Workflow with Dan Kim, Android Programmer at Basecamp & Hello Weather

In this edition of Workflow, we have Dan Kim, Android Programmer at Basecamp & Hello Weather, talking about his multitude of devices and “just go with it” working style.

Workflow is an interview series by Balance the Grind to get a glimpse into people’s working styles and workspaces. If you’re interested in sharing your workflow, submit it here!

Describe what you do: I’m an Android programmer at two places — professionally at Basecamp, and as a hobby on a side project called Hello Weather.

At Basecamp I work on all of our Android apps on a small team of three. And since most of our teams in the company are all small, it’s important that we’re able to focus on the work and minimize distractions.

We do our best to keep our work environment calm and efficient, so we work 100% remotely, have very few meetings, and communicate asynchronously whenever possible. Commuting, calendars full of meetings, and instant responses are not a thing at Basecamp!

Hello Weather is a fun little side project that I work on with a couple of pals. It’s not about hardcore capitalism (though we do make a few bucks to have pizza now and then) — really it’s just a playground to experiment with ideas, stretch some muscles that we don’t get to use often, and frankly just an excuse to hang out with a couple of friends. And making a really nice weather app that we’ve always wanted for ourselves is a nice side benefit. 😎

How do you like your coffee: Simple! Freshly ground beans, pressed with an AeroPress, and black.

I’ve recently cut back to a single cup each day. It’s been very helpful for ensuring a restful night of sleep, but I also not-so-secretly hate it, because for many years my afternoon coffee was one of my favorite activities!

Since I’m down to one cup a day, I’ve been using the best tasting (but reasonably priced) beans I can find, and recently that’s been Hoboken Coffee.

Device(s) you use: On a day to day work basis: MacBook Pro 15″, Dell 24″ monitor, Logitech MX Master 2s mouse, Mac Das Keyboard, Google Pixel 3, Sony WH1000XM3 headphones.

Because Android development has such broad device support: Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 1, Google Nexus 5x, Samsung S7.

Personal use: iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Pro, AirPod Pros.

Describe your working style in one sentence: Every day is a little different because of tons of variables out of my control, so my work style is basically “just go with it” — occasionally I’m super locked in and can solve anything, often I’m scattered and terrible, but in the end it usually balances out. ☺️

What does your workspace look like: Since we’re a 100% remote company, I work at home. So my workspace is much like the rest of our home — relatively boring, but neat.

We recently moved so I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated office now (for many years, my office was our bedroom). I keep a few things around — art from my kids, random bobbleheads, Star Wars toys, etc — but I don’t take decorating my office too seriously. I know many people take great pride in decking out their workspaces as places of inspiration, but I’m not one of those people.

My desk is mostly focused on work — it’s mostly just my computer-related stuff and a pen and paper. It’s not some focus mantra I have, it’s just a matter of physical space — I don’t have room for anything else!

I use a standing desk for 75% of my work day — that took some adjusting, but it’s been something like 4 years so I can’t really imagine going back to sitting all day. I do have a chair in my office though for occasional breaks and the afternoon lull.

How does your workspace affect your creative process: Primarily it’s about quiet — having a dedicated space (and a closed door) means a quieter workspace with no hustle and bustle, which helps me concentrate. When I really need to think, I need that quiet. Some folks can do their best thinking while blasting music sitting in the kitchen, but I’ve never been able to do that.

Do you have a favourite playlist for work: Nothing specific, but I really do love music — I just fire up Spotify and see where my mood takes me. I do often end up in late 90s / early 2000s alt rock, though.

When I’m on a roll, I can listen to basically anything. When I need to concentrate some, I’ll usually pick something instrumental — a soundtrack or one of those “deep focus” playlists. But hell, there are times when I’ve listened to the Moana soundtrack on an endless loop for a day, so yeah. 🏄‍♂️

Who would you like to nominate for the next workflow interview: Trevor Turk. A long time Rails developer, colleague, friend, and all around great guy!

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or partner with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here.

If you never want to miss one of our conversations about work, life & balance, subscribe to our newsletter.

Design anything, publish anywhere with Canva. Collaborate & create amazing graphic design for free.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.