Chris Rees 1-31-17

Hosts: Nick Grace, Emily Hansen

Chris Rees:
Graduated with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida in December of 2011. Shortly after graduating he was offered a job in the Continuous Integration/DevOps field at a startup called UrbanCode in downtown Cleveland. He worked there for 4 years. Chris now works in Healthcare IT for CoverMyMeds.

Full-stack development, Java, Ruby, Elixir, JavaScript, SQL, HTML, and more

Chris will discuss several topics:
1) A brief overview of his time at UrbanCode, IBM, and CoverMyMeds
2) Things he wishes he knew when he graduated / Tips on what to do before graduation
3) What it is like to work for a startup / what it is like to experience an acquisition
4) Company culture and its importance in your work life

Career Summary:
Chris is primarily a software developer that has worked on both local and global teams. Previous positions have required him to have a wide range of responsibilities, like development, support, product owner, and technical lead. Chris has worked for companies ranging from a startup (25 people) to Enterprise (400k people) and has experience working with teams ranging in size from just himself to 20 people. The accomplishments he is most proud of are leading a team after only two years in the industry and filing a patent while working for IBM.

Seminar Discussion Summary:
Chris began talking to us about working at UrbanCode and that he had no experience prior to this position. A couple of things he did there were maintaining 55 plugins on his own and maintaining the product. When IBM acquired UrbanCode, his work environment shifted from startup size to enterprise, changing managers and code styles. He worked on global teams and said one of the biggest challenges was the time differences. Then, he informed us on what it is like working at CoverMyMeds. He spoke highly of the company’s culture and noted the importance of “fitting in” to wherever you want to work. Moreover, he said learning new coding languages and doing side projects will surely make one more desirable. Lastly, make sure that you stay and get your reward before quitting, if you are filing a patent while working for a company you are planning on leaving, because you will miss bonuses and plaques.

Rees Pre Discussion Notes

Post Class Notes from Chris Rees:

He said thank you for letting him come in to talk to our class. He also wanted us to know the Cleveland CoverMyMeds office is trying to have more people come in and shadow. If anyone in class is interested, they can email him at moc.sdemymrevoc|seerc#moc.sdemymrevoc|seerc. Most days will work, but he strongly suggests against coming in the day after a holiday.
Some people have expressed interest in possibly carpooling for a shadowing event or working together please click the name page below and add your name if you'd like to try this so we know how to make this work
carpool shadowing

He also wanted us to share to videos he had 2 different videos on Elixir that he felt we would enjoy. Click the links below to view them.

He also provided us with a link to a blog to discuss that discord uses Elixir. To learn more about that please select the link below.

Chris also mentioned why there a difference in coding between setups and big companies.

"I once heard organisational 'red tape' described as 'the scar tissue of process failures' and it is absolutely true and I deeply regret not recording the source of it. Whenever you wonder why there's some tiresome, overly onerous process in place that is slowing you down, consider why it may have been put in place - chances are, there was a process failure that resulted in Bad Things. When you wonder why big orgs are glacially slow compared to more nimble startup competitors, understand that those startups have yet to experience the Bad Things that the big org has probably already endured. Like scar tissue, the processes they develop reduce their agility and performance but also serve to protect the wounds they experienced."

Cameron also has shared the site mentioned during his talk in the notes below.

Cory's Notes

Cameron's Notes

Post Discussion Talk:

-If you choose to group shadow make sure to let Dr.Palmer know.

How important are side projects if you already have had work experience?
-For certain types of companies these side projects are HUGE
-For some companies they want traditional workers: aka you're mature and have a degree
-Dr.Palmer: "If you want to work at a company that values side projects then yes. If you want to take a traditional route, then maybe not."
-Silicon Valley version of side projects means something like you've been to 13 hackathons and had written so so number of games.

What matters to getting hired?
-Dumb luck- Kyle
-Fitting into the work culture. - Chris Rees

Is there a trade-off in doing side projects?
-Putting up half-hearted projects wouldn't work in Silicon Valley.
-Only put up your passionate projects and good code.
-The difference between good and programmers is a factor of 10, but the salary isn't.

Should one special in certain code or not?
-"If you're a rockstar in something that is hot then you can name your price."
-If you only know one code you may be one day out of a job.
-The big idea is to be a lifelong learner and quick at learning.

Does syntax matter when taking a technical test?
-Dr.Palmer ~" It's not very often that a company says you will write a code and in this language."
~" So instead be prepared to write a program in a language you know."

Do you think asking about code review in an interview ok?
- "Ask it like what code review policies do you have?" ~Dr.Palmer

GenWorth in Virginia is interested in meeting with CS majors. They would pay for relocation costs if anyone is super interested in a job there. They are actively pursuing individuals from JCU. It is a possibility to have interviews on site.

Bring Resumees to the career fair tomorrow. Highly consider interview outcome.