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Office tale of Paul Hatch, software developer and designer

Office tale of Paul Hatch, software developer and designer

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :
My name is Paul Hatch. I’m a software developer / freelance designer living in Australia with my beautiful wife, two boys and one dog (really our third extremely hairy child).

Your current job :
I’m currently a software developer by day and freelance designer nights and weekends. I’m doing what I can to increase my design workload so that at some point in the not too distant future I can make design my full time gig.

In which city are you located?
I live in Brisbane in the state of Queensland.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :
Immersive. I tend to get really involved in my design work. With two young boys It becomes a bit of a problem sometimes. I like to research (aka flick through copious books and web references) for loads of ideas before committing to a single concept and style. I then experiment with what is the best way to visually communicate that concept in a way that is not only great to look at, but also clear in its message.

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Pencil and paper and the usual for graphic design work… Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign – in that order.

What does your office space look like?
I have a home office that is actually a converted linen closet on the landing at the top of the stairs. It’s a small space but used well. I like to surround myself with all my works in progress so that I can keep the ideas gestating. I also keep things that visually inspire me close by. Every bit of wallspace in my house is covered in travel photos, prints and books. I also have a thing for vinyl collectable toys. I do the messier stuff like printing and spray painting in a little workshop I’ve setup in the garage.

What kind of music do you listening when you are working ?
I listen to a fair bit of electronic music. Crystal Castles always manage to get me motivated and are on high rotation, as is Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
At the moment for me it’s all about setting aside enough time at nights and weekends to get through my workload. I typically break everything down to a list of tasks and prioritise them so that I first get stuff done that may not be great to look at to begin with but has enough bones that I can refine later into something that I and the client are happy with.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Don’t procrastinate. If you’re stuck for ideas, just get stuck in and try stuff out. Once you actually start on something it’s much easier to find your way through it when you have stuff on paper or on the screen than keeping it all in your head.

You’re better than your colleagues to :
I wouldn’t say that I am better in terms of any particular discipline, but where I think I do have an edge is that I have both design and coding skills which is invaluable for the web space.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
It wasn’t given to me personally, but there is a saying: ‘by changing nothing, nothing changes’.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
Break it down, prioritise and work from big to small.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I usually start by feeding my 5 month old twin boys and popping them into bed next to their mum (she’s just done the night shift). I then have coffee and breakfast catching up with emails and any action that may have happened overnight on my Behance projects and then walk the dog before heading off to my day job. The day usually ends reading in bed till I’m too tired or told to turn the light off.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go ?
Probably my lamy tri-pen. It’s a pencil, pen and highlighter all in one and feels great to use.