Look behind the curtain and get to know the inventor of the infamous Red Button.

Much of what happens around The Escapist can be very mysterious, especially when it involves the Tech Team. From cardboard fort jailing to swirling thread vortexes and phantom banning, they certainly have a flair for the dramatic punchline. Take a peek behind that curtain this week as we turn our community spotlight on our lead programmer, Thynameismud.

Mud, known in real life as Louis Weber IV, is a web developer who started working for The Escapist back in 2009. He enjoys heavy metal, mechanical engineering, automotive repair and spoiling his Border Collie named Tweak. Since joining the company he has worked on crafting several aspects of the site including the ignore option, personality quizzes and the shiny new navigation bar. He’s also created some of the more infamous Escapist badges, such as his personal favorite, The Red Button.

What is your idea of comfort food?

Pizza and beer.

What is something you never thought you would do?

Have the opportunity to share my work with a large audience. I spent a bit of my teenage years working on guild websites and friends band’s websites. That’s when a couple of guys who were up to no good started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got into one little fight and my mom got scared and said you’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air. Yalp.

Is there a secret to being a good programmer?

Always test everything you do.

Just about anyone can write a bit of code that will accoplish a task, the trick is getting that bit of code to do only do that task and nothing else

The best smell in the world is…

When you’re out by the beach and a thunderstorm comes rolling in, right before it rains there’s such a relaxing smell that fills the air.

Is there a song that always gets stuck in your head?

Not really a song, but more like the first 3 seconds of Justin Beiber’s Baby,
DUN… DA DUN.. ooowhaAAAoooAAAaoooo

What is the most exciting thing you’ve done since joining The Escapist?

One of the project’s I’ve enjoyed the most was Puzzle Adventure. While there was a lot of work involved getting it the puzzles put together, watching the community work through our logic was a lot of fun.

Okay, what’s up with The Red Button?

The Red Button’s history started when I was looking into how we could improve upon badges for an upcoming contest. I made the first version of the button where it only could be clicked in certain spots of the site. Virgil then showed me this neat trick that made the button useful throughout the whole site. Sometime a little later I started playing with some design tools and I had idea for what is now my second favorite badge, The Spin Button.

That’s very nice… now the big question: Why Justin Bieber?

There’s very few things that will cause an immeditate annoyance for the community. The only two I could think of were Twlight and Mr.Bieber. Then I talked to ckeymel about my idea for the badge. She showed me that picture of Mr. Bieber, and well, that’s how he became the choosen one.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring web developers out there?

Just keep coding, and constantly challenge yourself to accoplish more difficult tasks. The interwebs is constantly changing, and the bar for developers is only getting higher.

If you would like to nominate someone for an upcoming Community Spotlight, feel free to let me, Nasrin, know through a PM or by posting in the official thread or user group! When nominating, please tell us why this user deserves to be in the next Community Spotlight and provide links if possible.

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