Q&A with Brandon Zeek, Web Developer at HMG


Here at HMG, we’ve found that it’s important to evolve over time in order to achieve longevity. Trends change so rapidly, and so we’ve always emphasized the importance of staying relevant.

Whether it be about our personal or professional lives, we are constantly learning new things from each other by asking for advice and information. After all, ‘everybody knows something you don’t’.

We conducted a Q&A with each team member in hopes we might learn a thing or two from each other’s answers. Second up was Brandon Zeek, one of HMG’s web developers. Check out his answers below:

1. What is the best book you’ve ever read?

I’d say the book that had the most profound effect on my like was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. This was kind of the original “self-help” book that discussed visualization and creating your version of reality.

2. What is your favorite work tool or resource? Why?

I spend a lot of time in PhpStorm by JetBrains. I’ve used a lot of different development environments through my career and this by far is the most intuitive and most powerful.

3. How would you describe your job to someone who knows nothing about technology?

I would say that first and foremost I’m a problem-solver. I’m given a problem and there isn’t usually a prescriptive way of solving it. As a Web Developer, you have to come up with creative solutions to problems by leveraging technology. The technology is always changing but having solid problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt your solutions to fit needs is a lifelong skill.

4. Are there any movies, podcasts, tv shows or documentaries that have caught your interest lately?

I really enjoyed ‘Lost in Space’ on Netflix. There was a lot of really cool way of solving problems on that show and I love anything that has to do with space exploration.

Lost In Space GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

5. What industry sites, blogs or resources do you read?

I’m a big fan of the site Hacker News, StackOverflow, and Newsletters for keeping up with what’s going on in the tech industry.

6. Out of all the places you’ve traveled to, which place would you recommend for a vacation?

If you’re looking for an outdoors vacation I really enjoyed the time I spent in Northern Minnesota on the Canadian border. The lakes up there are great for canoeing and kayaking and the camping experience was beautiful. You get to see tons of wildlife like Moose and Bears. I once saw a Moose swimming out in the middle of the lake and realized how truly massive those animals are.

7. If you could recommend only one place in Austin, where would it be?

When I first started visiting Austin I felt like going to Barton Springs really represented Austin well. You see people outside having fun and connecting to nature. It’s really a beautiful little place tucked away in the City and it’s perfect for when the summers get really hot since the water stays so cold.

8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Something I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately is when we set goals a lot of times we want to aim high. Sometimes we aim too high, and despite our progress, we feel discouraged and give up on reaching further. I was once told that before you can climb Mt. Everest you need to scale all the smaller mountains first. Starting small and making incremental progress is more powerful over a longer period of time than going all out and burning yourself out too quickly. It takes patience but consistency will always win.

9. What is your favorite gadget?

When I have time I love playing games on my gaming desktop. I like researching parts and finding ways to make it more powerful.

10. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Ask anyone in my family, I’m a pizza-holic.

Happy Slice GIF by Pizza Hut - Find & Share on GIPHY

11. Have you learned any valuable lessons from your mistakes or failures?

One thing I’ve learned is the importance of staying positive through tough times. Sometimes life can really beat you down and if you let it push you into negative thought-patterns is makes everything seem so much worse. Finding little things to look forward to and be happy about will really get you through those times as well and realizing that “through every dark night there’s a brighter day”.

12. Final Question – what’s your philosophy in life?

Take care of people you love and do whatever you do with all of your ability.