This post is part of a series that spotlights how the people at Equinix Metal spend their downtime in ways that help make us a workplace overflowing with curiosity, craft, and connection.
James Hogle goes big, even when he’s focused on small details. It’s a skill that makes him a deft software engineer, an adventurous outdoorsman, and an avid miniature modeler. James is the kind of person who decides to go camping, only to wind up warming himself over a crackling fire in a near-hundred-pound wood burning stove inside a roomy tent, all of which he hauled to a snowy spot carefully selected for its wild remoteness in the Great Smoky Mountains.
He’s self-aware about how his plans scale. James explained, “My brain has a tendency to see an idea and then spiral out of control to whatever is the coolest way I can do that thing. But it’s not about being competitive. I do it for fun.”
The habit of pursuing ideas to the coolest extent possible often leads James to discover new ways to spend his downtime. While at a hobby store shopping for Dungeons and Dragons gaming gear, the toy soldiers displayed on the store shelves caught his eye. Today, he still games at least once a week, and is Dungeon Master for a virtual campaign with friends. But he admits to being more drawn to creating three-dimensional miniature historical dioramas, squads of robotic warriors, “Lord of the Rings” scenes, and other models.
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James knows he has to set some boundaries for himself. “I have to be careful. I want a million different models for a million different reasons. Which is why I’m determined to not let myself get into model trains.”
Something as commonplace as watching a movie can launch ambitious, long-lasting hobbies. “As a kid, I thought the scene in the movie ‘Master and Commander’ where Russell Crowe plays violin on a sailboat was probably the coolest thing anyone could ever do. So once I got my own sailboat, I got a violin to go with it and started taking lessons. I’ve switched from sailing to kayaking, but I'm still taking violin lessons.”
One of the aspects of working at Equinix Metal that James appreciates is that there’s a culture of support for anything you want to be involved in. On a backpacking trip, James and a friend filmed a video to make an analogy about software deployments. “It was a silly, funny video, and people appreciated it. At Equinix Metal, it’s easy to be involved in things that are a little out of the ordinary and push boundaries in ways other companies might not embrace. I especially like that I can be silly about stuff and enjoy the work we’re doing.”