EZLOCAL EMPLOYEE INTERVIEW—FEATURING WEB DEVELOPER BRYAN HOFFMAN

Knowing Vasia Skliros would be a hard act to follow, web developer Bryan Hoffman was the obvious choice for this week's EZlocal Employee Spotlight, the second edition. Enjoy!

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Among Mr. Hoffman's more notable endeavors, the 23-year-old web designer has amassed an excess of experience in farming, freelancing, and fellow-ing. You know, the three Fs. As far as that last one goes, let us just say that computational physics research never seemed so conversational. That’s the thing about Bryan—he’s able to take dense, intellectual material and lighten it to an accessible, endearing, one might even say conversational level, and it’s a BREASH OF FRETH AIR! Yes, the list is long and the man wears many hats. Take, for example, his alma mater. While matriculating at the University of Illinois in lovely Champaign, Bryan retained an engineering scholarship endowment and continued to gain some serious chops as a full-stack developer. And yet, these accomplishments don’t quite do him justice once you get to know him.

Here—get to know him, a whip-smart, peace-loving dude who is more than the sum of his parts. See what YOU think.

Q: How did you happen to come by your position here at EZlocal? Not to spread unsubstantiated gossip or anything, but word has it that you encountered some adversity in the early stages of interviewing. (Shocked, disbelieving) Is this true? Please share.

A: It's true. I didn't have any Wordpress experience, but I did have more technical experience. Our sites are mostly Wordpress, so of course, I had to demonstrate that I could keep up. I went home after my first interview and built a site using Wordpress that night. I'm pretty sure that's what got me the next interview and ultimately the position.

Q: We couldn’t help but notice that you possess some skill in the origami department. As one who’s always wanted to learn, I’m curious, to what extent did you use diagrams to learn? What’s the best way to become competent in the craft for other, less talented folks? Must you be skilled with your hands to learn?

A: I've picked up origami from online resources. I'll use diagrams, gifs, and even youtube videos to pick up a fold pattern. As with most things, the way to progress is practice. In this day and age, it's not too hard to find some great, free material online to help. A pair of hands is probably necessary for this hobby, but I don't think you have to be particularly skilled with them. Patience/Persistence are sometimes more important than skill.

Q: How does a young man resolve to learn Russian, as opposed to, say, Spanish—or even French? Particularly a young American man! We have to assume there’s a story there. Secondly, do you continue to find opportunity to practice your Russian?

A: Russian, French, and Chinese are particularly great languages to learn if you're going into mathematics or another STEM field. My high school happened to offer Russian. I thought it would differentiate me, and help me later in my career, but I ended up really liking the language. I haven't kept up with it as much as I'd like as there's not enough opportunity to use it. I do still get to use my Russian to buy kvass and candies at an international supermarket near me!  Yeah, the flavors might be printed in English on the other side of the packaging, but I don't have to turn it around! ...okay maybe that wasn't a great time investment?

Q: The requisite work question. What do you like most about working at EZlocal?

A: There's a lot of autonomy and plenty of opportunity to pick up new things. I've learned a lot about design, and have had a lot of fun being in a creative role. But most importantly, when things get stressful, I know I have a great team alongside me. There's a lot of wonderful people here, and ultimately, that's the most important part of any company.

The bar has been set relatively high here friends, so be sure to stay tuned for our next edition!