We were delighted to welcome Tom Holmes to the team in May as a Software Engineer. He sat down with Tim to answer a few of our questions:
Welcome, tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Tom, a software engineer. I’ve just come back from a 5 month career break in Southeast Asia (mainly Bali).
I love travelling, combat sports, skiing (although I haven’t been in years), water sports like surfing, diving and sailing, a regular gym rat, and the occasional beer.
What are you looking forward to about being part of the Loomery team?
The opportunity to be around great people who are passionate and knowledgeable in their fields and the potential to learn a huge amount from them. And broadening my own experience by being able to work on a variety of projects.
What was the first tech product you built?
I was hugely into music production when I started out in software (I still am) so I made an iOS app that allowed people to search for songs by chord progression.
It could be useful for inspiration or for DJs for mixing tracks with similar progressions together.
Have you been learning anything cool outside of your discipline?
Oh yes! Whenever I travel for some period of time (like I just have) I always have a goal for learning a new skill. This time it was surfing, as I was living near the beach in Bali for a few months there was no excuse not to.
After one lesson I decided I understood the technique and was good enough to just practice on my own. I was humbled by the huge waves several times when I started out, getting caught in the washing machine, but after several sessions I was getting the hang of it and it was a lot of fun!
I’ll definitely be going on more surfing holidays down the road.
What’s your favourite tool or app most people haven’t heard of?
Athena, just to plug my own app 😏! It’s an AI assistant powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, designed exclusively for Apple devices like Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
But a close second would be Things. I use it everyday, it’s such a great todo app. I love how minimalist it is and how you can organise projects, reminders and other things.
I love quotes and one of them is “the brain is for having ideas not for storing them”. Things is definitely the best place to store ideas.
It also epitomises what a great iOS and Mac app should look and feel like and has great marketing and design. I took a lot of inspiration from them for Athena’s marketing and website.
Recommend one podcast or book
I used to listen to The Joe Rogan Experience a fair amount but have been slipping off the podcast scene a wee bit. Although when I do occasionally listen I like Lex Friedman and Y Combinator’s podcast.
As for books, the one that sticks out to me is Zero to One by Peter Thiel. I don’t read a lot but this book is great about the main principles about creating something totally new and original. I haven’t read it in years but I definitely want to come back and reread it at some point soon.