February 5, 2020

10 Questions with Ben Phillips

While you may know him best as our super talented Senior Web Developer, there is so much more to the man behind the screen. We asked Ben 10 questions to help you get to know him better. (We even learned quite a bit too!)

  1. What movie do you have on repeat? Two actually. Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. I always wanted to be Doc Brown or Egon Spangler. Now I kind of get to.
  2. What Emoji intrigues you the most? The triumphant ghost with the black eye 👻. Not sure why. I just hope it doesn’t have some alternative meaning I’m missing. 
  3. Is there a piece of art that sparks your imagination? It may sound odd, but if I had to pick it would probably have to be Untitled, (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) by Cuban artist Felix Gonzales-Torres. It’s essentially a 175-pound pile of brightly wrapped candy piled into a corner of the museum. It was at the Art Institute of Chicago when I saw it. People are encouraged to take a piece. I’m not sure why, but something about it stuck with me and I think about it often. It struck me as fantastically optimistic and whimsical. Art museums can have a sterile quality to them, but this rejects that notion and leads with a sort earnest openness I find deeply appealing. https://www.instagram.com/p/BCvwGjrEt4z/?utm_source=ig_embed
  4. How can people usually find you on a Saturday? Listening to music and fooling around in my office. I usually have one project or another going that I like to fiddle with. A big one this year was a series of intensive upgrades to a cheap old guitar I’ve had for ages. I bought it in 1997 for $50 dollars in the back of a gas station and I’ve been fooling with it ever since.
  5. Do you have a favorite memory from 2019? My niece Abby has Cerebral Palsy and she was able to get a surgery called a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy that will allow her to walk independently. The day of her surgery was one of the best of my life. (Thank you, Dr. Park! #sdrchangeslives)
  6. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to write music in my spare time. It’s one of the few times when I can become entirely absorbed in something that isn’t writing code. Though I suppose music is just code of a different kind, so it may not be as different as I like to think.
  7. While with us at Anda Creative, has there been a favorite project you’ve worked on? The Build Your Own Container website application for Containerized Resources. It was massive, super complicated, very challenging, and there isn’t anything quite like it in the world. I had a ball building it. Plus, I got to work closely with the whole team on it, which was loads of fun. 
  8. What book on your shelf has the most dog ears and page-flips? The Stand, by Stephen King. My mother gave it to me to read when I was kid and discussing it with her is one of my favorite memories of childhood.
  9. If you could eat only one fast food restaurant for the rest of your life, which would it be? Taco Bell. It’s barely food, but 2 for $2 Chili Cheese Burritos kept me alive in college.
  10. What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy solving problems. Every day I get a little puzzle to unlock. I also like sitting at the nexus between art and science. I work with some of the most talented people on earth who create all of these wonderful things that I get to build.