Hello! My name is Matthew Verive, and I live in the beautiful city of Chicago. I’ve been designing, developing, and administering websites for the majority of my life, starting at the age of 8.
How I got started
In November of 2004, I got my first Pokémon game, Pokémon LeafGreen, and was hooked. I played the game as much as I could, and when I wasn’t playing the game, I was browsing through Pokémon fan sites on our dial-up Internet connection. After realizing how many different Pokémon fan sites were out there, my 8-year-old self had an idea: what if I made my own site?
And thus Pokémon Regions was born, hosted on Yahoo! GeoCities and created in Microsoft FrontPage. Both GeoCities and FrontPage were set up to make it easy to create a website without needing to know how to code, but I quickly outgrew the limitations of the WYSIWYG editor and decided to start learning HTML. So, I checked out a copy of HTML4 for Dummies from the local library, and got reading.
Eventually, after several iterations of a static HTML site on various free hosts, I decided I wanted to do more with the site and learn more on all the different components that make up a website. Thus, near the end of my 8th grade year in 2010, I signed up with a cheap VPS (virtual private server) host and was given SSH access to my own (virtual) Ubuntu box. From there, I installed and configured the rest of what I needed: a web server (Apache), a database server (MySQL), programming language (PHP), and content management system (MediaWiki). This was all a bit daunting for tween me, but after a few failed attempts, I eventually got it working – and the resulting site is still live today!
Since then, I’ve set up dozens of websites using WordPress, MediaWiki, and more, and continue to learn each and every day.
What I do now
Currently, I work for a Fortune 500 company doing information security work (vulnerability management, to be specific). In my free time, I build websites! Currently, I manage just under a dozen websites, hosting several on my own servers.
Whenever spare time exists, I love to tinker around with old computers – swapping parts, getting old hardware and software to work, installing obscure operating systems, etc. This is rarely a smooth experience, but it’s still somehow fun! I especially enjoy working with Palm PDAs, a platform I grew up using and still sometimes comes in handy (IR blasters are amazing).
Outside of technology, I run Pokémon card and video game tournaments in Chicago, and help various Pokémon news sites keep track of upcoming products. I also love to sing, and have been in choirs consistently since the first grade. I’ve also recently found enjoyment in hiking, although my body doesn’t quite enjoy it as much as my brain does.