2 minutes and 40 seconds with Norman Ma

Today I’m interviewing Norman, who is a mutual Twitter-friend of mine and… err, quite a handful of other people! I have friends who are friends with him, and vice versa. We haven’t met in person yet. I’d say we have a few things in common – coding and photography to name a few. I’m probably not as sugar-obsessed as he is, though.

My day job’s a software developer (mostly back-end, but occasionally some front-end work) at Atlassian. In my spare time, I love taking photos, occasionally writing about technology, and playing board games.

A photo of Norman
A photo of Norman

If you could have three different occupations, what would they be?

Tea cafe owner, mobile photographer, professional food taster / tester.

What is your Monopoly token of choice?

Pikachu from the original Pokemon Monopoly (the only Monopoly I’ve owned!)

Which of the following would be the most interesting to photograph: a man doing splits on a semi-crowded train; a squirrel in a suit eating pineapple; a homeless man drinking from a Starbucks cup?

A man doing splits on a semi-crowded train. More than just the man himself, I’d love to include in the picture the commuter’s reactions!

Where you wish you could travel to right now, if teleportation was possible?

Somewhere with snow. I’m thinking Iceland.

You are greeted with a bowl of fruit. What’s in it?

Green apples, grapes, dragonfruit (I’m not sure if I’d actually eat it, but it sure as hell looks cool!), mandarins.

It’s a very hot day. Do you go for an iced cola or a chocolate ice cream?

Chocolate ice cream.

It’s still a very hot day. Do you go for an iced tea or an iced coffee?

Iced tea! In fact, I regularly brew my own, experimenting with new tea blends and brewing techniques. I’m a bit of an iced tea fanatic. ;-)

Norman brews his own tea.
Norman brews his own tea.

Would you rather be a giraffe or a turtle?

Turtle. Both are cute, but the turtle carries its home and creature comforts with it.

Name a song that you are currently enjoying listening to.

Supreme, by Robbie Williams. (Specifically, the swing version he put out in 2013.)

What television show can you absolutely not stand and, if you had the power to, would axe right now?

Hard to say – I don’t own a TV, and haven’t watched it for months! (Axe all TV? ;))

If you wrote a book, what kind of book would it be and what would it be about?

I’d find it hard to restrict myself to one book! I’d write a non-fiction one about designing board games (which I’d absolutely love to do, but am yet to actually do so!), and write something sci-fi about interplanetary human life.

If you didn’t have a computer or a phone, what would be something you could not live without?

Probably a gas stove. I love to cook, and cooking on anything else just feels *wrong*.

A box of chocolates arrives at your desk. What chocolate is it?

It’d better be Whittaker’s hazelnut chocolate, otherwise I’m sending it back. Woolies was out of stock of the stuff for months, and I barely survived my chocolate cravings.

Would you rather have a giant lollipop, a stick of fairy floss, or ‘chips on a stick’?

Giant lollipop all the way! :D

Last but not least, would you rather jump into a box of M&Ms or a box of Skittles?

M&Ms. Crispy M&Ms, to be precise.

You can catch Norman at: