Hook 42 is excited to be adding Benji Fisher to our growing team. As Senior Developer, Benji will be focused on building exceptional products for our clients. Benji’s past history working with migration, usability, and mentoring is a great addition to the group. We understand being the new person is a little awkward at first, so to break the ice we had Benji answer a few fun questions. Here’s what Benji said.
Where are you originally from, and where do you live now?
I grew up in New York City, on the upper West side of Manhattan. That gave me an appreciation for the variety of humanity, and I was lucky to be able to attend the Bronx High School of Science. Since 1997, I have lived in Wellesley, a suburb of Boston. I miss the city, where I never needed a car, but it is nice to be able to get on my bike and take a long ride.
Where is your favorite place you traveled to?
I am not much good at being a tourist. I care more about the people in a place than the location. So I will choose the place I have visited every year since I was married (34 years and counting).
Every summer, we go to Three Mile Island: the one on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH, not the one in PA. The island is owned by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and run as a family camp. Many campers return year after year, so it is like having another family that we see every summer.
The location is idyllic: a lake full of water clean enough to drink, with canoes, kayaks, and small sailboats; a night sky where the Milky Way is bright and clear; mountains on the horizon. Most years, I spend one day off the island and hike up Mount Chocorua with a mirror in my backpack. If the weather is clear, and I get to the top before lunchtime, then I can signal my friend and family back on the island.
We’re slack-a-holics, so we’ve gotta know, what are your last three most frequently used emojis?
One of the dangers of slack is that people feel an obligation to respond. If you are not careful, then a thread will never die because people keep adding “yup” or “me, too” comments. So my #1 emoji in Slack is a simple 👍 (thumbsup). It can mean “I approve” or “I agree” or simply “Yes, I have seen your response” and it is not like I am trying to have the last word.
In a distant second and third place, I guess I would put 👋 (wave) to say hello and 🙇♂️ (bow) to accept a compliment. (Like most introverts, I am not very good at doing that in person.)
What is your favorite snack?
I only recently learned the importance of regular snacks. They keep my energy up, and if I am not starving at meal time then it is easier to avoid binging. I like to have a few Triscuits (a bit of salty, oily goodness without going overboard) with hummus (enough protein so that the energy does not crash too quickly).
What inspires you?
Although it is no longer my profession, I am still a mathematician, and I still look for “mathematical elegance”. In mathematics, that usually means a proof that is surprisingly simple, frugal or a different point of view makes a hard idea seem simple. When writing, it is like finding the mot juste, the memorable phrase that gets a point across. In programming, it is like finding the Easy Way® after going down a rabbit hole for a while.
What’s an interesting fact about you that people wouldn’t guess?
After touching a wall for balance, I can hold an unsupported handstand. I am working on doing it without the help of a wall. Another term for handstand is Downward Facing Tree Pose (adho mukha vrikshasana).
What song do you have on repeat right now?
Recently, I have been playing “Doctor My Eyes” (Jackson Browne) over and over, but longer term I would say “Thoroughfare Gap” (CSN, written by Stephen Stills).
What’s your favorite safe for work meme?
What’s a meme?