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People of PressPage: Hugo Verhoef

A creative mind that works his coding magic as a newsroom developer

Our development team is at the core of our business. Newsroom developer Hugo works on the front-end of our platform, helping clients everyday to create the best newsrooms possible. But there is more to him than meets the eye, he has a creative mind and a love for arts and sports. Learn more about Hugo!

Could you describe briefly what your role is within PressPage?

My role is newsroom developer, that means that I focus on client work. For example, when a client has a website and no newsroom, we make sure the newsroom fits in the look and feel of the existing website. We look at the design and the preferences of the client, we consult with Customer Success to see if there are any particular details to keep in mind, and we look at what the desires are of all parties involved and how we can implement that. Next to that we fix any issues that may occur in the newsroom or manager on the client's’ side. If there is an issue that can be seen on the live newsroom, we take care of that. We basically do the work that can be seen by all newsroom visitors.

After highschool I started studying Sports & Movement, but after half a year I decided to switch to Communication & Multimedia Design at the Haagse Hogeschool. I studied to become a interaction and UX designer. This means during my studies we focussed on user-friendliness and how we can set up the design process to create new ideas, mainly for digital products. There was no direct link to coding during my studies, but we did touch upon the subject a bit. After that I learned to code in my spare time. This is actually my first job after graduating.

Being a newsroom developer, it’s important to know your way with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You will need to be flexible because the wishes and requests of a client may change, or you will have to drop what you are working on when a priority task comes in. You need to be able to handle not knowing what the day will bring. It is also important to have the discipline to keep on learning, mostly in your spare time. This is always important, but it definitely goes for design and development. You learn coding by doing it a lot and you need to keep up with the latest developments. Next to that it helps if you have an eye for design. Sometimes the exact wishes of the client will not work in their newsroom, so you need to decide on what works better in terms of design and usability.

Three things you didn’t know about Hugo

When I was 5 or 6 years old I started playing soccer, I was the goalkeeper. I was in the first team of our club, so we played against the top clubs in the region. It was quite impressive to play against great clubs like Feyenoord, ADO and Excelsior. I played until I was 14 years old, after that I started playing volleyball until I was about 18 years old. Right now I’m looking into different sports to try. Perhaps tennis or squash, or go back to volleyball again. I like being active and doing sports is a great way to do so.

I started playing guitar when I was about 6 years old. I started out with an acoustic guitar and classical music, learning musical notes for guitar. I never really liked learning notes and classical music, so I switched to another music school that focussed more on pop music. There I practised songs I knew and we did more guitar solo’s. I used to play notes by heart rather than reading them, but I lost that feeling a bit. I haven’t played for over 10 years now. Perhaps I will pick it up again one day.

At work I do a lot of coding, in my spare time I like to do design. I design websites and I do free work, I like designing 3D. For inspiration I browse through Pinterest a lot. I love the works of Michelangelo and Bernini for example, I can look at their works forever and try to create something inspired by their works in 3D. I love being creative, as a kid I used to draw a lot. I had quite some books with explanations on how to draw a certain image, but usually I would just try to recreate it on my own. I practised different styles, from realism to cartoons. Still I try to use both styles in my 3D designs. I am very interested in anatomy, I like figuring out how it looks if a certain part of the body moves and how I can recreate that. I like making things and looking at other artists for inspiration.

The secret dream of Hugo

What I would love to do one day is a tour through the jungle, like Bear Grills does. A survival tour of some sort where you would go into the jungle with a small group of people. I have no survival skills at all, but somehow the idea appeals to me. Going to visit the North Pole is also something I would love to do. I like doing something special and being active. I’m not the kind of person to go sit on a beach during my holidays, I want to head out and explore. Apart from travelling to extraordinary places, I would love to grow as a designer.


About PressPage

PressPage provides a SaaS PR platform with additional services for creation of advanced social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs. It enables brands to publish and distribute rich content, and provides direct insights into the results. PressPage empowers PR professionals by adding efficiency and effectiveness to their daily work routine.