Server Website The largest server network for Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

In seventh grade, a friend and I created the first software to facilitate automated tournaments in Minecraft: Pocket Edition. Over the next few years, I would learn from first-hand experience how to program, work on a team, and build up an online business from scratch. Today, that business employs over ten people and serves over five million users per month.

It was a rocky start – neither my friend nor I had any prior experience in computer programming. While reading tutorials online, I started by doing research for people that were working on multiplayer software. I quickly found Shoghi Cervantes Pueyo, who had created a program to connect copies of Minecraft: Pocket Edition. Through internet chat sessions, we worked together to add combat support to his program. I wrote programs to reset the arena the players would compete in, count down match time, and keep a rotation of tournaments. My friend, Ethan, wrote scripts to time the tournaments, restart the servers, and pass events into my code.

After weeks of testing, we proudly presented our creation to the world. We set up the first public instance of our game, running the tournaments off of a computer in Ethan’s basement. Within the day, we had more people wanting to play than Ethan’s home internet connection could handle. My dad was watching all of this, and saw a business opportunity in what my friend and I had made. He took the project on as part of his company, Hydreon Corporation. On the following Sunday, we bought our first server in Scottsdale, Arizona. I went to the bank to set up my first checking account.

Three years later, the Lifeboat server network serves more than five million players monthly and up to sixty thousand at any given time. The team running the game is over ten people strong, and the game business is one of my Hydreon’s primary projects. I continue to put time and effort into building the network throughout high school, and discovered my love of computer programming. I created a massive back-end for our systems, that is responsible for managing the computers we run the games on, tracking our millions of registered users, and distributing players across our network. I have learned more about collaboration, working under a deadline, and business practices than I could have imagined.

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