My name is Matthew Stanciu, and I’m a 16 year old high school junior at the West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School in West Lafayette, Indiana.
I have been fascinated with computers for as long as I can remember. When I was 6 years old, my mom gave me an old laptop from her workplace that nobody used anymore. It became my own computer, giving me complete admin privileges. I quickly filled it with viruses, but I continued to use it until the screen burned out. When it finally did, my mom found two more old laptops and gave them to me. I eventually broke those as well. This was such an important time in my life because I learned that I loved how computers worked and that I wanted to keep learning how they work.
I have always been passionate about writing as well. I wrote countless imaginative short stories throughout my childhood, and when I was in 4th grade, I wrote a book called The Power Necklace (which is still published online today). I have spent much of my life writing and playing with computers since then.
I learned to code on Codecademy when I was 11, but I always longed to be a part of something bigger; to do real things and make a real difference with what I had learned. So, when I was almost 12, in December 2013, I started my first Minecraft server called MCFun Central and began learning how to make Minecraft server plugins. MCFun Central was all about having fun, but my ultimate goal was to create a personalized environment for every player so that they always felt at home. It sounds silly, but running my Minecraft server and making ny own plugins was the first time I ever felt like I could make a real difference with code.
MCFun Central turned into The Extrillius Network
in January 2015, a project that really took my original vision to the sky’s limit with a more dedicated staff team and ambitious goals of making almost all custom plugins. I kept Extrillius going for two years before shutting it down, and in that time, I learned so much more about programming, project management, and effective communication.
After Extrillius, I went on to learn as much as I could about many interesting topics, including blockchain, web development (which I had been wanting to get into for a very long time), and a little bit of machine learning. I have now combined my two passions by running a Hack Club
at my school, as well as a new school publication, Side B
. I’m passionate about spreading computer science to everyone and facilitating social change through organizing community projects and events like hackathons.
I love my life and what I do, and I hope I can do great things in the future.