In each installment of The 4-1-1, we interview a different member of the House Party Team, asking the big questions that are on everyone's minds. This time we're hearing from Ryan Morris. Ryan works on the Development team and is usually behind the scenes. So, we decided to find out more about this man of mystery. Where's his favorite travel spot? Is he a cake or ice cream kinda-guy? Read on as Liz finds out!
So, Ryan, as the VP of Technology and head developer at House Party, basically, you make our website work. How did you get introduced to web development and how did you know this was what you wanted to do for work?
Hallo! I've always been keen on programming and the web. I made my first (rather embarrassing) site when I was 12; I believe I used every animated gif I could get my hands on. My life has always involved technology in some way, from video games to web design and development to pursuing programming in college. Eventually I was drawn more to the visual/story side of things and I left computer science for a degree in film & visual arts (I wanted to get into 3-D animation). After completing college, I took a job with a strong focus on graphic design but ended up being the go-to guy for their website. I was roped back in! Things snowballed from there.
Here almost 8 years, you're truly a House Party veteran. What are a few of your favorite memories from working at House Party?
8 years and no gold watch?! Madness. I don't think I'll ever forget shaving my bosses head, but that will probably be redacted from this interview. (Author note: It absolutely will not! To learn more about said boss, go here.)
When you're not behind a computer, what are some of your other hobbies?
It's hard to pull me away from my precious technology, but when I do escape I like to hike, ski and travel. I grew up overseas and traveled a lot with my folks through southeast Asia so I caught the [travel] bug. I like to take long journeys every so often, having recently completed a 6-month backpacking trip through South America, New Zealand and China. I also enjoy seeking out delicious food and fine libations, particularly while traveling the world, of course.
You're quite the traveler! What has been the most amazing spot you've visited?
Everything is different but it's all the same! It's hard to pick any one spot. Some of my favorite incredible journeys include traveling from Amsterdam to Hong Kong by train (with an interesting week spent on the Trans-Siberian rail), hiking across the Scottish highlands (you can't beat hiking combined with B&Bs and pubs), and a rather epic hitch-hiking adventure across Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Buy me a beer and I'll tell you all about it.
What's next up on the travel list? Any places you'd like to visit in the future?
I'm interested in traveling through China again; it has a grand history and there's an incredible amount to see and explore. I'm also keen to check out Scandinavia.
Right now you're a New Yorker - did you always live in the Empire State?
Nope. I was born a Virginian but moved to Hong Kong with my parents when I was a kid. Grew up in Asia and came back to the states for college. I still consider Singapore, the last place we lived in Asia, a home base of sorts. Living in New York started as a whim when I met a girl ;)
And finally, a few this or that questions so we really get to know you better!
Apple or PC? - Apple of late iPhone or Android? - iPhone though I respect that Android Pepsi or Coke? - Water Aspen or Bora Bora? - Today? Bora Bora New York or San Diego? - Hmmm... I suppose New York ;) Mountains or beach? - I'm going to contradict myself here and say mountains Cats or dogs? - Can't we all just get along? Cats. BBQ or Mexican? - Mexican. BBQ is a sauce. Kit Kat or Sour Patch Kids? - Sour patch kids. Throw some Starburst jelly beans in there and I'm your friend for life. Snowboard or ski? - Ski! Ski or swim? - I'll have to go with Ski. Ice cream or cake? - Oof. Depends. If that cake is too dry you're gonna have to drop that ice cream on it!
Got any questions for Ryan? Post 'em here and we'll try and tear him away from the computer to answer them.
By the way, this guy has a new do as of late: