Five cheers for Chris O’Brien on his five-year anniversary with Fingerpaint! Chris is part of our Interactive team, and he recently relocated from our Saratoga Springs to Villanova. In honor of this exciting milestone, we asked Chris to reflect on some of his most memorable moments as a Fingerpainter.
- What do you remember about your first day at Fingerpaint?
I remember being confused by all of the acronyms people were throwing around. And how loud it was—I quickly learned good headphones was a must.
- Are you in the same role? What has changed about your role?
Yes, for the most part. For my first few years at Fingerpaint, I was the only motion graphics/video editor. Now, I no longer play that role alongside being a developer, so I can focus on one skill set—though I still love tinkering with audio and video when I can. As far as what has changed, I’ve found that with new developers coming on staff over the years, doing more training and mentoring and being a source for legacy information is necessary.
- Tell us what an average day at Fingerpaint looks like for you.
I start my day early, with a large cup of caffeine, browse emails and blogs, then I meet with the team to figure out what tasks take priority. Then I load up my Virtual Machine, finish where I left off the night before and push any uncommitted changes. Our digital producers do a pretty good job at keeping us out of meetings, but we still get sucked into them. For the most part, I’m writing code/problem-solving throughout the day.
- Tell us one of your favorite early memories from your office.
Lots of fun stuff, like pulling an all-nighter at the office (imagine three developers in a small green room not meant for three people) or working off card tables in the white room. But the best memory was all of the Nerf gun wars that we had when we first moved into the Broadway building.
- What advice do you have for someone who is about to finger paint for the first time since their childhood?
Don’t use gloves, and don’t be afraid to make a mess.
- What is your favorite thing about your office?
I’ve actually changed offices, which makes this a tough question. In hindsight, my favorite thing about the Saratoga office is the people. We work hard and play hard, and I miss seeing everyone, especially going out for drinks and hanging out with everyone once in a while.
Meanwhile, I haven’t been in the new office long enough to have a real favorite thing, other than shorts. Definitely shorts. I can wear shorts in the Villanova office. When it’s hot, I wear shorts. I think when it’s cold, I’ll wear shorts just because…shorts.
- What do you love most about the entire agency?
The whole “no titles” thing is very empowering. Everyone can speak their mind and input is heard. It never feels like you’re too low on the ladder to speak up and be acknowledged.
- How many unread emails do you have in your inbox?
a. Are you planning to read them or should you just batch delete?
I’ll just leave them there—I’ll never delete emails.
- What advice can you share having worked at the agency for 5 years?
The work can be crazy. Take time to make sure it doesn’t make you crazy with it.
- What are you hoping to see happen at Fingerpaint? (Keg in the kitchen, trampoline in the parking lot, 4-day work weeks, etc. – any ideas are welcome)
A keg in the kitchen would be nice…you know, one that’s not locked up all the time. 😉
Also, maybe some places to sit outside and work while it’s nice out.
- What are you doing for your sabbatical?
Taking an Alaskan sled dog team across…Alaska? Seriously though, I have no idea. Yet.
Chris O’Brien is a creative interactive developer from upstate New York who’s tools range from pencils and paints to code and solder. More specifically, a LAMP stack developer working on both front and back end development for Fingerpaint. O’Brien recently relocated to Pennsylvania to join our Villanova office.