I'm excited to interview and introduce our newest team member and senior developer, Adam Hake!
A: I’ve spent my whole career at agencies. I’m drawn to the diversity of work, rapid pace, and the need for a mixed skill set that agency life brings. I was craving a place that was known for its development capabilities, was invested in staying up to date with evolving technologies, and had a casual but competent culture. Foster Made checked those boxes.
A: I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, in and around Amish country. It’s a quaint and beautiful area, and I certainly miss the access to farm stand produce and Amish baked goods (shoofly pie is the best!). I moved to Richmond to attend college and really fell in love with the place. I’ve been here for about 15 years and live with my wife and two kids in Church Hill.
A: I do love to read. I’m a bit all over the place in terms of genres: science fiction, fantasy, classic and contemporary literature, and popular science non-fiction are all on the table for me. Some favorites include the Three Body Problem trilogy, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Richard Feynman’s lectures on physics, and the Lord of the Rings. And I’m always looking for recommendations.
A: Oh man, I do often think about writing a book. However, I don’t have the skill nor perseverance to do that, at least at this point in my life. I’m drawn to the intersection of science and society (a big reason why I like the Three Body Problem so much). There are so many weird, mind-bending mysteries in physics that seem ripe for creative exploration. I also love the world building that many science fiction and fantasy authors are capable of. I think it would be a lot of fun to construct a whole universe and create a narrative out of that.
A: Yes, I was a physics major at the University of Richmond. I also did research every summer I was there. I needed to get out of the mental work I had been doing for four years, and I’ve always been fascinated with furniture making, so after graduation I went to a wood working school in northern Vermont. After that, I needed to make some money, but I was still itching to be outside. I grew up rock climbing a lot, and I saw a “tree climber” ad for an arborist back in Pennsylvania. It was a fun, albeit exhausting job. It was also during this time that I rekindled my interest in programming and started doing some web development.
A: I’ve played soccer since I was a kid. I’m a midfielder and still play in CVSA, Richmond’s adult recreational league, with Shawn. Shawn is a brick wall in defense (and I’m not just saying that because he’s my manager). It was a pleasant surprise to find out that several Foster Made colleagues play or enjoy soccer, I even found a fellow Liverpool supporter.
A: In college, I had to do a little programming to aid in the research I was doing. I conducted biophysics experiments on E. coli that produced a lot of data. I wrote some programs to process and analyze that data. After college, in the early 2010s, I watched the webspace really explode and had this nagging curiosity about how a website went from code on a server to an interactive experience on a browser. I was able to leverage my previous experience to learn web development and landed a gig with a digital agency in Richmond.
A: My previous role afforded me opportunities to think strategically about client work and to do more solution architecting than building applications from an already defined spec. I like working with clients to understand what problems they face and determine the best solution that fits within their requirements. I also managed a team, and I really enjoyed the teaching and mentorship that came with that. Finally, I liked interfacing with cross-functional teams to collaboratively figure out best practices and efficient ways of doing our work.
A: When I started out in development, I was amazed to see the code I wrote come to life in the browser. Over a decade later, I still find that magical. We all take for granted how websites and the technologies behind them work. But it’s incredible that between typing in a URL and interacting with a rendered page, a million things happen involving a multitude of machines and networks located around the world, yet it all just takes milliseconds.
A: I find it harder to engage in work that is absent of a “why”. While I don’t think it’s realistic to expect every project to be clearly linked to a business strategy or backed by user research, I find that work to be harder to be enthusiastic about. I believe we as developers, as the folks building applications, do our best work when we are invested in the underlying strategy and understand the link between what we are building and how it’s helping end users and our clients’ businesses.
A: As much as I wish I were still in my 20s and could eat any snack with reckless abandon, my thirties have proven that’s no longer the case. I appreciate the healthy snack options like fig bars and would welcome anything along those lines. There are also lots of snack subscription services that curate and deliver snacks from all over the world. That would be fun!