Just before I exited the elevator into the bank he works in, a tiny shiver moved through me when I realized how nervous I was. I heard his voice the moment I stepped into the hallway, l leaned into the doorjamb, and found him in his office. He stood with his back to the door and Bluetooth receiver in his ear. His arms were crossed and he was staring out the windows over those towering skyscrapers, giving the impression of a very solitary man, an individual who was separate from the world around him, yet entirely capable of ruling it. He turned, pivoting gracefully to catch me peeking. Oh shoot, what am I doing.. “Sydno? I’m here for the interview. May I come in?” He smiled and nodded “Please, come in.”
Bonjour, Sydno. I’m very thrilled you’ve accepted to be interviewed, where shall we start..?!
So, what’s your story? Tell me about yourself. What’s your name? How old are you? Do you work, study?
Hello, my name is David, I’m not telling it often because I rather want people to call me Sydno online. I’m 22 years old and I’ll finish my data science – finance risk management studies in a couple of months. I’ll then start working in a bank as a quant (quantitative analyst). As for xat, I’ve started using a xat chat in February 2011 and started hanging in official places the same year. I’ve had a pause between September 2014 and April 2016 and then started helping again!
I heard some rumors that you met the love of your life here, on xat. Could you tell me more about that? Were you nervous when you first decided to meet? Details please!
That’s completely true! I used to be the main owner of the most popular French chat that was embedded on an anime website. She discovered the website, the chat and me as well! We declared our love for each other on the 22nd of July 2011 (22/07/11, looks like my ID right?) but we only get to see each other IRL on January 2013. We were actually extremely nervous when we first met but things went pretty well. We now have big projects incoming, if you see what I mean!
What did you get her for Valentine’s Day?
Actually, this is going to ruin the myth but we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day! We both find it commercial. We went to the restaurant and to the cinema this week though, but it wasn’t on Valentine’s day!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Intuitive, Ambitious, Planner.
What were you like in high school?
I think I was the annoying student who wouldn’t work at all yet get good grades everywhere, the one who would insolently correct the teachers when they’re wrong.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
You may find it a bit boring but I don’t really have hobbies, maybe watching animes, reading, playing on my switch sometimes. I spend most of my spare time on xat anyway because I have a lot to study and a lot on xat to do too. I’m not getting overwhelmed though, I like having a lot to do.
How did you come up with the name “Sydno” ?
It’s a funny story! When I was 10 years old, I have a 2 years-old neighbor who would be very funny. I wanted my future child to be that funny and happy too so I wanted to call them after him. However, his name was Sydney and I didn’t like it much, so I decided I would call my child “Sydno” because I felt it was sounding better (LOL). The same year I started using MSN and went by Sydno online.
Do you have any pet peeves? If so, what are they?
I think I hate when people can’t get to the point straightly and take too much time to talk or when they don’t anticipate obvious outcomes.
What’s the most interesting thing about you?
I’m able to speak about a wild number of topics – Math, Economy, Philosophy, Litterature, Sociology – and I’m very curious. Also, it’s not that interesting but my Litterature teacher was in Macron’s class. Although, my teacher was the best student and Macron the worst!
We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
$1M for gifts and personal life use, $3M in gold, $3M in real estate and $3M in Art. If one cashes out properly, that should be enough for 2 or 3 generations without working.
When have you been the most satisfied in your life?
In no particular moment, or maybe at any given time. Each time I think about my life, I realize I have been very lucky and that this couldn’t have been better. I’m deeply happy with my current life and this is the most satisfying, I just wish this could continue forever.
Who are the top 5 people you trust on xat?
It’s hard to make a top 5. Even though I try to go by “Trust No One” motto, I do trust a lot of people, to a different extent. I could list the other volunteers, Admin or some contributors but I’ll try to be original. In alphabetical order, Andre, for allowing me to help the best I could; Chisame, my wife; Elea, who I share a lot with; Jedi, my teammate since the beginning and Masha, for being more than my right-hand person, a true friend.
Who would win in a fight? Crow or LaFleur?
I have NO idea! Why would they fight in the first place?
Now, let me ask you a few professional questions.
You recently took over Trade with Echo. How does that feel? Are you liking it so far?
I love it. Trade is the most complex chat I have ever seen. Each trader, each staff is a personality and has their own goal but somehow it works in such a way that prices are made on Trade. This is one of the purest theoretical markets. It’s also a big challenge for us because Trade has somehow be forgotten for the past years and a lot needs to be done. I feel like we’re taking the right path now, I’m still open to suggestions.
You’re also a volunteer. How did you feel when you were invited to join the team? And how is it like working with the rest of the volunteers?
I was really happy. Saying it was never a goal would be lying. I was somehow hinted it a few weeks before I was told and I almost screamed of happiness when I learned it officially. Once you start doing your tasks, you realize this is just a start and that there is a lot to do. I can now understand why some retired volunteers ended up seeing it as a curse. Working with the rest of the volunteers is great, especially now that we’re a smaller team only made of active volunteers. There’s really a day to day discussion and feedback and I feel like we share the tasks efficiently.
Tell us about a time you were very disappointed on xat. What happened?
I couldn’t think of a particular example but I’m often disappointed when I feel some users get things they don’t deserve (both in positive and negative terms). And this happens too often.
Would you change anything in regards of the ticket system? If so, what would you change?
I would make it more modern. The user-side of the OST looks old, the volunteer-side is even worse. Otherwise, I feel the OST is remarkably well handled given xat resources (people volunteering their time with no professional formation).
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Being what I am today. I’m not saying this too seriously because we’re all users first and foremost, I’m just glad to be able to assist Admin and users the best I can.
What is/are your favorite chat(s)?
I apologize but this has to be Chat! It has always been my home chat and I do really love everything about it. Trade comes second because I find it fantastic too. Then there’s Help. I feel like these 3 chats are the core of the official xat. I’m maybe delusional because there is xat_test too. I also tip my fedora to all chat managers, xat needs you all because xat is international!
What would you like xat to accomplish in 2019?
Finishing the HTML5 version and users liking it.
If Chris (admin) was sitting right next to me. What would you say to him? Be nice, please!
Thank you for making xat. I met tons of wonderful user including my beloved one. I wish you had hired actual employees when you could to push xat further but overall you have done a fantastic job.
Is there anything you would like to say to end this interview? Do you have any message or questions for me?
Thanks for interviewing me. I like sharing my thoughts on xat. We all tend to see the day to day issues (new powers, reports etc) but this is important to think about the bigger picture.
I looked up from the layout ad on the coffee table in front of me and got up, grabbed my backpack and extended my hand to shake his hand “Thank you very much for allowing me to do this!” He smiled in agreement and shook my hand. “Oh by the way, you’ve been working out have you? That handshake was intense!” I grinned as I walked out of the door.