About Chris

Who’s here to help.

Who I am

I’m a trained software engineer with experience in all facets of IT from administration, break-fix, help desk, and software development, to training, presentations, writing instructional manuals, and much more.

What I love to do

A guiding principle in everything I do is how can I help others. I’m a firm believer in finding a win-win scenario. My top three hobbies are video games (playing and making them), building models, and painting miniatures.

Chris from Chris Assists

How I got here

I had a meandering career starting amid the 2008 crash, graduating college with a business management degree. After several months of no callbacks from job applications, I got a job, through a friend, as a part-time before and after school student counselor for ages K-6. After over a year of working and not being able to find a job in my desired career path, which I wasn’t even clear on at the time, I decided to try my hand at sales.

I did a very brief stint at an office supply company, think The Office but less endearing. Next, selling life insurance as a licensed agent, followed by selling mortgages in a call center, and then selling real estate after getting licensed for that. Finally, I realized two things: I’m not a very good salesperson, and that was because I really did not like working in sales.

Not knowing where to go from here I cast a wide net and landed a job as an entry-level purchasing agent. This was my first introduction to technology in action at the workplace. I got to see the programmers building and maintaining the company’s website and got a taste of inventory management software. At that point, I knew I wanted to do something with technology, but I knew so little I didn’t know where or how to start.

In the true fashion of “life throws you curveballs” I got unexpectedly downsized when half of the purchasing department was laid off on the same day. Needing a job quickly, a friend of mine, who was working for a department store, got me in front of their hiring manager. I spent the next year working overnights in a warehouse trying to figure out where to go from there.

At one fateful Memorial Day party I mentioned I needed to get out of working overnights. Another friend of mine, who was working in a material testing lab, said they had an opening that I could apply for. Long story short, I got paid to freeze, burn, electrocute, and smash materials to see if they broke. I used the money from that job to go to a four-month web development course in the evenings.

This allowed me to freelance a bit through a family connection, which then got me in front of the VP of a small software company. It wasn’t a programming position as I had hoped for, but it allowed me to break into the tech field. There I learned about hardware and software integration and setup, as well as fine-honed my presentation and sales skills, which I never thought I’d use again. Since the company was small I needed to wear many hats. I also learned how to manage a large volume of customers and their endless combination of hardware and software issues.

After several years of being the main point of contact for one of the company’s software/hardware products, and being no closer to becoming a programmer, I decided I needed a change. I was still freelancing periodically and used the connections I had made there to land a job as an IT technician at a transportation company. There I massively upskilled and broadened my knowledge, from break-fix to networking, physical and cloud infrastructure, and security. Because of my programming knowledge, I also got to work with their sole developer, who had built their entire business and operational software suite over 20 years. I got a deep understanding of how difficult it is to decipher, update, and add code to an already-built system that touches nearly all aspects of the business. All while managing a large portion of helpdesk queries from a nearly 200-user base. The work was difficult but rewarding.

Through that effort and outreach from the school I had attended for web development, years prior, I managed to get into a highly competitive fellowship for a software engineer bootcamp. After four months of grueling work, I knew multiple software languages on top of all the skills I picked up through my winding career. However, the bootcamp ended near the same time the large tech layoffs had begun and the company who sponsored the bootcamp appeared to have a halt on hiring. This gave me time to think again about what I wanted to do. I felt the need to strike off on my own and follow a path that I set instead of chasing a path set by someone else. This brings me to why you’re reading this today.

The two most important things I’ve learned are you never get where you want to be without taking risks, and you won’t get there without help from those around you. This is why I’ve decided to be a helping hand to others for knowledge. Whether that be for technology or anything else the future may hold, I’m here to assist.

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