Roll Call: Nick Heckman, Mobile Dev Demon Slayer


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Sanborn is a team of designers, developers, and producers, hard at work to create fluid websites, dynamic apps, high-quality videos, and incredible live experiences. But what really makes our work click are the personalities of those individuals. Get to know us a bit better at Roll Call:

What is your most memorable “that’s why I work here” moment?

For me, the most memorable moments are the ones we don’t take.  That is to say, the occasional projects we turn down. Most dev shops these days are happy to take any starry eyed client with a dream and turn it into a profit, for better or worse.  But the thing I’ve come to respect the most about working here is that, if we think a potential client isn’t making the right call, we’ll let them know. We work with people to make sure they are getting what they actually want, and not a malfunctioning mess of good intentions.

At the end of the day, it shows that we collectively want everyone to come out a winner. It’s just refreshing, in this kind of business, to know that somebody actually gives a shit.

What sage job wisdom from another employee has really stuck with you?

One day Jason Bleck walked in with a name brand leather suitcase for his laptop and a fresh new sweatsuit. The reason he gave for his “Sweat Ensemble” was that he had a JC Penny’s gift card and, “If you have something, why not use it?” That really stuck with me. It’s like he was talking about not wasting a $25 gift card to JC Penny’s, but he could have also been talking about all the opportunities life gives you. As if you have the option to take a risk, but you don’t do it because it might turn out badly. But the worst thing that could happen is people think you are weird for having a $200 briefcase and wear a $25 sweatsuit. That maybe taking those opportunities and having them turn out badly, isn’t all that bad.

Or maybe I’m looking into it too much. Now that I think about it, he probably was just talking about sweat pants.


pretty much what Bleck was wearing.

What has been your strangest remote work location?

I usually try to stay where I know I’ll have decent internet, because not having a good connection can cripple my work. I have however accidentally fallen into a biphasic sleep schedule before and have been up at 2 AM catching up on projects.

What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on at SMF? Why?

Gotta be the hackathons we do every now and then. I come from a rough and tumble game dev background where it’s pretty common to come up with an idea and immediately start working on a prototype, then have it ready in a few days. I do a fair amount of game jams on the side because I like that quick format so much.

There’s just something about working on a ridiculously limited timeline and having control over the scope that I think appeals to me. You really get at the core of what you’re trying to make and learn to rip out pieces that don’t make sense. You start to get a feel for the importance of breadth vs depth. It becomes crystal clear when you should cut a feature that you could do without to make sure you actualize another feature that’s more important.


An typical hackathon

Q: “If you were… …which one employee would you want with you?

…stranded on an island…

Probably Ace Goulet, he seems like the most nature-able(?) person in the company. Plus, I know that he will not go anywhere without a knife and knives make island survival a cakewalk. I’m pretty sure surviving on an island is something that he has thought a lot about. As for me? I don’t think I could make a fire without the internet. Quite frankly, I would be surprised if Ace decided to let me off the island after he built a boat.

…a survivor in the zombie apocalypse…

This is a weird one, because choosing one person kind of implies that I would let the other employees turn into zombies. Anyway I’d choose Chris Gray. I think I’d do pretty well in a zombie apocalypse on my own, so rather than choose someone who is best suited to zombie survival (probable Ace Goulet with the knives again), I’d pick Gray because I’d want kind of a buddy cop kind of thing going on. I’d just want to have fun, you know? Because there’s really no end-game to a zombie apocalypse, you just gotta make the most out of what you’ve got. Also I imagine if I got caught by zombies, Gray would be loyal enough to try and save me. Not dying alone is a really valuable perk in that situation.

…in Ohio…

I’d pick Chris Gray again, because I’d just want to have fun. There’s really no end-game when you’re in Ohio. You just gotta make the most out of what you’ve got.

…in a drag show…”

It’s a tie between Lauren Dakai and Edith Levin. They turned me on to the “Man Bun” that I’ve been rocking lately, which is the best fashion advice anyone has ever given me. That makes them the experts in fashion for me. I don’t know how good they’d be specifically in a drag situation, but I think they could handle it.


The only gif of Ohio that I could find.

Q: Can you outrun a turkey in a 50 yard dash?

At first I thought, “Yea, totally.” Then I looked up the average land speed of a turkey (25mph), which is WAY faster than I would have figured. I think if it were a particularly well-trained and determined turkey, they would win. But if I met just a regular old turkey out on the street, I could probably beat it in the 50. Anything more than 50 goes to the turkey though, definitely. I’m far too out of shape for anything more than 50 yards.