Journey into Technology: Tinkering and Building Solutions
Chris started his technology journey with a passion for dismantling and understanding how things work. His interest in tinkering evolved into a desire to solve complex problems, ultimately leading him to create solutions that make life easier for others.
Academic and Professional Beginnings: From University to Software Development
Chris attended Northern Arizona University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He commenced his career in the cellular and satellite industry as a C/C++ developer, gaining valuable experience in this field.
Embracing Software Consulting: Gaining Multifaceted Experience
After several years in the cellular and satellite industry, Chris ventured into software consulting. This decision provided him with the opportunity to rapidly gain experience in various technologies and industries. He and a group of friends even founded a consulting company, which they successfully ran for five years before selling it. Running his own company allowed Chris to further enhance his architectural skills and business acumen.
Leading as VP of Engineering at Choice Hotels International
Chris is currently the VP of Engineering at Choice Hotels International, a leading company not only in the hotel chains industry but also in technology and scalability. In this role, he combines leadership and strategy, managing multiple development teams, providing technical guidance, and fostering mentorship among leaders. Additionally, Chris collaborates with corporate and technology leadership to identify technology trends and assess their impact on the company, ranging from software development and infrastructure tools to revolutionary technologies like blockchain and autonomous vehicles.
Embracing Challenges and Enjoying the Journey
While Chris’ position offers exceptional opportunities for technical and leadership growth, he acknowledges the challenges posed by office politics. Nevertheless, the satisfaction derived from solving complex problems, anticipating the future, and sharing his experiences to aid others in their career progression makes the journey worthwhile.
Fascination with the Software Development Industry
Chris finds the software development industry fascinating due to its continuous and rapid evolution. He enjoys applying technology across various companies and industries to drive business value. Recently, he has been actively engaged in big data and machine learning, utilizing technologies like Spark, Python, and Jupyter Notebooks to train machine learning models.
Becoming an Exceptional Developer: The Path of Lifelong Learning
According to Chris, exceptional developers possess a growth mindset and a strong desire to be lifelong learners. Given the rapid advancement of technology, continuous learning is vital, and those who embrace it have the opportunity to stand out. Additionally, aspiring leaders must cultivate emotional intelligence and empathy, as these qualities are critical to successful leadership in today’s world.
Tips for Aspiring Software Developers: Real-World Experience Matters
For individuals aspiring to become software developers, Chris advises gaining real-world experience through internships or contributing to open-source projects. Practical experience provides valuable talking points during interviews and exposes candidates to unique challenges not easily replicated in educational settings.
Balancing Life Beyond Technology: Hobbies and Interests
While education and career growth are crucial, Chris emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balanced life by pursuing other hobbies. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, snowboarding, and hiking.
Joining Choice Hotels International: A Place for Growth and Impact
Chris encourages talented individuals to consider Choice Hotels International as an outstanding platform for learning, growth, and contributing to positive changes in the hospitality industry. If interested, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Start Your Journey Today
Connect with Chris on LinkedIn
Interested in changing careers and becoming a software developer? Learn more about Promineo Tech’s programs and how we help students make this transition through affordable, low-risk technology education: Start Your Journey: Exploring Promineo Tech’s Coding Programs for Career Transition