1. You’re one of our few born-and-raised Charlotteans - hailing from Mint Hill and now residing in the ‘Mont. What is it about the Charlotte area that you love most?
MF: I actually have always lived “right outside” of Charlotte. I despise Charlotte traffic, so I avoid it as much as possible! Don’t even get me started on driving the streets of downtown Charlotte. If you need to go right you can’t, it’s one way. Need to go left, nah, that's one way too. I prefer the streets of the ‘Mont (Belmont, NC). Go whatever way you want, we allow it!
2. It’s hard to imagine E-dreamz without Flemdogg. You’ve been here for nearly the whole duration, and you have spearheaded the company’s development wing for most of that time. What’s the secret been for keeping E-dreamz’s technology competitive and always moving forward?
MF: Haha. Yes, I am definitely an old-timer. My first job outside of college was at a huge internet consulting firm (think big .com era), where I friended our President Nate from the start. Our office was small at the time and we became good friends. I worked a few other gigs after that, then finally accepted Nate’s offer to come work at E-dreamz. I haven’t looked back since.
I love technology at its core, so I love to tinker with things. Quite a bit of our development stack over the years has come from me playing around things and seeing something that worked quite well. Our current stack has been a home run, and we have done a great job of keeping it up to date and moving things forward.
3. As we embark on a new decade, what do you see the 2020s being all about from a web development standpoint?
MF: Man, that’s hard to answer for me. I am definitely one of those people who subscribe to the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. No need to over complicate things. My other development trait is to just get s**t done. So whatever can be used to meet the requirements of a project or task and allows me to do that in the quickest time frame would be my answer. The stack could change from task to task, but at the end of the day you need to ship it and move on. Just don’t over complicate things!
Mobile has already taken over for the most part, but things will keep moving that direction. Most people use their device browser (phone, tablet, etc…) instead of using their desktop computer. Desktops are used for streaming and gaming these days! So on to question 4!
4. If it’s not too hush-hush, care to catch us up on the latest with your burgeoning iRacing career?
MF: It’s definitely not a career! But man, it’s loads of fun for the most part. It’s actually crazy to think how I started sim racing while in college and how that ended up being iRacing years later. Back in the day (way back in the day) a company named Papyrus made the mack daddy Nascar game. I spent hours turning laps and even joined a few leagues. Fast forward to today, and iRacing was started by the guys who ran Papyrus back in the day. To see it evolve so much is crazy.
I had not really sim raced in more than a decade, outside of firing up F1 and using a controller
(boo!). When the pandemic hit, I got the bug again and grabbed a racing wheel. Took a bit to learn the tracks and cars, but have a few wins in official races on my resume and quite a few unofficial ones as well. It’s also a blast to race against real drivers from all over the world. I’ve ran races with a ton of the current and former Nascar drivers, and recently quite a few of the F1 guys (Verstappen, Norris, and Alonso).
5. How’s the family? Have you started teaching Sean to code yet?
MF: Family is doing well. This whole pandemic has changed schooling, but my wife and son are doing a great job handling that right now. Who would have ever imagined you would be learning via Zoom. But so far, so good. My wife has been a rock star in helping him every day navigate the remote learning experience.
No coding yet for the little man. We do like strategy type games, so we talk about that quite a bit, especially the game of Pokemon. He went to his first tournament at the end of last year and ran the table. It keeps his mind thinking, so we shall see where that leads him in the future. He is great at thinking and building things, so who knows. We will support him in whatever he decides to do!
Bonus: Given that 2020 has been basically the most nutso year ever, what do you think this year’s pre-election “October Surprise” might be?
MF: Well, one thing would be nice. As a life long-suffering Mets fan, we need some help. This year, and heck politics in general, have been a crap show. So maybe something along these lines:
On election day, we get invaded by aliens. They are nice ones, and not sent here to destroy us. They are intelligent beings, and quickly realize what the state of ALL politicians are right now. They recognize we could all be saved from this disaster. So they decide to eliminate the current structure and instate me as President and The Rock as VP. My entire presidency will be based on two words, “Common Sense”. My first executive order would be to become the owner and general manager of my beloved New York Mets. I think I could do a great job, after all, I have a few World Series under my belt as the GM on OOTP 21 with the Mets.
As crazy as this sounds, it’s the year 2020. Who the heck knows?!
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