Here's my story:
In February 2004, I found myself playing Neopets and wanted to get ahead in the game. I was searching around for cheats, and stumbled upon an MSN group about Neopets cheating. That is where I noticed a post by a programmer named "reggieleewolf21" who was posting links to Neocodex (at the time, neocodex.tk) on the forum. The post said something about them being a new Neopets cheating forum with programs and such. I joined in mid-February and noticed that there were some neat programs around.
Creating standalone programs has always been a goal of mine since owning a computer. However, the only way I knew how to create a standalone program was to use this awful game making program (which was designed to let people make side-scroller games and the like). My first program was a very shitty "Buried Treasure Grabber" program, which visited URLs in the browser by clicking a button. Suffice to say, it was rejected from approval for being too shitty because of absolutely no automation. I understood, since a game creator program can only do so much. I saw that some of the other programs (made by Hidden.Elf, reggieleewolf21, and others) had some automation to them, and were created using the Visual Basic 6 programming language. For the first time, I had found a place where I felt I could learn how to create "proper" programs.
The programming forums and the programmers at the time got me set up with some sample code for a VB6 program, and I was on my way to creating my first properly programmed program. My first program was the re-done Buried Treasure Grabber program, which actually had some automation to it to visit sequences of links automatically. Still not the greatest thing on earth, but approved! My next program, "Rhello", was a dailies engine that made use of timers that could be set/reset for each kind of daily event. That one ended up earning me the Programmer rank in March 2004, and a couple weeks later, Retired Member status (just because?). A couple programs later (and a fair bit of forum chatter during this time), and they decided it was a good idea to make me Administrator # 6 in April. Yes, we had 6 at the time -- Hydrogen, Hidden.Elf, TheWu, RareDareDevil, AUS, and myself. The 7th would be Noitidart, in July 2004.
Neocodex wasn't the only site around that was making cheat programs though. There were two more: Digibliss, and Neohacks. We quickly developed a rivalry with Digibliss. They had some pretty talented programming staff (notably, neo_grl, which was later proven to be a programmer father impersonating his 11 year old daughter, lizzaskizza, and others). A lot of our programs were copy-cats of programs that they had (they had "Chello", we had "Rhello"!). There was one program of theirs that was especially impressive: their networked autobuyer, the "Ultimate Autobuyer". It was the Abrosia of 2004 where it used pricing information from various people to make intelligent decisions on what to autobuy. It motivated us to try to make our own. We failed. Digibliss and Neocodex began some negotiations to merge our two sites together. Our administrators were not guaranteed positions on their staff. Needless to say, we ceased the negotiations.
There were some DDoS attacks, spam attacks (likely from both sides), as well as the infamous "15 million NP contest". This was a contest held by neo_grl to motivate people to spam our site. This caused some uproar at Digibliss, where "she" was removed from the staff there. This was also around the time when we had the brainwave to start doing surveillance on other sites such as Digibliss to protect ourselves from attacks. Our approach didn't end too well for us, and people were quite pissed off. This was also around the time that Digibliss had died off, and 3volutions was created alongside Neotwist and Iced Accounts (the latter two being spin-offs of Digibliss).
AUS, and TheWu also stopped administrating around this time, with Hidden.Elf to follow the year after.
The Golden Age of Forum Activity:
The forum activity in 2005 to 2006 was the biggest that Neocodex had ever seen. It was common for the forum to reach 2000 to 3000 posts per day in that time period. We've never achieved this level of activity since, although the raw traffic numbers back then were smaller. It's just that there were so many die-hard posters at the time (I am looking at you @Typhoon, @Kimoflea, @Ali, and company). 100 post days were a common event.
Between 2006 and 2009, things were not as dramatic. Any exciting events involved being overly obsessed with our activity numbers, and expansion of our Graphics Team, Downloads Section (as well as a neat authentication method created by Mumei), among other things. 2008-2009 was a very inactive period for me, since I was busy with school and took a leave of absence. It was also a fairly inactive time period for the site, which was noticeably on the decline.
In May 2009, we declared that Neocodex would be put back up in "startup" mode. This meant a complete revamp to our approach on building the community, based on the mentality of "if we build it, they will come". Emphasis on building community events was transferred to building superior programs that would entice people to join and discuss their experiences. This meant the return of Noitidart and I to programming, and we sure did a lot of programming. Our core programming language was switched to Python, which I learned quite quickly from Hydrogen. We also learned how to make our programs compatible for Mac OS X, which we felt was an untapped user base. Three weeks of solid work (every waking hour, more or less) was spent getting Abrosia created, and it was finally released in August. The public release of the Items Database followed shortly after.
Noitidart was in charge of making "legit" tools (tools that give users information, but doesn't give them a superior advantage like autobuyers), such as the NeoAlerts and NeoLogs. He was sort-of against cheat programs but condoned their existence on the site and focused his efforts on legit Neopets tools. Eventually, we had some argument about the direction of the site (I forget the details exactly), and Noitidart decided to part ways with us.
This was also a move to a centralized programming team, which iargue and Pyro699 were later a part of. More arguments, blah blah, and iargue was removed from the programming team, and Pyro699 eventually became an administrator. This was around the time that the Program Manager was created, though I only helped with testing and some converting of programs to the manager.
We started a side business in 2012 reselling Neocash cards because we saw that there wasn't a very convenient way to get card codes delivered to you instantly online. We used to drive around and buy thousands of dollars of card codes at stores, but then we found a supplier that electronically delivers the codes to us and so we stopped buying physical cards.
In 2013, I took on a full-time job at a local startup company and did not have too much free time to watch over Neocodex anymore. I resigned as administrator and nominated Strategist to take my place. Here we are today.