Friday, June 1, 2007

Hello Andreas Müller!

We've always loved the four seasons. Crew 4's Andreas Müller visualized them beautifully through code in "For All Seasons", released in 2004. We wanted to find out what he's up to these days:

Where are you working now?
I run a company called Nanika, we do interactive work for "not the web", so retail spaces and the like. Nanika means "Something" or "Something Else" in Japanese, which is exactly what I wanted to do.

Previous to your current position, what have you been doing since graduating from Hyper Island?
After graduation I had a job lined up at the company where I did my internship, Oven Digital (who are not around anymore), so I moved to London to work at their office there.
After 6 months or so I left them and joined design firm Hi-ReS!, where I worked for about 6 years before starting Nanika with them as a separate company.

What made you get into programming?
I think at a very basic level it has to do with the drive to see things that I haven't seen before.

How did you learn to program? 
Google, lots of it, I guess AltaVista back in the day, and of course other people. Jon Kindell from Crew5 taught me what "Arrays" were (that took a few days..), thanks Jon!!

Your "For All Seasons" interactive piece (still available on k10k) has attracted attention for years, what kind of feedback have you received?
It's been great, I get lots of nice emails, it seems to bring out the best in people.
The most common question I get is what I programmed it in, some seem genuinely curious, some I get the feeling are hoping I'll say I used a trial version of "Dynamic Typography Studio Pro, Seasonal Memory Edition" or something like that.

What tips on how to keep up to date would you give to developers just getting started in the industry?
Well, if you truly love what you do there aren't really many tips I can give you, you are going to do great.
One thing I would say is that it's a marathon and not a sprint, so while you might be able to get some pretty things up and running fairly easily, learning how things work will serve you for the rest of your life, so don't always take the easy way out.
I learned that the hard way back when I was trying to learn some other languages after having used Flash for a long time, it turned out I actually knew very little about externalizing my ideas using a computer. Flash is better now I'm sure, but Processing is a great starting point and will grow with you.
Any life lessons you would like to share?
Off the top of my head:
1. Try. There is no reason not to try.
2. The problem is not too difficult, it's just that you are missing some bits of information/knowledge in between, so take a few steps back, everything decomposes into a series of very simple things.
3. Do it now and worry about it later. (Great when used in moderation.)

Thank you Andreas!

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