The people who use our boards.

299 interviews since 2018

Brian Shoener

Technical Program Manager

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m Brian Shoener, and I’m a technical program manager at Google. I just recently started this job, so I’m still settling into things! Previously, I worked as a consultant at an engineering consulting firm. Outside of work, I spend most of my time with my family. My kiddos and I love playing with Legos and PicassoTiles.

Brian Shoener's nerd corner
What Brian calls his 'nerd corner' proudly displays a Mario Question Block he and his daughter made from Legos and a Zelda-themed gauntlet he made on his own

My wife and I love to play board games (we’ve been playing Wingspan a lot lately) and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. In my spare time, I like working with my hands, whether it be tinkering, woodworking, knitting, crocheting, cooking, you name it!

Brian Shoener's setup
Brian's desk is simple and uncluttered, but he's got a lot of fun tech in the area

What hardware do you use?

I use a tented Moonlander as my main keyboard. What a revolution it has been compared to my old $20 nonergonomic keyboard! My wrist pain has vanished, and my back has also been straighter. I’ve spent a lot of time getting the layers and layout perfect for me, and I can’t imagine going back. I also use a 2021 MacBook Pro for work and a CyberPowerPC gaming desktop for leisure. I also have a few Raspberry Pis floating around. One is used as my home server (running CasaOS, and also hosting my D&D campaign on Foundry VTT), and the other runs a LED light I built to look like a window. It checks the weather every five minutes and adjusts the brightness of the LEDs to match.

Brian Shoener's window shade
It looks like a sunny day outside!
Brian Shoener's lights
...and it is, but it's these lights that are telling us so!

And what software?

My bread-and-butter is VS Code for coding. Apart from the generic extensions (e.g., Python, Jupyter, etc.) I use the following: autoDocstring, Better Comments, Black Formatter, Blockman, Color Highlight, Even Better TOML, Mintlify, Polacode, SandDance for VSCode, and Ruff. I like One Dark Pro for my color scheme.

I also utilize Rectangle for window management on the Mac. Besides that, I don’t use much in the way of lesser-known software.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

While I’m currently using QWERTY, I’ve been considering switching to Colemak, especially after reading about Tarmak on the ZSA blog. My top layer is Mac-oriented, and the second layer is Windows-oriented, since I use a KVM to switch between my work and gaming computers. I use the third layer for special characters as needed, and the last two layers are almost never used, but are still useful once in a while.

What would be your dream setup?

Someday I would love to switch to one extra-wide monitor to remove the seams. I’d also like to get an MX Ergo someday, but since my hands are mostly on my keyboard, I’m not as concerned with my mouse ergonomics.

Brian Shoener's tile creation collaboration
Enjoy this adorable 'turtle house' Brian and his daughter made out of Picasso tiles

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