This month on Customer Spotlight, we speak to a team of IT Professionals who publish and manage an online community called LessThanDot.
Q. Hello guys, firstly thanks a lot for taking your time out to talk to us. Tell us a little about yourselves, where do you live and what do you do?
A. The common thread among all of the LTD team is their passion for IT – in many different forms, and of course the sharing of this passion and experience with other like minded people. The combined experience of the founders is quite staggering, and is as diverse as you could imagine – from DBAs to developers, to hardware technicians, to support personnel, to analysts, project managers and architects. The founders are based all over the world, from the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the UK and the US, and are united by the powers of the inter-web tubes… :-). You can find out more about us on our About us page. We started working on the site 6 years ago and launched 5 years ago on June 1st 2008.
Q. Where can we find your website?
Q. What technology/platform is your website based on?
A. The website is running on a linux server with Apache as the webserver. We used PHP because we decided to combine existing software and the existing software was all written in PHP. For the Blogs we used B2Evolution, for the forums PHPBB and for the wiki we used mediawiki. And then we spent some time making themes that lined up and a centralized authentication system.
The founders initially met in online forums and discussion groups, and gradually started to form a private group into which invitations eventually made their way to each of the members. Over a few years, this group became one of the most enjoyable places to discuss ideas, thoughts, problems, gripes and many other things that were important to the members. Unfortunately, other forums felt somewhat lacking in content, community spirit and functionality, and in the midst of frustrating quality of service from the private forum provider and with the ambition of creating a truly great community of IT people they decided to make it a reality – and build their own community.
One of our members (gmmastros) made SQLCop. The purpose of SQL Cop is to highlight potential problems in your SQL Server database. SQL Cop detects many different issues, some of which may not be a problem for you, and therefore can be ignored. However, it is recommended that you investigate each item displayed by SQL Cop and carefully decide whether or not it should be corrected.
And of course we are very proud about how the site is helping other people on a daily basis.
A. All of us are professional IT-people, most of us are working with databases and development, some are architects. And in our spare time we work on open source projects or answer questions on MSDN and other forums. Most of us are on twitter. One could wonder if we are ever away from our computers, and at least once a year we are, when we get together for some fun.
A. Better QA when setting up the dedicated server. We had to restart our setup procedure because we got 1 500GB disk instead of the 2 x 250GB disks we asked for. And the second time around one of the DIMM’S was not seated correctly so we only saw 4GB RAM instead of the 8GB.
You can always contact us via our contact page http://lessthandot.com/