I am a felon and a software engineer. I worked on commercial video games, big porn sites, analytics/marketing/advertising platforms and startups MVP's. I am now launching a company to help small businesses compete against bigger funded companies. ...
EDIT: Here is my proof. If you need ny more proof, let me know in the comments and Ill try to provide them if necessary. ;-)
EDIT 2: I am still answering questions. You can still ask me questions guys! I'm still online!
EDIT 3: I'm going to bed, its 2am here. Please, continue to post questions and Ill answer them when I wake up. Thanks!
EDIT 4: I'm back guys. Answering questions right now :)
My name is Steve Rodrigue. I am a 32 years old software engineer. I am now located on the south shore of Montreal (Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu). I am a french Canadian (Quebec). English is my second language. You can read my resume on linkedin. However, please don't message me there: I receive a ton of spam so my inbox is dead. If you want to contact me, follow the instructions on the irestful website.
So, at 14 years old I began creating free porn sites. At the time, I was creating websites called CJ (Circle Jerk) sites. Basically, they were websites that had thumbnails and text links that were linking to a software application, to redirect the traffic to other sites, that was returning me traffic back based on ratio. The goal with these sites was to piss off the surfer so much in his goal of watching free porn, that at one point he would realize that free porn didn't exist and finally pay for a paysite membership. I had a commission based on paysite sales I was referring. I was also selling 2 popunders and 1 popover to traffic networks. Basically, my free porn sites were a nightmare to visit.
At 15 years old, I began creating porn sites with content. They were called TGPs (Thumbnail Gallery Post). Basically, I was listing free picture galleries, created by others, and was charging for spots. I had a web application that discovered which thumbnail was being clicked more often and automatically adjusted the rankings based on their clicks/views ratio.
At 16 years old, I created Daily Movie Sites and MGP (Movie Gallery Post). Daily movie sites were basically websites that changed their free porn video every day. So, on monday, you would get part 1 of 15 of a DVD scene. The day after, you would get 2 of 15, etc. This type of site created a lot of returning traffic. MGP sites were the same as TGPs, but with very small clips in their galleries, instead of pictures.
By the time I reached 17, I was getting 400k unique visitors per day on my porn website network. So, I sold the network at its peak and decided to concentrate in my studies. High school was finished and I was entering CEGEP (Here in Quebec, we have a special school after high scool. Basically, during CEGEP, I attended computer science classes).
At 19, I began to be interested in spamming. I created a bot that was spamming MSN Messenger with porn related messages. Microsoft discovered the origin of this spam and sent me a cease and desist letter. Keep in mind that I was still living with my parents, so my father really didn't appreciate the letter.
Sadly, this letter didn't stop me in my series of bad actions. During that year, I began to learn about online fraud. I visited some russian forums and began to talk with various people that could provide me with various fraud-related items. While learning this new information, I discovered the algorithm to convert debit card information from a specific branch of the CITI bank in New York, to magnetic card stripes. So, I ordered a magnetic card encoder, did phishing and received my victim's debit card details and online bank access in my anonymous email account.
I then created physical debit cards with their information and withdrew money from bar/restaurant ATM's in my hometown. After a few days, I spent a lot of money in bars, paying people I didn't know drinks, then stopped. Basically, I withdrew around 60k$ in 3 days from various ATM machines.
Couple months later, 4 RCMP agents knocked at my parents door with a warrant, seized all my material and cash. The Journal de Montreal newspaper created an article on me back then.
At that point, I felt horrified. My parents were panicking, my mother stopped talking to me for at least a year. Everyone in my hometown knew I did fraud, it was a nightmare. So, I decided to move to Quebec city and finished my studies.
At 20 years old, I created a video game demo in C++ using OpenGL. I sent my demo to various game companies and landed a job as a junior video game developer at Beenox, a studio owned by Activision. I worked on a video game called Bee Movie, from Jerry Seinfeld.
The same year, I went to court, got sentenced for 2 years of prison in society, with 3 years of parole and 250 hours of community work. Basically, I could leave the house only for work and for medical purposes. During those 2 years, I worked a lot of over time: that was my way of not dealing with this.
Then, I quit the video game industry and began working for web companies. I worked with several CMS (Typo3, Drupal, Mambo CMS, NukePHP, etc.) to create websites for the company's customers. I worked there for 2 years. I personally really disliked being a consultant: we were working mainly for government agencies.
At one point, I created an invoice for a government agency where I had to quote a mysql database with backups for a year. So, it was 1 database on a server, where multiple other databases from other customers were hosted as well. Our original price was around 80$CAD for the year. So, I sent my service proposition and the government's project manager called me and told me that I had to increase my price otherwise he would look like a fool: he approved the same project for 20k$, the year before, with CGI. So, I got pressured and had to create a proposition at 10k$.
This reminded me of when I did fraud. I felt like I was de-frauding the government, but this time, I was the only one that thought it was bad. I couldn't live feeling like if I was de-frauding people again. So, I decided to leave that market.
I then worked online for various startup companies. I created MVP websites for small american companies. Most projects were 2-4 months long. This was a lot of fun but it was very unstable.
In 2011, I accepted a job at Manwin Canada. They are now called Mindgeek. Basically, they own pornhub, youporn, brazzers... and a ton of other porn related sites. They liked my resume and got hired very quickly. I handled multiple positions there, including Software Developer, Lead Developer, Senior Developer. I worked creating the new software architecture of Youporn, which was a lot of fun: it was the first time I had to deal with 20M unique visitors per day.
In 2012, I got arrested because I forgot to do around 10 hours of community work in my fraud-related sentence. I spent 2 weeks in jail before being sentenced, then got sentenced for 1 month in prison, during week ends. I served 2 week ends and the jail decided to release me for good conduct.
Then, I left Manwin to work for a company that was creating an advertising network in the porn industry. I worked there for 3 years then worked for several companies, worked on big data solutions, created the software architecture of complex systems under heavy use: it was a lot of fun.
However, after working on these platforms for a while, I realized that I wasn't really helping people around me. Nowadays, most people are closing their stores, losing their jobs because of automation platforms. Basically, I felt like I was part of the problem, not the solution.
For that reason, I am now working on open source softwares: I want to help small companies compete against the big platforms by giving them the necessary tools to fight properly. You can read more about it on our website. If you like the idea, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or on /r/irestful .
I'd like to be part of a company that will help small businesses combine their efforts to keep their market and keep resources in their communities, while serving their customers better. That way, every actor is happy in the process: business owners, customers and employees. Obviously, I can't raise funds from venture capital investors. So, I want to work with small businesses: I ask for donations from small businesses to help me help them. You can learn more about it on our contribution page.
Please, ask me any questions related to my life experience, my work experience, the company I am building... or anything else!
Thanks in advance, Steve