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Getting to Know: Paul Phan

The Happy Cog team is composed of many different people with unique backgrounds, experiences, and skills. In this “Getting to Know” series of blog posts, we hope to let our readers get to know our very talented team as well as we do. From what they do outside of their day jobs to their tastes in music to what inspires them, these posts offer a little glimpse into the lives and personalities of our amazing team.

Meet Paul Phan: Web Developer – Ambitious, comical, Pom lover

Q: Hey Paul! Where are you from and where are you currently located? What do you love most about where you reside?  

A: I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. My parents moved to the suburbs when I was about nine-years-old, but I came back to Philly to obtain my degree at Drexel University and have stayed here ever since. I love the architecture, the history, the cultural diversity, the neighborhoods, the accent, and the food.

Q: You’ve been at Happy Cog for quite some time now. What’s your favorite part about working here? 

A: My favorite part about working at Happy Cog is the variety of projects I work on. Projects can vary from CMS builds, marketing sites, E-Commerce, web apps, or mobile apps. I get to expand my knowledge every day and work with very, very talented people.

My favorite part about working at Happy Cog is the variety of projects I work on. I get to expand my knowledge every day and work with very, very talented people.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day at Happy Cog. What does a typical day in the life of a Web Developer look like? 

A: My standard “typical” day at Happy Cog consists of the following:

  • Check my emails/Slack.

  • Plan out my day/week.

  • Talk to my PM and review my tasks.

  • Meetings.

  • Heads downtime to work on project tasks.

No day is really typical. It changes a good amount with the variety of projects we work on.

Q: You’re also an instructor at Drexel University. What do you teach? 

A: At Drexel University, I teach web development classes. The classes will vary from term to term, but so far, I’ve taught intro/intermediate classes on HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, iOS Development, and building Content Management Systems.

No day is really typical. It changes a good amount with the variety of projects we work on.

Q: What advice would you give to others who are just starting out in web development or looking to make a career change into the field?

A: As I tell my students, there are many resources out there to learn web development. The amount of information is limitless. Build that portfolio, but don’t fall down the tutorial rabbit hole. Use those tutorials and try to apply them, and build something else with your acquired skills. Reach out to local businesses, get that experience in, and challenge yourself.

Q: You’re in charge of the office playlist. What are you playing?  

A: If I’m in charge of the office playlist, I’ll be playing headbangers. Heads will start bobbing, and feet will start tapping as I play electronic music. Maybe this won’t happen, but that’s how I pictured it in my head. 😅

Q: As a Web Developer, how do you maintain awareness of current trends while continuously trying to improve your craft?

A: I use social media to maintain awareness in my field. With YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram, I follow accounts associated with my field. They constantly keep me up-to-date with the latest trends and newest technology.

Q: Name three items on your bucket list.

A: 1.) Visit Italy 2.) Shark Cage Diving 3.) Skydiving without an instructor

Q: What are some interesting facts about yourself that others might not know? 

A: 

  • I’m obsessed with pomeranians. I’m the self proclaimed “Pomfather.”

  • I’m a big foodie. I love creating and eating food.

  • I played baseball all the way up through college.

  • My combined total pounds lifted for squatting, benching, and deadlifting is 1,125.

  • My dog has an Instagram account (@KodaTheMerlePom) with over 10,000 followers and has a video voted number 2 as the most popular video of all time on the Reddit page, r/Dogtraining.

  • I used to have a Call of Duty Gaming YouTube channel back in 2011 that had over 80k subscribers.