Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.

It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.

About:

Philippe Hong is an award winning designer, front-end dev, co-founder of a startup Vyte.in, and currently Product Designer at a startup in Sydney, Australia.

Time Warp:

1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?

Wow, when I was 10 I think, it was an intel celeron, I will always remember that because it was really sh*t.

2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?

The first website I designed and developed was my first portfolio in early 2012. I remember I had just learned HTML/CSS at that time and CSS3 just came out. I decided to apply to several website awards contests with my website and to my surprise, I won a lot a prizes and rewards with it. I actually won one from CSSDA ;). I got a huge amount of visitors, and it was a very good start for me.

3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?

My last portfolio I think. I like to redesign my website every year to be up to date. It is always fun to see what people think about it.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?

Don't waste your time on different projects and focus on one you really like.

5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?

To when the first iPhone came out. I feel like I missed something, missed a whole new market of app development and ideas.

Favourite Things:

1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?

Think about the product. The pros, the cons. I'm an app killer, I like to redesign everything.

2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?

Sketch of course, Invision, Zeplin, FramerJS. MaterialUp, iOSUp ;), Pttrns are my favorites.

3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?

Anything Apple, that's pretty much it. The best there is for designers on the devices market.

4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?

A city in Australia because there is a big market there and huge possibilities. Maybe SF, or a city in Canada.

5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?

I like to go to events or meetups, to meet new faces and new people from the design world.

Life Hacks:

1. How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated because since I want to be different and show that I have talent, it pushes me to always do my best. That way, I am always motivated because there is always a way to do better.

2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?

I don't think I have a good work balance, I work almost 12h a day or more. I stay in front of my computer all day. I should go out and do some sports. But I make it up with healthy nutrition.

3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?

Do what you want to do. Do your own things, nothing is better than self-motivation. Don't work in places you don't like. Learn everyday, you'll be the best.

4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?

I always follow new trends especially in the startup environment. With twitter, blogs, Facebook. It's not difficult when it's your everyday life.

5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?

I already thought about this. In a world of chaos, I think designers would be the first to die. We are so useless in a world of crisis... lol. I would definitely change job I think.

Versus: In your opinion...

1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?

You need both.

2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. full­time job?

Founder.

3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?

iPhone of course!

4. Printed book vs eBook?

Ebook, you can zoom on the text haha.

5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?

Star Wars!

Thanks for your time. Any last words?

Thanks CSSDA!