I've been involved with Robotics Stack Exchange since the start. I was honoured to be offered the position of Protem moderator when we first went into beta, and I would love to continue contributing to this community in the way I have always tried to do.
I worked in the Robotics and Mechatronics industries for many years, before moving into the laser micro-machining sector and then on to a scientific research facility. I mostly develop software, from low level control up to end user interfaces, but I have been known to get my hands dirty, or pull out a soldering iron.
Projects I've worked on include a high speed cartesian bread roll packing robot, a fibre optic ferrule polishing system, various machines for scribing touch screens and solar panels, and an EUV lithographic mask inspection tool.
I currently write software to support scientists performing experiments in the diverse realms of materials chemistry, solid-state physics, earth sciences and pharmaceuticals.
- How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
The key here is communication, concentrating on the undesirable behaviour and not the person. While it's easy to get emotional, a clear statement about the rights and responsibilities of all members of our community, and an explanation of how specific behaviours have affected others, are valuable tools in getting people to re-consider their future actions, and can often diffuse a tense situation.
We do have to be careful to avoid driving away an existing valuable contributor, but we also have to be careful not to allow others to be driven away either - everyone has the potential to be a valuable contributor to our community.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
Again, communication is key. Maybe I didn't see something they did, or maybe they overlooked something which was obvious to me. There are few situations in which mods can't work things out, and while I don't recall ever having to call on them, we all know the community teams is there for us, if we need them.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
The traditional answer is that we are janitors, here to tidy up any messes that people can't clean up for themselves, but I feel moderators are more than that.
We also need to be guides and advocates for our community. Those of us who have been around Stack Exchange for a while have seen what works and what doesn't, so we should try to help suggest ways to solve problems that community members with less experience may not have though of.
- A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
I've never known anything else on this site, but there is definitely a difference between the way I contribute here, and the way I contribute on other sites in the network. I have to be more careful with how forthright I am in my opinions, but I also step into the role of peace-maker much more readily, in the rare case of conflict.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?
We are very lucky here that moderator intervention is rarely needed, but with so few people able to cast close votes, being able to quickly resolve problems which might linger otherwise, is very valuable.