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Prairie Portrait: John Hobbs of What Cheer

Name: John Hobbs | Bio: Moved around the country growing up, but Omaha is home. Married with three cats, eight chickens and a baby on the way. | Title: Software Developer | Age: 26 | City: Omaha, Neb. | Silicon Prairie News: Your first dive into the startup world was as a developer at Town

Name: John Hobbs

Bio: Moved around the country growing up, but Omaha is home. Married with three cats, eight chickens and a baby on the way.

Title: Software Developer

Age: 26

City: Omaha, Neb.

Website: velvetcache.org

Twitter: @jmhobbs

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/johnhobbs

Intro music:Continental Drift” by Ozma

Silicon Prairie News: Your first dive into the startup world was as a developer at Town Commons. What was an early lesson you learned after making the transition from a branding and design firm to a startup?

John Hobbs: The scope was a lot broader. At my first job I just had to execute someone else’s designs, at Town Commons I was involved in more discussion on strategy, I got to attend pitches, all kinds of stuff. So I guess the early lesson was to think for myself, and don’t be afraid to speak up.

SPN: What’s a typical day like for you in your current role as a developer at What Cheer?

JH: Fun. Check email when I come in, prep work and go to a meeting if we have one, or just get stuff done in the morning. Eat lunch with the dudes, and then get back in the flow in the afternoon. We have a lot of impromptu meetings internally through the day, those arise and dissolve as needed. I split time between the office and working from home, so that changes is up a bit too, but we use Campfire to keep in touch. Okay, I’ll admit it, we mostly use Campfire to share animated GIFs.

SPN: Both at work and in your personal time you’ve taken on side projects. What’s your trick or rule of thumb to manage your time to stay focused on client work while also progressing on your side projects?

JH: I’m a terrible person to ask about time management. I guess my rule is that client work comes first, if it needs doing soon, it gets done next, the other projects can wait. That leaves me with lots of half-finished stuff laying around, but luckily there always seems to be time left around the edges.

SPN: On your blog you feature a digital bookshelf with quite a few titles. What’s been your favorite read lately and why?

JH: It’s been a few months, but “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson was pretty great. It was well written, and intelligent without being dry, I like the idea of cloisters of academics in a decaying world. I also read the Hunger Games trilogy over break, the first two were good, but I didn’t really like the ending.

SPN: In high school you worked at a Krispy Kreme. Do you have any donut disaster stories to share?

JH: There was these pumps that filled the doughnut with raspberry or custard or what have you, and they had a keypad for how many ounces to pump. It was fun to distract someone then punch in 99 oz. Once you started filling the next doughnut it would explode and keep squirting filling onto you until you managed to turn it off. Did that a few times.

Images credit: Photo courtesy of John Hobbs


Prairie Portraits: To learn more about this series, see our introduction post, or visit our archives for past Prairie Portraits. To suggest an individual for a future Prairie Portrait, contact editor@siliconprairienews.com.

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