview-txt.html)
  • Dalinor
    Dalinor Moderator Posts: 24 Moderator
    1. Our volunteer coders are, at the end of the day, volunteers! So they get a fair amount of latitude on the projects they'd like to take on. We'd certainly love it if someone was (for some demented reason) super-focused on bug-fixing and refactoring but cool new stuff is COOL NEW STUFF! As far as what actually exists, there are always a ton of bugs in the queue, there's always refactoring to be done, and there's always new functionality to be coded. In short, there's a lot of everything and we try to give people latitude of choice. 

    2. Much like many development teams, our documentation is somewhat ... aspirational. Anything that is seen by players or, (fairly commonly) if we are coding for a tool that will be used internally by other Gods / Demigods / Celani, we definitely make an effort to document how it is used. Internally, we try to do the best we can, balanced with #1 above, mostly at the "document a function, leave a comment for any tricky bits" level.

    3. We are a very small development team, so none of those quite fit exactly. Often a single coder will be responsible for a discrete unit of functionality, and so has it to their discretion how they handle it. I would say we try to be fairly agile, in that we value getting something out the door and then tweaking it, but we do make sure to have at least a fair amount of testing internally for anything major. You can see this from the mementoes mini-release I did last night -- I hope most things were pretty clean, because I did a fair amount of testing, and then I ran about fixing small bugs as they arose. 

    4. and 5. I'll combine these two and hopefully kill two birds with one stone. It is expected and required that a new Coderlani goes through the exact same training and steps that any other Celani (who would be destined to become a God and do mainly RP and content creation) would go through. The only difference being, they have a slightly different "final project" to graduate with. During this process, while there are a lot of systems we use to create mobs/quests/areas, which have elements of scripting to them, this is fully distinct from the actual code of Achaea. 

    Up to this point, Coderlani are held at the same restrictions as other Celani, they may decide it's not for them and go back to their normal mortal lives. There is a very distinct moment, and it will be made explicit, once you've completed that program and choose to continue on; after that you will delve into the coder-specific duties, and there is essentially no going back. 

    I am not 100% sure about other IRE games, once you've reached that point, and leave it to @Nicola or @Makarios to confirm.

    6. \n

    7. Three spaces.

    8. As far as I know, yes.
  • Sayenna
    Sayenna Member Posts: 188 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Dalinor said:
    7. Three spaces.
  • Makarios
    Makarios Administrator Posts: 1,966 Achaean staff

    To expand on that:

    1. Basically what Dalinor said.

    2. Comment it if its not clear. If its not clear from the code, you should have a reason why not. Basically we try to assign to the school of thought that it should be obvious what you're trying to do most of the time - most of our extensive documentation is in help files or on our wiki.

    3. We're more agile than anything, like Dali said.

    4. Other ire games are no problem.

    5. This is pretty flexible as we know some coders don't like the creative stuff. Its mostly we require everyone to have familiarity with the core systems, particularly mobprog (which is what our creative team use to implement dynamic mob functionality and such).

    8. Some newer features are not at that link, we've had a few major engine updates lately. The core stuff is there though and the newer additions are either programming constructs most experienced people will be familiar with already (ternary/postfix operators for instance) or expansions on already documented features like the database searching system.

  • Kythra
    Kythra Member Posts: 285 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    1) Let's say someone missed Celani call but had no real experience in coding and saw Codelani call. Would they have as much of a chance here as they did Celani, or is there a minimum expectation of knowing Rapture or some coding language?

    2) Do Codelani turned Divine have a bit more of an upper hand over Celani turned Divine in the sense they know better and more in depth how to code and format things?

    3) If you weren't sure where you wanted to go as a Divine but also didn't mind the work as a behind the scenes coder, do you have the option to not go anywhere after the final testing presuming you pass? 

    *Out of Codelani specific questions for more general ones*

    4) Is there an NDA or some form of mutual agreement not to tell others what the tests or whatnot if you fail the final exam and get dismissed back to your mortal characters?

    5) Do the other volunteers know who you are if you come on board? Or is it all anonymous unless you say "Yeah I'm Kythra."?

    6) Are there Skype conference calls or some form of live chatting? Or is communication all done through things like emails?
  • Ahmet
    Ahmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Git or Mercurial?
    Huh. Neat.
  • Dalinor
    Dalinor Moderator Posts: 24 Moderator
    As an overall statement, and to at least partially answer your first few questions, Coderlani do not have an end goal of taking up an in-game god role. Once they pass the initial Celani training, instead of transitioning to a godrole they would begin learning the code and taking up coder activities. I don't say it is impossible for someone to do both, but it would be an exception for an exceptionally motivated volunteer. So:

    1. If you are not capable in the skills listed in the Announce post, it would not be helpful to apply. We do not accept Celani during a Coderlani call (nor vice versa!)

    2. As above, it is rare that a coder also plays an in-game divine, with an order, running events, etc. That said everyone in the garden is free and encouraged to help out behind the scenes and can take opportunities to participate in events if they wish! I'd say that coding and doing things like mobprog are similar but different. And we act as a team in the Garden, so any advantage one person might have is only a benefit to all of us!

    3. Again, for coders we do not expect you to take up a god role.

    4. Yes, all volunteers are subject to NDA! Especially coders! I wouldn't so much say there is a "final exam" you can fail, but merely a final project to show what you have learned, with which you can get as much help (within reason) as you need.

    5. Depending on the position, some of the existing Garden may have read your application, and hence know who you "were" in a former life. But a big part of the initial phase of training is learning to separate from a mortal way of thinking and i hope (and believe) that it is quite rare that your past characters are ever used against you. And no one will ever refer to it directly (or very much shouldn't). 

    6. In addition to in-game channels, we have a few other in-game tools (similar to in-game projects and things); we also have an internal wiki for documentation, and we use Slack for communication as well. 
  • Dalinor
    Dalinor Moderator Posts: 24 Moderator
    Ahmet said:
    Git or Mercurial?
    Missed this question. Git 
  • Nazihk
    Nazihk Member Posts: 993 @ - Epic Achaean
    If you are allowed to pass the Point of No Return, is there a way to retire off your mortals to put that investment into another game? 
  • Micaelis
    Micaelis Member Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I can't code but I'd like to show my appreciation for naming this 'Coderlani'.

    That is all.
  • Vallie
    Vallie Member Posts: 246 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    How large is the coderlani team?

    Can you reveal an average turnover rate for volunteers?

    Can you return to coderlani-ing if you stop coderlani-ing?
  • Bann
    Bann Member Posts: 401 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    1) What if like, your only experience with a language is like, zScript/Lua? I have no idea how that measures up to Rapture.

    2) If you don't have any formal training with coding, is it ok to be more or less self-taught? Basically, everything I've learned has come from looking at and breaking/copying other people's stuff until I figured out how it works. Is that frowned on?

    3) If you do become a Coderlani, do you get a full retire or is it still what, like, 50%?

  • Dalinor
    Dalinor Moderator Posts: 24 Moderator
    @Nazihk - Yes, you would be allowed to retire your Achaean characters to use the credits in another game.

    @Vallie - We don't really speak in any specific details about the size of our team, sorry! As for turnover, each volunteer is different and has different circumstances, so we don't go into too much detail there either.

    As far as leaving and returning, it would depend on the situation, but we try to be as flexible as possible, as long as we are made aware of the situation! If there is some specific circumstance that would keep them from volunteering for a while, we will very readily do whatever we can and work with the person. If someone just flakes, we will obviously be less forgiving. It is volunteering and we don't expect to chain you to a desk, but we do need to be able to reliably plan based on who we have available! 
  • Makarios
    Makarios Administrator Posts: 1,966 Achaean staff
    Bann said:
    1) What if like, your only experience with a language is like, zScript/Lua? I have no idea how that measures up to Rapture.

    2) If you don't have any formal training with coding, is it ok to be more or less self-taught? Basically, everything I've learned has come from looking at and breaking/copying other people's stuff until I figured out how it works. Is that frowned on?

    3) If you do become a Coderlani, do you get a full retire or is it still what, like, 50%?

    Self taught is fine, but a fairly major aspect is less knowing a language and more knowing your programming fundamentals/design. We're pretty big on efficiency (for obvious reasons) so making your algorithms run quick is important, as is picking a good design. Basically we don't care if you know our favourite C derivative, but we make sure candidates know the universally important programming principles.

  • Jonathin
    Jonathin Retired in a hole.Member Posts: 3,416 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    You are a monster and any nests you have need to be staked through the heart and burnt for good measure.

    My site will remain up, but will not be maintained. The repository will continue to have scripts added to it if I decide to play another game. Maybe I'll see you around in Starmourn!
    Tutorials and scripts  The Repository

  • Sobriquet
    Sobriquet Member Posts: 2,855 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    My whole Achaea offense is based on nested IFs.. 

    (Party): Mezghar says, "Stop."
  • Nicola
    Nicola Administrator Posts: 903 Achaean staff
    Bringing this thread back to life to pair with the current coder call!
  • Orthelm
    Orthelm Member Posts: 1
    D'arvit, I missed the recent call.  would have sent in an application for this. Ah well, I'll wait for the next call. I'm much, much better at Customer Service than coding anyway!
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