Meet Magenta: Multimedia Content Developer Justin Brown
Q: Who are you, and what do you do here at Magenta?
A: I’m Justin Brown, and I’m a multimedia content developer.
Q: And what led you to work for Magenta originally? What about this environment in particular have you enjoyed?
A: I was just six months out of college and I needed a job, a career. Thankfully, dgs gave me the opportunity to start that career and I’ve worked here for 13 and a half years. I quickly realized I knew nothing in terms of applying what I learned in college to the real world. We made practical things in school but nothing to the scale or speed of a marketing agency or design studio.
So the challenges have kept me going over the years. New clients, new challenges and being able to push the boundaries in everything we do has always been my focus. It makes me excited to continue to learn, especially from my original background in print design to digital design and development.
Q: How long have you been interested in your field, and what sparked that interest?
A: It all started when I got my first computer back in 1995, and I’ve been intrigued by computers and what you can do with them ever since. I also loved to sketch and draw cartoon characters, and for a long time I wanted to be an illustrator. Later, I fell in love with architecture, and I wanted to do that instead. It’s what I studied all through high school and it’s what I tried to do in college, so when the programs I liked didn’t accept my application, I fell back on my art background.
During that time, I started experimenting with building webpages back in 1999 and 2000. I had a few class projects my first year in college for a basic web class, and my professors were really encouraging. I didn’t feel like computer science itself was my main interest, but I reflected on my artistic skills and decided that web design might be the best way to combine my interests. So I transferred to Ball State University and majored in graphic design while taking as many web courses as I could.
Q: What’s your favorite thing you get to do at work?
A: I get to build things. Webpages, emails, videos – whatever assignments we get, I’m there putting things together and building a foundation for future development.
Q: What fuels your workday? What do you use to get through the day?
A: Actually, I’d say my colleagues. Everybody’s bright, they’re intelligent, they bring unique skills to the table. They’re also all open to learning new things, and I love sharing what I know. We have a collaborative environment here powered by people eager to collaborate within and across departments. It means that we have the ability to understand each other, even when we’re deep in specialized jargon particular to our own skill sets and jobs.
I’m also continually excited by client work because I try to approach each project as a new challenge and try to push the envelope a bit more. It keeps you fresh, it keeps you on your toes. How many people can wake up the morning and say they have the freedom to do creative work? It’s what I love most.
Q: What are your professional goals this year?
A: I just want to continue to improve my skills as a developer and designer. Learn new programming languages and new frameworks, expand on my understanding of app development and see where those can strategically fit with our clients. That gives me personal growth, but it also helps the agency grow.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A: I am a morning person. I was born and raised on a farm, so our days always started early. Even though I was young when we lived on the farm itself, we still run it, and it’s just been part of my heritage and the legacy my grandfather and parents have pushed us kids to do.
I also just like to get to work early so I can read up on industry news and get prepared. Get some chores done before the day gets started, just like I would on the farm.
Q: If you could have anyone from today or the past as a dinner guest, who would you choose and why?
A: The one person who came to mind first was my grandfather. He passed away when I was young, and my biggest fear is forgetting those memories I have of him as I age. He was incredibly wise and a sharp businessman when it came to farming; I would love to have the opportunity to learn more from him.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of media? What do you tell people is your favorite piece of media, and what’s your guilty pleasure?
A: I love movies; I don’t get to see nearly as many as I’d like, but I’m a big movie fan. Any Pixar film, I’ll see it. I don’t care if it’s a kid’s film or not, I’ll go see it. Disney, too. All animated films just blow me away with the technology on display these days.
As far as a guilty pleasure goes, I just don’t really feel guilt about my enjoyment of things. Maybe it’s buying things? Buying Apple products? Between me and my family, we’ve got four computers, three iPads, two watches, three Apple TVs…I guess being an early adopter is my guilty pleasure.
Q: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
A: Super strength. It’s a lot more practical than what most people wish for, I’ll bet.
Q: If you could completely devote yourself to mastering any skill, what would it be?
A: Being a better father, a good parent. The best dad I could be. Parenting is tough! You fail, you say, “Oh crap, I made a mistake.” That’s okay, of course – all parents screw up, all parents have to make tradeoffs when it comes to making a living and raising kids at the same time – but I wish I could devote more of my time and energy to my kids anyway.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Indianapolis or Fishers?
A: I’m very basic when it comes to food and get the same thing wherever I go. I like the Mark Zuckerberg approach to making decisions; there are so many other decisions I have to make that I like to keep it simple when it comes to certain things. So I’m more of a fast food guy. Chick-fil-A. I could eat that every day.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to go in town on a sunny summer day?
A: The park with my kids. There’s a school behind our house with this giant playground and I take the kids over there.
Q: When you’ve got friends and family visiting from out of town, where do you take them to show off where you live?
A: We usually go downtown. I like to show them all the different landmarks that help tell the city’s story. I also always take folks to see the Colts and Pacers stadiums, but also I’ll take them to Monument Circle, have them experience some of the shopping we have to offer here.