Gooey-caching

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Senior Software Developer, Dave (Wilson)

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of GeocachingHQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Dave, but there are 3 other Dave/Davids at HQ so early on people started referring to me by my last name, Wilson. It took a little getting used to, but now I really enjoy having a name that is unique. And yes, I share my name with a volleyball. :)

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
HiddenGnome

A Geocaching HQ "requirement".
A Geocaching HQ “requirement”.

How did you come up with your username?
My wife and I love to garden and we have a growing collection of gnomes around our yard and house. I like to think that gnomes are clever, stealthy and a little bit mischievous (not always in that order). Those traits felt like a good match for me as a geocacher too.

What is your job title? 
Senior Software Developer
Gooey-caching
Gooey-caching
What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I work on the geocaching.com website, keeping the website running and adding new features. There are many steps and people that are required to take an idea and turn it into something on the website, but my primary role is to turn the ideas into something that a computer can understand. One of my favorite responsibilities is helping to layout the structure of new projects so they scale over time, similar to how an engineer might map out a city that is continually growing.

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)? 
I am not a powercacher and definitely prefer quality over quantity. I love geocaching when I travel and often use it to find out about areas that are off the beaten path.
Off the beaten path
Off the beaten path
What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
There have been a number of geocaches that have completely blown me away. Whether it is a particularly brain bending puzzle, a clever multi or an elaborate night cache; the thoughtfulness and creativity that goes into certain geocaches is what keeps me interested. Also, some people are willing to blindly stick their hand into a dark hole in search of a geocache. I am not one of those people.
Deep thoughts, with Dave
Deep thoughts, with Dave
What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
The obvious spot is sometimes exactly where you will find the cache.
Tom and one of Geocaching's little buddies - Stumpy

Geocaching Employee Spotlight: Tom, Veep of Marketing & Merch

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Tom Phillips

Tom skiing
Tom skiing

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
VIATRU

How did you come up with your username?
When I first moved to Seattle back in 2000, I worked on a wonderful start up business called World2market. We used the internet to create a global marketplace for third world artisans. It was an amazing project and along the way we considered other company names. One was VIATRU.

What is your job title?
I am the VP of Marketing and Merchandise here at Geocaching HQ

Tom and one of Geocaching's little buddies - Stumpy
Tom and one of Geocaching’s little buddies – Stumpy

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I am very privileged to have the opportunity to serve the geocaching community in two ways. 1) I work with our merchandise team to make sure geocachers around the world can find the physical products they need to create, share and enjoy the game of geocaching. 2) I work with our marketing team to make sure the geocaching community stays connected and informed with what’s going on both here at HQ and around the world.

Tom (upper right) with come of the Geocaching HQ crew on a team outing
Tom (upper right) with come of the Geocaching HQ crew on a team outing

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I am definitely an explorer when it comes to Geocaching. I love geocaches that take me somewhere new or challenge me with a new experience. Geocaching has taken me into caves, up trees and into the woods in the middle of the night. I love this stuff!!

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
From the day I was first introduced to geocaching back in 2004, I have been both inspired and amazed by the enthusiasm, support, creativity and endless imagination of geocachers around the world.

Treasure Trackers
Treasure Trackers

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
Three simple words, “Let’s go Geocaching”. I said yes and 12 years later I’m still having a blast!!!

Ben (Dean F.) supports DNF Pride

Geocaching Employee Spotlight: Product Owner & Avid Geocacher, Ben Hewitt

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of GeocachingHQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Ben Hewitt 

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
benandjayme (shared with my wife!) 

Jayme, Ben, and Signal the Frog at a Geocaching Event
Jayme, Ben, and Signal the Frog at a Geocaching Event

How did you come up with your username?
Hmmmm… it’s not the most creative username, but it’s certainly representative of the two of us! 

What is your job title?
Product Owner 

Bryan, Ben, and Jayme at Geocaching Block Party 2014
Bryan, Ben, and Jayme at Geocaching Block Party 2014

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I’m one of the six members of HQ’s Product team. As a team, we’re responsible for identifying and defining the best new features to add to Geocaching.com and the official mobile apps. “Best” is a lofty and sometimes tough to define goal, so we’re constantly striving to create features that are good for the community, good for the game, and good for the business. Individually, I’m responsible for managing the flow of design and development work that passes through one of our three product delivery teams at HQ and for helping making sure that the team meets our timeline and quality commitments.

Ben is a firm supporter of DNF Pride
Ben is a firm supporter of DNF Pride

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I love to use geocaching to explore new places. One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate after almost 8 years of geocaching is that exploration and discovery are always just around the corner. I’ll always love flying across the world and discovering a new country or culture, but I’ve had just as many amazing experiences discovering new places just a few blocks outside of my well-worn everyday routines.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I’m always amazed at how many different ways geocachers come up with to play this game. Any time you think you’ve got it down (“THIS is geocaching”), some new and unexpected geocache or trackable experience will surely come along to defy your definition. I love that about this game!

Ben and his baby girl geocaching last summer
Ben and his baby girl geocaching last summer

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
An oldie-but-goodie that I do believe: it’s not about the numbers! 

Jennifer on Halloween

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Jennifer

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Jennifer

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
Lee-Majors

Jennifer on Halloween
Jennifer on Halloween

How did you come up with your username?
I have an unhealthy love of 70s TV.

What is your job title?
Administrative Assistant

Jennifer on her ergonomic Administrative Assistant throne
Jennifer on her ergonomic Administrative Assistant throne

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I’m a Lackey Herder. I help manage schedules and schedule meetings for the founders. I try to ignore filing duties to the best of my ability. I help everyone with whatever they might need – conference rooms, travel plans, scheduling and general support. I get to interact with pretty much everyone at HQ at some point or another which is great when you work with such awesome people.

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
Quality over quantity but convenience over everything. I’m the mom of two little boys so long finds aren’t always an option. I’ll grab any cache when the moment is right.

I'm the mom of two little boys so long finds aren't always an option.
I’m the mom of two little boys so long finds aren’t always an option.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
When I first started geocaching, the very first cache I tried to find was right down the street from my house in a pretty ubarn city area. I ended up DNFing. I added it to my watch list and of course, people logged it. I went back around 5 or 6 times before I finally found it. It was camo’d to the bottom of a billboard sign and it really looked like part of the structure. Up until then I thought geocaching was just Tupperware containers in bushes. (I looked in soooo many bushes around the billboard lol). Awesomely camo’d urban hides never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Jennifer and the boys geocaching
Jennifer and the boys geocaching

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
Always carry mosquito spray!

 

Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Reid

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Reid

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
reidsomething

Reid on the moutain
Reid on the moutain

How did you come up with your username?
I am a sucker for a double entendre. And I like books. It’s a call to action. My co-worker, ThePaigeTurner, and I couldn’t resist making a name-theme cache.

What is your job title?
UX Videographer

Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?
Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Over 98% of the videos you’ve seen come out of Geocaching HQ over the past 6 years were made with these hands! (with the help of some wildly clever co-workers). Basically, I get to tell stories, geocaching stories, for a living. So, next time you see a HQ video of someone climbing a mountain, crawling through a sewer, or pie-ing our co-founder Jeremy Irish in the face, you can picture me and my trusty Canon 5Dm3 camera doing our best to make it all look pretty.

Geocaching Video Production Team
Geocaching Video Production Team

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I like a cache with a story. My partner and I biked the Oregon coast a few summers back. We stopped for lunch one day at an ocean lookout where it turned out that a momma and baby whale were circling the cove. After much awe, I looked for a cache nearby so I could always remember that spot, that moment.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I’m always struck by meeting different kinds of geocachers. There isn’t really one common trait that all geocachers share apart from a spark of curiosity and adventure. I love meeting new people in our wacky, eclectic community.

Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)
Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
If the cache is placed well, you shouldn’t have to go off-rail/damage plant-life to find it.