Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Job History

This post is an updated version of one from several years ago.

I had a request to post on my job history in the Uni, and how I got to be CEO. I'll try to summarize as best as I can without loading up my chatlogs from 7 years ago (yes, I do save all my chatlogs. I'm weird). Dates will be somewhat approximate, as I'm trying to reconstruct this from memory as best as I can.

I first joined the Uni in Sept of 07. For the most part, I just hung around in forums, chatted with people, and wrote a few short guides, covering areas such as types of tanking, how a passive tank works, etc... As time passed, I tried my hand at a few other jobs, such as mentoring some people. That spring, I was approached by a director named Acacia Incana.

At that point, there wasn't the same type of organizational chart for the Uni that we have today. People didn't necessarily have defined job duties, but she was in charge of the hangars and most tackling 101 classes. She had been put in charge after series of industrial people had left the uni, such as kodell and finrear. I'm not sure who was exactly in charge of what previously (and I'm not sure all the directors even knew). She hired me as a hangar officer, which was an interesting job.

I was given a set of screenshots and told "make the hangars look like that." Apparently, hangar officers (meaning just Acacia and Dlar) had simply just compared what was in the hangar to a screenshot, then pulled modules from our sorting hangar to refill it. This was extremely time consuming, and not exactly user friendly, as the same hangar might be in 2 different screenshots from where she'd had to scroll down to get all the mods. Additionally, there was no monitoring of backstock except by eye. A lot of times, we'd be completely out of a module before we noticed we needed to restock our backstock, let alone our front hangar supplies. The hangars lacked any sort of overarching organizational scheme, and frankly scared me quite a bit at the thought of having to deal with it.

I did some work to make hangars a bit easier, and got some assistants. I had the idea of using API pulls to automatically generate stocking reports and production requests (Turhan would implement and surpass my idea later), but lacked the coding skills to really implement it. I did put into place some procedures to try and make things easier than just looking at screenshots, and to simplify how to order new items when our backstock was low.

That June (i think), Acacia moved on to Bob and I was promoted to full hangar manager (not director). Dee Carson (Director of Ops under MM, who had just replaced Kassie that winter) had begun organizing the Uni into something that looked like an organizational chart. During the summer, the Director of Logistics job was either unfilled, or filled by Sabre A for a few weeks (a pvp guy and director who had been in and out of the Uni several times). Sabre A left the Uni once again, the position was unfilled for a while, and I was promoted to Director of Logistics at the end of the summer. I had only been in the Uni for less than a year, and hadn't even been playing eve for 2 years. I now had a staff, and managers underneath of me (as a side note, one of my managers was Irdath, who's mining classes continually started wars). Turhan got my old job as hangar manager, and I started trying to figure out the other divisions and integrate them into a collective unit.

During my tenure as Director of Logistics, we completely revamped how every one of the divisions under logistics works, added new programs like copying services, refining services, byom, freighter production, and pyos. I added an entire new division (marketing - Pyos), and did basic planning for a future expansion into a transport division. We redid our entire hangar structure (got rid of some hangars, retasked others, changed what was stocked). I've seen Dee, Acacia, and Sabre (along with some other directors from my time as a student) move on in EVE, and Keld (then the Diplomacy Director) get promoted to Director of Operations, and eventually CEO when Morning Maniac stepped down.

After several years as Director of Logistics, Keld approached me about taking on a new role. In September of 2012 he was having some major changes in his life, and needed someone to take over as Director of Operations. Traditionally, a Director of Operations will run day to day stuff in the Uni when the CEO is unable to take an active daily leadership role, or is staying on as a figurehead. I performed in that role for almost 6 months, during which time Keld felt that his future in EVE was coming to an end, and felt it was time for him to step down as CEO. He chose me to become the next CEO, and we spent some time coordinating the transition before announcing my new position in March of 2013. At that point, Keld stepped down from being a leader in the Uni, following the footsteps of many other leaders from our past.

As Director of Operations and CEO I've implemented some significant changes. Our approach to wars and wartime operations have seen some fundamental shifts. Our rules of engagement in different areas of space have been updated to what I believe are a better fit with the current state of EVE. Additionally, we've expanded opportunities for our students to participate in activities with people outside of the Uni. Our campuses have heavily expanded, with large percentages of our students finding their niche in solitude, low-sec, npc null, w-space, or mining. I would like to think that I have implemented some positive changes to the Uni, and will continue to do so in the future.

Over the last 7 years, we have seen many changes. Its not always been a smooth transition, and sometimes change took longer than it should have, but I think the current Uni is much better than what we used to have, and think it will continue to improve.

 Its been a lot of changes during my time in the Uni, with each individual I've mentioned (and many more) all changing the Uni and leaving their mark. While some of the names are more remembered for the drama when they left, they did have positive effects during their tenure. If I ever leave the Uni (I really don't want to. I like my job), I plan on learning from what I've seen with them and leaving quietly, so only my accomplishments and not the drama are remembered.

Monday, May 12, 2014

What is it like as CEO?

With changes in my job over the last few years, I have decided to update a post I originally did long ago.

I've found that people don't really understand what the CEO or directors in the Uni actually do, so I decided I'd try to help shed some light on our job. Every department will be slightly different, as each director is in charge of different aspects of the Uni. However, there will be many commonalities.

 First, I tend to set my alarm to wake me up 15-20 minutes early each day so I have time to log into the forums and read whatever has been posted while I'm asleep. I will admit I don't read every thread (Hi&Bye forum, I'm looking at you), but I read all the ones posted to common E-uni areas. Some of the posts may require a statement from me to refocus the discussion, clarify my viewpoint, clarify a University policy, or just because I find it funny. I try to avoid taking sides in major discussions, as I don't want someone to see my post as "This will never change." I will make some contributions if I feel a certain point is being missed. If good points are made in a discussion, I will, and have often changed my view and University policy as a result.

 In addition to the normal areas that students see, there are several forums that are only available to directors/managers. There are actually 3 levels of leadership forums, one for directors only, one for directors and managers, and one for all staff. This is in addition to the forum section specifically for each individual department, such as logistics, education, or human resources. Also, there is a forum section for student records, where it is posted when people have broken a rule, the consequences, communication logs with the person, etc... I comment in any of these forums if I feel its necessary. I need to remain informed on what each department of the University is doing, so I will monitor their threads, and make a comment if a policy decision needs to be made. I rarely post in the student records forum, as there are directors much more suited to this role than me. When i do post, it is usually as the final decision on a specific consequence for a student. In all, I estimate something like 80-100 forum sections I monitor.

In addition to forums, several groups in the Uni have their own Slacks.  I typically will review those at least once a day, reading everything that has been posted.  However, I will admit to skimming the more active ones.

Directors probably have similar duties on the forums, except they will mostly be focused on the sections that are in their Department, have have less of a need to be informed about other sections. They are, however, expected to have a good overview of all of the Uni to provide general leadership across all sections if needed.

Next, I'll check forum PMs and evemails to respond as needed. These could includes status reports or requests from my Directors or managers, questions from students, requests for info from outside people, tech support for the forums, or requests directed at a uni program I directly administer (like refining). I'll check the Uni wallets for any changes overnight. Logging in by itself is an interesting process, as I have 3 main characters devoted to Uni duties (Azmodeus Valar, Irjuna Valar, and University Voice), along with several alts as CEO of various other IVY corps (2 that I need to regularly check and others that need to be checked less frequently), and several ooc alts that do various functions for the Uni. Throughout the day I will continue to check forums, evemails, email, and various web resources we use to administer programs in the University.  I typically receive more daily mails via my position in the Uni than I do in my professional job.

When I get home from work, I usually repeat the entire process listed above, and do it again before I go to bed (my wife is a very forgiving person). During this time I'll also spend some time logged in chatting with management/directors about anything that is going on, department chat channels, chat.e-uni making the occasional really bad joke, or just answering questions that pop up. When not doing corp stuff, I also spend some time in the WHC horribly failing at PVP.

Lastly, I have ownership of all of EVE University's digital assets. That means that I occasionally must do stuff with our web host, DNS, paypal, etc... Thankfully, that is not a daily event.

Now, these are just the normal daily activities related to my job in the Uni. Directors and the CEO have additional duties that pop up. I also will have to look at the director's forum section and comment on any policy or rule changes being proposed. We also have the occasional fires to put out between students, or between directors. We have official meetings where we discuss what is going on, any changes that need to be made, recap the time since the last meeting, and prepare for the future. Contrary to poplar belief, the directorate is not a unified front on many issues. We debate some things back and forth each meeting (or in our forums), before deciding what direction the Uni should take on an issue. Even if a director loses an argument (and I've lost several when I was a Director), we accept it and move forward, supporting whatever the official uni stance will be. Part of being a director is being able to put aside some of your own personal wants in order to support the Uni. As CEO, I contribute in all of this, and have the final decision on all policy changes made.

The most interesting part of this, is that I actually enjoy it. Yes, its a lot of work, but for some reason I have a psychological need to help people (i blame my mother), I enjoy the challenge of running some of these programs, and truly enjoy leading my department. When i was first named logistics director, we'd have something like 4-5 people in that post within the previous year, with no established procedures, and no real hangar organization. In fact, the sorting hangar deeply scared me when i first took over. Organizing the chaos was not easy, but it was somewhat fun. That same experience has carried over to CEO. Except now instead of organizing logistics program, I have to organize the entire Uni and its programs. Thankfully, my directors and managers are quite honestly one of the best groups of people I've ever had the opportunity to work with. In fact, I really wish the people I worked with in my real life job were as dedicated and competent as my managers and staff in the Uni. If they were, my real life would be a lot easier.

Being CEO isn't easy, and it is very time consuming (at least my department is), but it is rewarding for me. There are some aspects of my job I wish I didn't have to deal with (freighter runs of minerals, pointless drama...), but its been great helping the Uni for the last few years, and I don't regret my decision to take the job. Its been an honor working for the Uni, and I look forward to more great years to come.

Monday, February 3, 2014

E-UNI in 2013

As we get closer to our 10th birthday celebration, I wanted to take some time to share some highlights from 2013.

I believe that 2013 was a great year for the Uni (or at least me). E-UNI saw the transition from one CEO to the next, changes in rules, and the continual growth of the University and our services. To put the scale of this in perspective, here are some highlights from 2013.

-We removed rules preventing students from flying with other EVE pilots and organizations
-We increased access to Sov Null
-Removed rules restricting killrights and bounties
--We had substantial changes to our WSOP, including our approach to war. For just a highlight of those changes, look at ... ldid=45812

University PVP has been incredibly strong and varied this year, with tremendous improvements in participation since the previous year.

Full year 2013 (2012)
Kills: 30456 (14721) Losses: 45790 (31740)
Damage done (ISK): 1921.69B (1018.96B) Damage received (ISK): 1654.98B (1162.77B)
Runtime: 364 (365) days Efficiency: 53.73% (46.7%)

206% kills, 144% losses, 188% ISK destroyed, 142% ISK lost with 7,03 %-point higher efficiency.

Slightly different data from to get information on average monthly numbers:
Median Kills / losses: 2502 (923) / 3383 (2040)
Median ISK destroyed / lost (B ISK): 179 (61) / 123 (74)
Median efficiency: 59,10% (49,53%)

271% kills, 166% losses, 292% ISK destroyed, 167% ISK lost with 9,57 %-point higher efficiency.

Some interesting numbers for 2013 (2012):
capital ships destroyed: 44 (26)
capital ships lost: 5 (6)
Supercapitals destroyed: 5 (0)
structures razed: 400 (2)

Our campuses have shown incredible strength this year, establishing themselves in new homes, growing, and maintaining a great learning environment. We have strong communities in all areas of space, with talented people in charge. One of the hardest transitions for any group is to continue after key leaders and individuals move on. This year all of the campuses have accomplished this feat, sometimes multiple times in the same campus, with no disruption in services or activity.

Personnel officers have a never-ending job. Despite this, they have not only kept on top of the work, but substantially improved the process for all new people joining. The procedure has been streamlined and clarified and the queue to join is currently just a few days, as opposed to weeks at the beginning of the year. They have done over ten thousand different actions in our recruitment tool, with over five thousand people interviewed. Some volunteers have interviewed literally hundreds of students over the last year.

The Wiki
The Wiki has shown increased use as well, with several million pageviews per month now. It is our hope that continued work by volunteers can help keep it updated and current for the future.

Education has also continued its tradition of teaching new pilots in Eve. The volunteers in that department have averaged almost 1.5 classes per day, and almost 1 corporate event per week. This is an amazing number of manhours devoted to helping other EVE pilots. During the last year we’ve also moved to more public classes, spreading our assistance to a wider number of people.

Logistics has continued its great job helping students have the necessary supplies to survive.

Total ISK reimbursed to new players: ~46.6 billion
Note: This does not include items given out via the hangars or the skillbook wallet.

T1 Replacements
326 Frigates
281 Destroyers
1012 Cruisers
1934 requests processed, 1624 approved

T2: Old program (2013-01-01 to 2013-10-06)
171 requests, 155 approved

T2: Consolidated SRP (2013-10-06 to 2013-12-31)
155 requests, 128 approved

1352 requests, 1113 approved (65 returning players accepted on SP)


I think we can all see that the University has had a successful year by many measures, but there is always room for improvement. It is my hope that next year I can report higher numbers in every category, with a increase in quality as well.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Birthday, Farewells, and Change

E-UNI is now celebrating its 9th birthday, with a proud history of helping and guiding new players behind us. However, we cannot rest upon that tradition, but must constantly reevaluate and seek improvements. Some of the changes we attempt will be successful, and others may not live up to expectations, but I am sure that all of us will face these changes with an open mind, and with the goal of continuing E-UNI’s tradition for another nine years.

The first change facing us this birthday is our biggest, and something that has only happened once before in our history. Kelduum Revaan, our current CEO, is stepping down from his position as CEO.

Kelduum has been a vital part of E-UNI for many years, providing us with leadership and guidance throughout much of the Uni’s history. He has been our Director of Diplomacy, Director of Operations, CEO, and most recently, served the greater community as a CSM member. He has single handedly run most of the Uni’s web services for many years. His passion and dedication for E-UNI has been unparalleled.

It is hard to picture E-UNI without Kelduum in it, as he has been integral to its functioning since I joined the corporation. However, all things must eventually come to an end, and Kelduum’s time running the Uni is ending. He is at a different point in his life now, with new interests, activities, and time constraints. He will be sorely missed, and all of us will be poorer for his absence, but we will continue. In the years to come, Kelduum, like Morning Maniac before him, will be one of the legends of E-UNI history; a shining example of our ideals throughout time. Though his time leading us is ending, his memory will live forever.

Please join me in thanking Kelduum for his years of dedicated leadership and service, and wishing him the best in the future.

With his leaving, I have been chosen to take over as CEO. I have served the Uni as a mentor, recruitment officer, hangar officer, hangar manager, Director of Logistics, and Director of Operations. Despite all that, the thought of having to replace Kelduum is incomprehensible, as his contributions cannot be replaced. I am here to help our community and am open to any honest feedback. We may not always agree, but I will always listen. All I can promise to you is that I will continue to try my best to live up to the purpose of the Uni, and do my best to guide the Uni as well as Kelduum and Morning Maniac have done before me.

In this spirit of change, we are starting our 10th year of existence with some significant changes.

First, we are loosening our restrictions on what ships and modules can be used. Currently, students have a list of ships that they should not fly under certain circumstances, without certain levels of experience, or lose to certain opponents. Under the new policy, you may fly any ship you like, other than capitals. We only ask that faction be restricted to sophomores and above, and unique/T3/pirate ships and mods only be used by graduates. This will give you time to learn when and why to use them. Capitals can only be used with permission from a Director, to ensure you have the necessary support to use it effectively. It is our hope that every student will responsibly use this freedom to explore their possibilities in New Eden. We encourage all of you to choose ships wisely, and make decisions that benefit you and the University.

We are here as an institute of learning, and if people lose ships imprudently, they will probably get a conversation from our Guidance Department to review how to improve their flying and avoid those sorts of losses in the future. Unfortunately, there will be a small number of people that will be unable or unwilling to learn, despite our best efforts, and they will have to be dealt with on an individual basis.

Second, we are changing our rules regarding which areas of space our pilots can fly in. Previously, students were not allowed to enter null-sec space that was player claimable (sov null). We are looking at relaxing this restriction so that our students can roam into sov-null and try to find some good fights. We will not be claiming space or engaging in structure warfare. We will continue to have some limits, such as only allowing people to enter sovereign null space when they are in a small gang or fleet with an experienced ILN FC.

This change is just to allow our roaming gangs another area of the game, and increase our students’ opportunities to learn. Fighting in sov null involves different types of tactics and opponents than other areas, and it is something we want our students to experience. When a student transitions to wanting to live in sov-null, they are probably ready to leave the University and join a group occupying that space. We hope that these roams will help expose them to that area of the game before making the choice to move for good.

Third, we will be doing a trial run on relaxing our restrictions on combat fleets. Currently, students should not be in combat fleets with individuals who do not have a standing of +10 with the Uni. This has limited people from using alts to support their combat fleets. Alts are a part of EVE, and our restriction has limited the ability of our students to explore this area of gameplay. Now, we will allow combat fleets with alts in an NPC corporation. This will allow most alts, such as scouting or booster alts, to be useful to members, without severe diplomatic consequences. As with other rules, we ask our students to be wise in its application. Actions involving alts that result in diplomatic incidents may cause us to reevaluate this rule.

Lastly, we will be rewriting our WSOP to better reflect the realities of EVE today. This will involve simplifying some rules, formatting it to clearly differentiate between rules and tips, and trying to capture the real intent of the document. As it has evolved over time, some wording has remained from previous years that is no longer a true reflection of the University’s view, and those segments need to be removed.

With any process, change is difficult. We hope these changes will help us continue to improve our ability to help students.

Over the next year we will also try to reach out to various corporations throughout the game, and find what they feel most players need to know. I hope to involve groups in w-space, sov warfare, faction warfare, piracy, mining, industry, incursions, and high-sec missioning (to include only a few) in brainstorming what mindset and skills a player truly needs to be successful in their area of the game. We can then use that information to better shape our services to prepare students for whatever area of EVE most interests them.

I’m sure the next year will be an exciting one, full of positive changes geared towards helping us better teach the pilots of tomorrow, and I look forward to entering it with you. With all that said, I’ll close with a simple statement: Happy Birthday EVE University.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Birthday Incoming

EVE University's ninth birthday is rapidly approaching (March 15th), and we have plenty of festivities planned, along with some announcements of upcoming changes. I hope to see some of you participating in our events and discussions.

-Ask The Management Discussion on March 24th @ 20:00
-Attack the Management: TBD
-Pilgrimage to the Eve Gate
-Birthday Cube of Death
-more in planning stages

Some Classes:
[CLASS] 2013.03.03 00:01 - Q&A with PvP expert Azual Skoll
[CLASS] 2013.03.03 02:00 - Null Sec Life
[CLASS] 2013.03.10 21:00 Aggression and Engagement
[CLASS] 2013.03.24 19:00 Logistics Ships 101
[CLASS] 2013.03.24 01:00 - EVE Lore Panel Discussion
-More yet to be announced

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Entering 2013: A message for our Students

As we begin a new year with EVE University, it is time to reflect upon our past, and look toward our future. We have seen many changes over the last year, seeing a fledgling LSC grow into a great program, a new wormhole campus launch, Project: Solitude grow as a community, a mining camp massacre asteroids by the thousands, and Uni students setting forth into null security space for good fights and laughs. Mechanics core to our lifestyle have changed, major rules have been thrown out or rewritten, and new corp events and interests have developed. I cannot think about how great this last year has been for the health of the Uni, as we continue to evolve to best meet the needs of students.

However, we must make sure that we do not remain stationary. We have to continue to grow, and never lose sight of our focus on new EVE players. When we look at time in EVE University, people often mention the pilots that have left, mourning the loss of their skill, wit, and contribution to our community. However, don't lose sight of the fact that with each great player that leaves, it isn't a loss for the University, it is a sign of us achieving a goal; helping new players grow in knowledge until they move on and enjoy the game in other areas. Yes, those pilots brought unique skills and insights to all of us, but the new player that joins today will be doing the same in a few months

The Managers and Directors of the University are continually thinking of ways we can improve student life, but we cannot do it alone. Without you, this all falls apart. We need you to learn, and then volunteer your time and effort to help the new students. It could be as simple as handing out items from the hangars or isk for skillbooks when a new player needs them, or volunteering to be a PO, Logistics officer, Mentor, or Teacher. All of these are incredibly vital, and without the many students who continually step up to help new players, we could never hope to fulfill our mission. You are our strength.

I look forward to meeting these future challenges alongside all of you, a group of fun pilots in a great community.

 Azmodeus Valar
Director of Operations

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My New Job

With my recent appointment as Director of Operations, I felt that I should take some time to talk about my view of the Uni. I must admit that I was both honored and slightly trepidatious when Kelduum first approached me about taking the job. I have been very happy as Director of Logistics, and the thought of having to fill the job occupied by people such as Kelduum, Dee Carson, and Kassie Kelmar was overwhelming. I can only assure you that I will do my best to rise to the occasion and live up to the faith Kelduum has put in me.

Now, considering my last 2 months as Acting Director of Operations, and my previous 4 years as Director of Logistics, I don't think anyone is expecting any drastic changes in how the University functions. That being said, E-Uni, like any organization, must continue to evolve as the game changes and the community grows. This last year has been a great one for the University, seeing the rise of great programs like the LSC, NSC, WHC, and AMC. I will continue to support these types of changes that make a positive impact on the University as a whole, while still remaining true to our core values.

For the near future I will continue to function as the head of the Logistics Department. It will pass on to someone else at a later point, but, and I'm sure this is no surprise to the people that know me, I actually like spreadsheets. I enjoy that job, and would like to continue until I have the Department in a great state to turn over to someone else, instead of the work-intensive mess I've created for myself. I don't want to inflict the current Dir Log duties on anyone.

I hope that everyone will realize that I am open to ideas and positive discussions about what can be beneficial to the University. If you feel you need to discuss something with me, feel free to convo me in-game or send me a forum PM. I will do my best to address everyone's needs.

Fly safe (or dangerously)

your newly condemned Director of Operations,
Azmodeus Valar

-Previously posted to Eve University forums