Providence native Brian Hogue joins Oomph as a web developer dedicated to the continuous evolution of our own website, and to assisting our engineering team on client projects. Brian studied web development at Boston’s Launch Academy after leaving a career in copy editing and layout at The Lowell Sun in Lowell, MA. The intensive program at Launch put Brian on the fast-track to becoming a highly-skilled, highly-qualified developer. Now back in Providence, Brian is a valuable addition to our team.
Here’s our new-to-Oomph interview with Brian:
What’s it been like working with the Oomph team?
It’s been great. We all work closely together here, and you get acclimated to the team quickly because of that. It’s generally a pretty light atmosphere, everyone gets along great, and I’ve noticed how helpful everyone is. It’s not an easy thing to ask questions when everyone else is working on important tasks, so I am very grateful and happy to know that, when I need it, everyone has been more than willing to help out. There’s also a really good balance between buckling down on the important work that we’re doing and, at the same time, knowing when we’d benefit from a ping pong break or some stretching. Above all, it’s a hugely knowledgeable group and I’m thankful to be among them.
You credit Launch Academy for helping you establish a good educational foundation. What was that experience like?
Launch was intense. It’s officially eight hours per day, five days per week, for ten weeks, but we all spent even more time beyond that in order to really get to a point of true understanding. The curriculum is solid, though, and the teachers are really practiced because they are also coding for Launch alongside teaching. My peers were an amazing group, too, all supremely talented outside of coding — we had three or four Ph.D.’s in the group. That type of environment is just great because you’re all in it together and no one has too many reservations about asking for help, so it becomes a really rich, rewarding experience where you can all help push each other toward that common goal.
Before becoming a developer, you worked at a busy newspaper as a copy editor and layout designer. What skills from your work there have transferred to your new career?
I think there are a lot of things I take away from that work. Copy editing transfers to development because there are always content blocks that can use an extra eye, and of course code requires review, so I think that’s been a great transferrable skill. The graphic design element of my previous work has, too. I am always thinking about what elements lead the user from one thing to the next so that they’re seeing all of our content, and about whether the content being presented is making sense.
You grew up in Rhode Island, but you also spent time living in Massachusetts. Which place do you prefer?
I loved Lowell a whole lot. People sometimes say Providence is too small, but Lowell was even smaller and that worked to its advantage. You have no choice but to be involved. It’s a built-in community and you feel like you belong. But, Providence and Lowell are similar. Lowell is another city that is coming into its own and a lot of things are happening.
Providence is your hometown, and now you’re back. What’s your advice on experiencing the best of Providence?
When it comes to food — West Side, East Side, or Downcity, it doesn’t really matter — you really can’t go wrong in Providence. You could really spend the whole weekend just going to great restaurants. Right now, my fiancée and I are really loving sushi, so we’ve been trying it at all different places, but we really like it at Tokyo on Wickenden Street. One thing I really want to check out is Breaktime Bowl at Hope Artiste Village. For the adventurous, I’d suggest karaoke at the Boombox, but just walking around is great, too. Of course, there’s WaterFire, but a walk along Blackstone Boulevard or through Swan Point Cemetery can be just as satisfying. Sundays are great for some fantastic free options; the RISD Museum has a great collection and some high-profile special exhibitions, and Shelter Arcade Bar offers free pinball.
You’ve said you enjoy playing board games, but can you pick a favorite?
That’s a tough one. I’ve got one called Letter Tycoon. It’s a cross between Monopoly and Scrabble. Code Names is another good one. I’ve been going to a board game group weekly since November 2015 at The Board Room in Olneyville, and I am just kind of trying a new game every time I go because the collection they have is 400 or 500 games.
What is something people might not know about you?
Well, let’s see. I wouldn’t call myself a musician, but I do like music a whole lot and in the past I have played and recorded my own music. I primarily play the bass guitar.
And now for something completely different. If you had to, would you choose cake or ice cream?
With all the treats our team brings in, we’re sure we’ve got that covered. Please join us in welcoming Brian Hogue to the team!