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Tech21 Q&A with James Brooks

We asked ARA Journeys’ James Brooks (JB)  how he made the move from hip hop to tech!

Q:   What did you think you would be when you grew up?

A:  A Rapper (Since I was 11) or an Astronomer.

Q:  What is your mahi?

A:  Junior Game Developer, so mainly programming and coding (Game Development) but a bit of everything, sometimes UI, sometimes audio.

Q: What is the favourite part of your job?

A: My favourite part right now, is just having a job. I get to work from home, for an awesome company that is all about helping Maori and the community. Being able to inspire other Maori and create fun games in the process.

I’m new to the role (six months), so I don’t know everything.  But I’m understanding that it’s okay to not know everything, when sometimes I feel like I should know it all.

Q:    What set you on your career path?
A:   My Wife, my kids and my whānau inspires me everyday.

Q: How do you harness creativity at work and in life?

At work I try not to dwell or get stuck on the same thing for too long, otherwise it drains me and I feel like I’m in a mental block, so lot’s of small spurts and try to get on a roll early in the day.

In life, I’m always creative with my time, but mostly at night, I’m a full night owl. So usually when everyone is in bed and asleep, I’m up thinking and ideas are at their most ready 11pm – 2am. That’s from my Hip Hop music background, easier to sit and create at that hour for me.

When I’m not creating music or working on side projects for gaming or apps, I’m spending time with my whānau and enjoying our time and activities together. I’m also a Martial Artist and student of Wing Chun Kung Fu.

Q:  What does Techweek2021’s theme: Connecting for a Better future Te honohono mo te heke mai pai ake mean to you?

A: For us to make a better world and brighter future for generations to come it has to be done together. If we move as one, we can make change sooner. Each one, teach one!

I hope the future of work will be one where people are living safer, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. Where technology is embraced and used to encourage this. I hope the next generation finds a way to get along and they don’t have too hard a time trying to undo what has been done.

Q: What is your advice for ākonga considering their future?

A: It’s not how you start the race, but how you finish. Don’t look too far ahead trying to see the finish line, but feel the moment and use your experience gathered along the way to achieve the goal. Strength in numbers – seek and find like minded individuals and grow together. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.

Q:  What’s your take on social media?

A: I think it’s an awesome way to keep in touch with whānau that are spread out all over the world. It can be dangerous or misleading, especially for the younger generation. It has pros and cons like most things, but it has made the world more accessible.

Q:  What technology could you simply not live without?

A: Music!

This or that?

  • Movies or TV? 
  • Comedy or drama
  • Music or podcasts? 
  • Book or ebook
  • Fiction or nonfiction? 
  • Facebook or Instagram
  • Iphone or Android
  • Phone call or text

Follow JB online: 

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