Lego & Community – Interviews about building and learning

After some blog posts about Power Apps and my personal Microsoft Graph challenge, I am excited to announce that I will run a Community interview series about Lego.

I noticed that there are a lot of Lego addicts in my filter bubble, and I found it interesting to know how they think about Lego.

So I asked on twitter whom I should know – apart from the usual suspects that were already in my mind.

Meet my interview partners here and answer the questions as well: 

https://bit.ly/LegoAddicts

Meet Elio Struyf

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

As a kid, I did not play so much with Lego. I wanted to, but I was not in a fortunate situation where I was able to just choose what I wanted to play with. Luckily, I do not have traumas from this, but I now might have an urge to catch up with things I missed in my childhood. Now that I have kids myself, it is fun to share the same hobby. Although my kids know that the Lego from daddy is different from theirs. They can play/break/recreate with their own Lego, but the sets that are in the office, stay in the office.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I always loved Lego, but when Lego started with the Brickheadz series. I just had to collect them all.   During the Corona/COVID-19 crisis, I started to watch Star Wars (I know that I’m late to the game). After the first movie, I knew that this was a bad idea. Now I have an office full of unopened Star Wars Lego sets and various minifigs. Every time I make a set from Star Wars if feels like it was created especially for Lego. It all fits so nice together.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Struggle is a big word, but the Bugatti and the new Lamborghini are two sets where you need to keep focused. The engine consists of so many parts that you can easily miss a step or accidentally put something wrong. One thing you do not want to do is break a Lego Technics set apart.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Most of the time I do it on my own. Sometimes I get help from my kids.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Don’t know, Lego is just so cool, and there is no age limit on creativity. Think that brings us all together, finding solutions for problems, and start building them. This process is also what you apply to Lego. I also love it sometimes to open the Bricklink Studio app and start creating Brickheadz from scratch. Always cool to order the bricks and start building it in real afterward.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Coming up with creative solutions for issues you face during your work, but more important is the calm Lego gives me. I can use it to free my head and look at how brick by brick it comes together. Once I a set finished a set, it goes to my office. Sometimes I walk in my office to take a look and smile. It gives me internal joy and happiness. Think that is what matters the most, and a happy person results in making other people in your team happy.

What will be your next set?

At the moment, I am building the Lamborghini. The next set will probably be the Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet (actually a really cool series).


Meet Jess Dodson

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

Really young age – I remember having Lego in the house from the time I was about 5. I’m a twin and my brother (lucky!!!) got the Black Monarch’s Castle (6085) and I remember LOVING playing with it – the drawbridge, the dungeon, the knights on their horses, the winch to pull up the gate. As I got older, I got some of the “girlier” sets – my first memories of sets that were truly “mine” were of the Paradisa series. I was given Poolside Paradise (6416) and loved the new shapes and the smaller details. The parrot!

I’m not sure when I stopped – probably in teenage years? I don’t remember there being a specific point, I just don’t remember having Lego around.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I rediscovered Lego in a really unusual way. A fellow geek friend was in hospital in 2010 and I didn’t want to do the boring thing and bring him flowers or chocolates. I knew that he’d be itching to *DO* something. So, knowing he’s an engineer and he likes motorcycles, I bought him a Lego Technic motorbike (8051). I got to see it when it was built and thought it looked amazing. So I went and bought the same set. And I was hooked. Started off with Technic, moved into Lego City and then got drawn into Lego Star Wars UCS after I went to a Lego Expo and purchased an Imperial Shuttle (10212) UCS set that I fell in love with building. And I’ve been collecting ever since! I collect Lego Star Wars UCS, Expert Creator & Lego Ideas, as well as few limited run series like Monster Fighters & Lego Movie – I’m a huge Unikitty fan

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The Millennium Falcon UCS (75192) was probably my longest build. My daughter was only 3 months old when I first got it so it took me just over 2 months to complete…with her “helping” of course! A full photo set of the build:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/mhxS8MVpei2BFDu42

I also had some issues with the R2D2 (10225) set – I put his legs on backwards so I had to completely take him apart and start again, which was incredibly frustrating! Lesson learned!

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

I build alone, because I love knolling (https://makezine.com/2016/12/07/zen-and-the-art-of-knolling/) and that’s half the fun of some of the larger sets! I use it as my escape, as my wind-down. My husband supports me (and spends way too much on me for birthdays and Christmas!) but he’s not a Lego addict like I am.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Not at all. It’s a physical manifestation of the things that we do – building things! It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that so many tech folk are into Lego. There’s also the fact that Lego series tend to be of the “geeky” variety – Star Wars, DC Comics, Marvel, Harry Potter, Minecraft – that we can’t help but be drawn to it!

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Follow the instructions CAREFULLY. Read ahead and don’t rush. Plan things out. Break things down into smaller segments and it’s easier to manage a big project.

What will be your next set?

I’d like my next set to be the Haunted House (10273) or Pirates of Barracuda Bay (21322), but I think it’ll like be Duplo Frozen Ice Castle (10899) for my little one, because of course I’m going to foster my love of Lego in her!


Meet Captain Daggers McTimbers

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I started playing with Lego Duplo when I was really young. Probably around 2 or 3? I then moved onto the more adult sets when I was about 5. I played with it until I was about 11 and took a break, as I was in my teenage years and had other things to focus on.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I rediscovered my love of Lego around 4 years ago, when my ex partner got me the Lego Yellow Submarine set for Christmas. I had so much fun building it I’ve made a point of having at least one set in reserve to build whenever I was to!

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The ship in a bottle, hands down, is the hardest thing I’ve built. I have long and pointy natural nails so building all the tiny little pieces of the ship was a challenge!

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

I usually almost always build alone, though my partner does like to lend a hand sometimes.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Not at all! I think software engineers love Lego because they’re building something up that will be a satisfying final piece. I’m a hardware engineer so I love how practical it is, much for the same reason. There’s fun in following instructions for a lot of people in our industry.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job? What will be your next set?

Lego has taught me patience. You can’t rush it because if you miss one piece, the whole build is ruined and you have to try and work back or start over. It’s a solid lesson to be learnt.

What will be your next set?

Well, I’m hoping to purchase the Pirate Bay set but I’m currently out of work so can’t afford it. But I have the Milano from Guardians of the Galaxy already, so that will likely come first!


Meet Waldek Mastykarz

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

Ugh, tough one. I don’t know the actual age but it was early. I recall I had this police station set with a helicopter and an officer on a motorcycle. And I think you could turn the helicopter into a police station. I had so much fun with it!

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

When we got my son, we gave him duplo and later lego. As he was working on his sets I started to look more into it again and thinking, I want to build something too. Obviously I’d need my own set for that 😉

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Nothing really so far, but I haven’t built overly complex sets. I think the biggest struggle was trying to rebuild all sets my son has after he took them them apart. Starting of course with finding the right bricks in all the boxes, drawers and cabinets 😉

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Me and my wife built together a few houses I have on the shelve in my office. It was a lot of fun especially as we combined building with a nice glass of wine. We liked a lot not only the building itself but also discovering all the different pieces of the house, the rooms, architecture and hidden features. Lego has a great attention to detail!

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

I love to build something out of nothing. I think that’s why I code and it could very much be that it’s while I love lego!

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

I’d say patience and accuracy. Also, with the bigger sets, the idea that it will take a while and I don’t need to get it all done in one go.

What will be your next set?

I’m on the fence here. There are quite a few things I’d love to build that I have on my list, like more houses but also I like a lot the Bugatti and Lamborghini. And I’d like to try one of the Technic vehicle sets as well


Meet James Callaghan

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

Started with the Duplo blocks when I was probably 3-4. Never stopped although the building and playing stopped in my mid/late teens the appreciation and joy didn’t.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

When my daughter arrived in my mid 20’s it was the perfect excuse to unbox all my old models I had saved for such a day. Since then I realised you don’t need to be a kid to still enjoy building. The joy and experience my daughter has when we took a trip to Legoland is unforgettable and sparked unbelievable memories from my trip when I was young. I’ve since brought myself a number I always admired.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

I don’t recall struggling. I had a strange ability to translate the instructions with ease and had pretty nibble fingers! My recent challenge has actually been down to a number of lost bags from a really big model.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

All of the above. Building on your own is calming and peaceful but building with my partner and daughter is also lots of fun. There is a kind of Lego language – any one see a flat, 4×2, in blue?!?

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

I’d be interested to know if this is a tech thing or just a life thing. Lego is so globally accessible and known. This can only have increased as they’ve extended their range and their kits which are more inclusive then ever.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Firstly, everyone sees things differently. Simply put the same pile of blocks in front of different people and ask them to build you a car without them seeing what others have created. Secondly, requirements and agility. That same example could be achieve with flat 8×2 and two sets of wheels so know your requirements and your MVP. Lastly, use your imagination. Take time to step back and consider things in a different perspective. There is always a solution out there.

What will be your next set?

My daughter has a real joy for boats. She has rebuilt some of my kits and even a kit my brother passed down to me. For her birthday I may get her a pirate ship so she has her own memories to cherish. I never got into the Technic kits and would love to tackle something like a crane and teach my daughter about gearing and motors etc.


Meet Laura Graham-Brown

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

Had Lego as a child, can’t remember not having it. When I left home at around 19 my Lego didn’t move out with me.. 3

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

Re-discovered Lego as my children got old enough so about 15 years ago

What is the build you struggled the most with?

I find the mindstorm robotic stuff slow to do, I just need to spend time learning the details.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

often its a family team effort, we buy sets to celebrate things, happy to build alone though

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Tech people like procedures to do things and getting a finished solution, Lego instructions are just like a good blog post. Although we all claim to be radical and non-conformist we like things that do what they say they will do, and using known items in a slightly different way.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

How step by step instructions work, how to write good to-dos. The Lego manual steps that are unclear drive us nuts.

What will be your next set?

possibly https://www.amazon.co.uk/LEGO-Ideas-21318-Tree-House/dp/B07W3YZ7SY/ to celebrate end of university year for the kids


Meet Marc Duiker

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I guess I was 6 years old. Also played with Duplo before that. I stopped when I was a teenager.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I got back into Lego in my 30s. I had the opportunity to go to Lego Land in Denmark for work and bought a Technic Lego set there.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The Saturn rocket took quite some time and I had to redo some small parts because I didn’t read the instructions well enough

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Sometimes I build with my two daughters.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

No, I think developers like to build things. And it’s a nice contrast with the virtual world.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

RTFM and patience

What will be your next set?

Technic Dodge Charger


Meet Andrew Connell

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I started playing with LEGO at a very young age… so young I can’t recall! It was definitely before I was 7 years old because my first set was released when I was 7. In fact, I recently started rebuilding that set after finding the instructions and all the pieces at my parent’s house!  I think I “grew out of it” around the time of middle school when I was between 13-16. Looking at the age of my kids (15 & 10), I see that happening to them around the same age.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I think it was about the time my kids started getting into the more complicated sets around 7-10 years old…so that would be about 8 years ago. You made me think about this… this means I took about a 23-year break from LEGO. That makes me sad…  But… seeing them work on sets like Star Wars & the City themes got me interested again. I bought my own set so I could work on one with them. Now as they grow out of them, I’m really enjoying building complicated sets as it’s a form of therapy… LEGOtherapy I call it.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Ah… easy answer. It’s the one I’m working on now: the Technics Bugatti! I’ve realized I’ve made a mistake a few times and gone back to fix it… like from step 430 to 360!

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Always alone… I did build a set with my son once. It was one I was really looking forward to building – the Saturn V Apollo moon rocket. I didn’t realize how much I liked the process of building and watching him build my set drove me crazy.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Not at all… I tend to see makers as the ones do like LEGO more than non-makers. Why? You create something which is what makers love to do. Plus, we get to use our hands and see the results of our output. We don’t normally get to do that in our day job.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Patience & to enjoy the process. I love the process of building not just LEGO, but in work, LEGO has helped me with patience and to enjoy the building process.

What will be your next set?

Either the Technic Lamborghini Sian or the Porsche 911 RSR


Meet Ryan Maclean

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I started with Lego Duplo when I was 2-3 years old and migrated to Lego when I was a bit older and had more dexterity (and I could be trusted not to try and eat the pieces…)  I played with Lego for most of my childhood and adolescent years, but I stopped playing with it when I was a teenager (15-16 years old)

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I rediscovered my love for Lego about 6-7 years ago; whilst I’d never really fallen out of love with it, I hadn’t engaged with it for a long time. I was browsing eBay and saw a really good deal for a set that looked interesting  (42006 – Excavator/Claw Grabber) so I bought it and that reignited my interest.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

I recently built set 42082 – Rough Terrain Crane, and it was challenging as there are six different functions powered by a single motor, so the integration and orientation of the gears is very important to get right

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

for the Technic builds I generally build them myself. If I am building any of the system brick sets (e.g. Harry Potter, Friends Central Perk, etc.) then I tend to build them with my wife.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

I think Lego is probably appealing to tech folk/developers because it is a logical system that can be used to create complex solutions

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

The creativity in developing complex solutions with simple Lego elements has parallels to my job. I can use some of the simple elements of the Power Platform in creative ways to develop solutions for difficult problems

What will be your next set?

I have two sets I picked up recently to build: 42096 – Porsche 911 RSR, and 9398 – 4×4 Crawler.  After those, I’d like to buy set 42100 – Liebherr R 9800 Excavator


Meet Daniel Christian

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

My first Lego set was a Technic at the age of 5 and I haven’t stopped yet.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I was very focused on Technic and MindStorm sets that I completely missed the other series. When my boys were young I discovered a whole new series which I had heard of but never played with. The Mixel and Brickheadz were the two new ones.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Building something out of your own imagination. We built our very own Easter Egg decoration kit using Lego Technic

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Team. Myself and my two boys. One is 6 and the other 9.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Nope, not a coincidence!

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Do a small POC first before going big. You can substitute one part for another.

What will be your next set?

The Star Wars Falcon!


Meet Angelique Grootenboer

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

As a kid i did sometimes at school but i was never in to it. And i started this year to like it much more.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

This year i started because my husband wanted to do some builds. But I’m now the main LEGO builder in the house ;P.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

With my last build for the engine. That was the Land Rover Jeep.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

I build alone and ask sometimes help from my husband.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

No because my husband pulled me in to meet tech folks & developers.  In the group I am actually the outsider, because I don’t work in IT at all.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Nothing, i’m just doing it for fun. And to build some amazing builds.

What will be your next set?

I think from Architects Las Vegas or the new build the Lambogini


Meet Billy York

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

5? maybe. sometime in my teenage years

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

my parents brought over all my old Lego in a box and my 5 year old loved them

What is the build you struggled the most with?

correctly putting the plates together on pirates of barracuda bay

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

5? maybe. sometime in my teenage years

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

no

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

not sure, i already had my job upon rediscovering lego.

What will be your next set?

purchase? assembly square, build? birches books


Meet Mike Martin

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

pretty early if remember correctly. I don’t remember the exact year , but … i do remember the exact set the The Lego Classic set 374-1 Fire Station https://brickset.com/sets/374-1/Fire-Station (originally from 1978!! but i think i got it in 1984 ..)

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

i never stopped loving Lego (i still have every catalogue from each year still somewhere …). But i do admit that i started playin again with thanks to my kids… great excuse uh 😉

What is the build you struggled the most with?

the Lego Technic car from the 1980’s : https://thelegocarblog.com/2011/11/20/lego-technic-8860-car-chassis-review/

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

today alone or with my kids

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

nope, it stimulates creativity 🙂

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

thinking outside of the box

What will be your next set?

dunno, but I’m hoping for more UCS series on Batman :-p


Meet Rainer

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

Started with Duplo in the age of 2-3, Lego at about 7, stopped at about 17, restart with 41, hopefully will never end

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

About four years ago due to my twins

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The Saturn V last weekend was challenging.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Started with Duplo in the age of 2-3, Lego at about 7, stopped at about 17, restart with 41, hopefully will never end

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Yes-best time to come down in a useful way.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

You can build a lot with the right pieces – but not every piece fits everywhere

What will be your next set?

To be bought: Lamborghini in August OR a Speedchampion set from the new summer 2020 models OR the Crocodile train. To build: many waiting for me (Aston DB, Harley, Forrest Harvester, Ducati…)

 


Meet Martin Geuss

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I don’t remember exactly. Lego was just always there

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

In 2013 I rediscovered my love for Lego Technic at the age of 43. It was pure coincidence, I discovered a discounted set and bought it spontaneously.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

I found the Bugatti Chiron very challenging, because the assembly was sometimes very complicated

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Alone

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

It’s obvious that it can’t be coincidence ;-). But I don’t have an explanation

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

To earn success, sometimes you have to go back a few steps and rearrange a few bricks to make the whole thing work

What will be your next set?

Lamborghini Sian FKP 37


Meet Thomas

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

3 years old with duplo.then went to lego and technic. Around 16 as a teenager…

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

After moving to my own place after my first long relationship at 25. I just fell back into technics. And since my daughter is 2 we started again to play with Lego.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

None Thst I remember

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

With my kids

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Never thought about it but a friend also in It had bought a cour sets again so definitely not a coincidence.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

At school around 10 we were doing programming on Apple 2 computers and had these cool lego with sensors and buttons. I loved that class. It teaches you patience and when building without a guide it allows me to be creative.

What will be your next set?

Hmmm, another speed champions and possibly the Ducati panigale


Meet Will Thompson

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I don’t remember when I started! But I’m sure it was a *very* early age, certainly at pre-school I was into Duplo and progressed throughout that. Best moment was when a 70-something year old neighbour came round saying she’d found “a little box of Lego” in the attic, and it turned out to be a giant trunk with loads of vintage trains (the blue rails!) and city stuff. I transitioned into Games Workshop’s tabletop wargames around 12-13 years and starting spending my spare money on that rather than Lego, and kinda dropped both once I moved out of home.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I remember exactly! I was visiting MSFT HQ in 2008 (I’d been working for them in the UK for a year or so) and saw the Space Needle set (21003) in Barnes and Noble. I had to buy it! And that got me back into looking at other sets. I started with a couple of other architecture sets, then some of the one-off franchise models like BTTF (21103) and Tron (21314). But it’s jumped again since my kids hit 4 years old and got an interest. I’m eternally grateful to my parents for saving all my Lego 🙂 I got a few boxes from them so we have a selection of Fabuland, Pirates, and City stuff to play with now!

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The Black Seas Barracuda (6285) had some odd steps that I remember struggling with as a kid. The masts & rigging never quite fitted straight either – that’s been documented by other builders too!

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Either along or with my kids! They love the Fabuland and city kits I’ve rediscovered from my parents’ attic, and are building their own collections of Frozen stuff.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Not at all. Pre-COVID I always had a kit on the go in my office to have something to occupy my hands on long conf calls or to fiddle with if I was thinking through some complex problems. It’s quite zen-like in that way!

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

You could make a ton of analogies between building LEGO and building Power BI – being detail oriented, good aesthetic design, a final output that is delightful to use etc. And of course a *wonderful* community of likeminded people!

What will be your next set?

I’ve had my eye on the ISS (7647) since getting the Apollo Lander (10266), but I’m also on the lookout for the Saturn V rocket (21309) if I see that again. Pretty sure it’s out of print now though…


Meet Randy Perkins-Smart

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

5, I haven’t stopped.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

N/A

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Lego Technic 8852 Robot

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Alone.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

No.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Things can be fixed.

What will be your next set?

Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37


Meet Stacy Cashmore

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I loved Lego growing up! And I was lucky enough that friends of my parents had older children, so I got a lot of “hand me down” sets without having to go through all of my pocket money!  I stopped at some point in my teenage years. Back then, certainly where I grew up, it was considered to be a children’s toy.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

Good question… Well, my first set as an adult was the camper, 10220, so it was probably around 2012.  I saw the camper in a shop and was smitten- I’ve great memories from VW bashes in the UK from when I was a teenager, so nostalgia hit me hard. And let’s face it, it’s a beautiful set!  Building it was amazing, the details that were put into the model (the engine, the T-Shirt in the window and the folding bed!). And the finished model is still in the living room on display!  There was maybe a year or two between that and my next model, but from that point on I was trying to figure out what to build next

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Without a doubt the 2017 USC Millennium Falcon 75192! That took months to complete and there were more than a few times where we had to redo a few steps

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

It depends on the model.  Smaller models, or models that not everyone in the family is interested in, we build alone. We all have some of our own sets, but we the bigger ones we build as a family. Taking it time to search for bits, read instructions or build. That’s how we built the Falcon and the modular buildings. My son has been building with us since he was 5 – he actually built a number of complex pieces for the Falcon without waiting for the instructions (he cheated and read the book, cutting his parents out of the loop!)

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Good question… I don’t think so. Personally, I love the flow of making a beautiful Lego model out of a pile of bricks, and seeing how some of the really complex structures are actually made. And just sheer the detail on the sets when done. It’s not unlike the feeling when I make software, seeing the end result, and figuring out how to join it all together. As well as that I know many people, not in tech, who laugh at me for being a geek, and include my Lego collection in that. Maybe geeks worry about that kind of judgement less and so don’t have a hang up about spending hours “playing with childrens toys”…

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Don’t rush, step by step and make sure you are paying attention! Building with the family has really taught me about communication, how easy it is to be misunderstood and how when making something you need to have a shared vocabulary.

What will be your next set?

We have the Parisian Restaurant (10243) waiting to be opened as a family, and the Batmobile is calling to me for a build on my own…!


Meet Derek Cash-Peterson

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I have always played with Lego. I stopped at a point when I couldn’t afford to buy them and my old ones were stored in my parent basement.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I picked them back up when my son was old enough to play with them and I could give him my old Legos.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The Parisian Restaurant, was the worst for me. All the little pieces totally stressed me out.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Building Legos is a family affair in my house, partner, son, and me. We have most of the city collection around the house and Hogwarts.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

No, I think tech folks gravitate to things that engage the mind creatively but are also modular. It’s fluid but also structured and you can do anything you want with it.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Patience!

What will be your next set?

We just got the new catalog today. Next set is Haunted House or Book Shop


Meet Jason Himmelstein

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I can’t recall a time growing up when I didn’t play with LEGO. I am pretty sure that my parents threw caution to the wind and gave them to me earlier than recommended just expecting that I wouldn’t choke on them. As a kid I truly PLAYED with LEGO. I never bothered to build what the instructions said, I just built what was in my imagination. I stopped doing that after high school when I had my own place and figured that the women I was attempting to date at the time would turn tail and run if they saw I was a big kid playing with LEGO in my spare time.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I never lost track of it, but the second I had kids I started re-engaging with LEGO. My dudes had sets WAY before they were old enough to understand what was going on. We went to LEGOLand Discovery stores any chance I could get my wife to go.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

the Millennium Falcon… but not for the reasons one might think

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

My youngest son is my build partner. I try to build alone but he always wants to be involved. Occasionally I will build a set on my own after the dudes are in bed.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

I think that LEGO does a good job of capturing the imagination of the creatives & provides an outlet to the highly structured alike. No surprise that techies gravitate toward LEGO for those reasons.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

Just because there is a prescribed way of doing something doesn’t mean that it is the only way. Some of the coolest shit happens when you throw away the instruction manual.

What will be your next set?

Saturn V


Meet Paul Hughes

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

My first memory of building “props” with LEGO was around aged 7 watching lots of Sci-fi and trying to re-create the props in LEGO (badly!).  When I hit my teens and started working on games the LEGO went on the back burner for a few years.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

Must’ve been the early 2000s when LEGO Interactive appeared on the scene – just seeing games melded with the LEGO franchise kick started me bakc buying sets again for my kids (well, OK, me!)

What is the build you struggled the most with?

The LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS – was a real struggle; fiddly, sometimes confusing, but ultimately a very rewarding build.

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Just on my own – I find it strangely relaxing.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

There’s just something fascinating about, quite literally, from small building blocks putting together big, well known objects and franchises – it just looks so darned cool!

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

I used to use LEGO for laying out isometric game ideas – which ironically led me to spending a decade programming LEGO Video Games!

What will be your next set?

I’m desperately trying to NOT buy the Millenium Falcon Collectors Edition – really.  I’m not going to buy it, no sireee.  (this is quite clearly a lie – I really need to build this, and, err, find somewhere to leave it on display)


Meet Spence

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

Probably very young with duplo, then donated lego later on.

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

in the 90s when friends started to have children, and later when the Architecture series arrived

What is the build you struggled the most with?

Taj Mahal – a very long and often times tedious build

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

Sometimes with a partner

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Not really, given the marketing expansion of lego it has become a “thing” across many “technical” disciplines

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

patience

What will be your next set?

whatever the next architecture series model is


Meet Mikael Svenson

 

When did you start playing with Lego as a kid? Did you stop at a certain point?

I started when I was 4-5 and kept building until I was around 13, moving mostly to Technic and the Model Team series. My last set then was https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=5580-1 which I modified to put an eagle on the hood – first and only time using scissors on a Lego brick

Did you re-discover Lego? When and How?

I re-discovered Lego briefly in 1998 with Lego Mindstorm. Next was around 5 years ago buying for my son then 5. He wasn’t that interested so I ended up building more and more, and then continued for myself.

What is the build you struggled the most with?

https://brickset.com/sets/42009-1/Mobile-Crane-MK-II due to an error, and didn’t want to redo hours. Managed at the end with careful power bending

Do you build alone or with a partner / in a team?

By myself most of the time, but do get some help from my son at times for Lego he likes. He built most of the Lego Boost and half the Voltron.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that we know a lot of tech folks & developers who love LEGO?

Good question….I think being grown up allows me purchasing power I didn’t have as a kid with Lego. And tech people love problem solving and have decent pays.

What did you learn from building LEGO for your job?

A great conversation icebreaker and people figure you are somewhat creative

What will be your next set?

After the 1989 Batmobile I’ll start with the new Lambo https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/lamborghini-sian-fkp-37-42115 which should arrive any day now.


Feedback and what’s next

If you like this series, please leave a nice comment 😉 You can submit your answers here: https://bit.ly/LegoAddicts

 

 

Luise

Luise is an independent Microsoft 365 Consultant, Microsoft MVP for Office, Apps & Services, Sketchnotes Artist and Power Platform Advocate based in Germany. Do you need help with your project, want to exchange views or just connect? Feel free to follow me in twitter, LinkedIn or get in touch via contact form.

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