Back in 2005 while I was going through highschool I lacked any of the skills required to build something from the ground up. So instead, I spent a lot of time playing online games – escpecially one called Travian. Not only playing though, I also spent countless hours on the community boards and on the IRC channel helping newcomers understanding the finer aspects of the game.
After a year or so, the company behind the game started hiring volunteers to run the french version of the game. I became board moderator and later “super-moderator”, in charge of the whole forum – at that time around 2000 active users and divided into over 15 categories. I would also participate in the recruitment and training of new moderators alongside my boss and one other supermod.
We brought the crew up from 5-6 people to a full 20, all trained und supervised – my first manager experiences. It was a bit more stressfull (especially since it was still volunteering) but I met a lot of very nice and interesting people there.
Around 2007 my boss left his position and I became board admin at only 17 – now with over 3000 active users and head of a 20-25 persons crew I had mostly recruited myself. However other aspects of the job had been going down the drain for a while, and after a couple of months and several brutal organizational changes coming from the main company, a lot of staff members left the ship – including me.
Management itself left a bitter taste; I learned that taking responsibilities without sound reason is quite a bad idea, and was better at doing things than telling people how to do them.