My Job Wasn’t Even Around When I Was in School…

By Chris Hall

Introduction– Who I really am

Math and Science were always my favorite subjects in school. My parents really helped foster that love and encouraging me in those fields. Those subjects came easy to me in school, whereas English and history, not so much. I loved Capsela which is a construction toy with gears and motors. Sort of like LEGOS with motors. I grew up before computers were mainstream. That’s right, I never had one in my house before going off to college. Nintendo was the first of any type of computer I had at home, and I fondly remember playing the original Legend of Zelda with my brother watching me.

I was also full of energy and loved sports, and wanted to get involved in whatever I could. I played soccer, baseball, and basketball when I was little, and then moved onto track & field in high school. To this day I am still training and competing in athletics, now as a cyclist.

Materials and Methods– How I got here

I fell in love with physics in high school. I was always looking for answers. Science, especially physics, seems to have an answer for everything. I loved challenging my family at dinner with in depth questions like where the universe came from? and what is time?

 

It also helped I had a very cool high school physics teacher. He was very laid back, we even called him ‘Ron’. We even got to launch model rockets one day for class.

Results– What I do now

After spending years writing software to help solve problems and making people’s lives and jobs easier, I moved into management because I thought I could do a better job than any other manager I had. I watched managers struggle with effectively managing software developers. Developers were a new breed of employee who were very creative and talented, but also introverted. I liked the challenge of motivating developers as well as helping clients figure out what IT solutions they really wanted.

My job consists of running meetings in my pajamas from my home office over Skype. I have a wireless headset so I can find time to run down to the kitchen for a quick snack. I go into the office once a week to meet the team for lunch at my favorite Denver sandwich shop…Heidi’s. I am an expert at running meetings very efficiently to help the team reach its goal. I am also an expert as creating a team environment working with remote employees (probably also working in their pajamas). I help foster collaboration by encouraging small talk before meetings, and asking trivia questions at the end of meetings. During the meeting I show graphs, charts, and task lists to keep people on target, but the trivia is usually the highlight 😉

Here I am at my home office.

Chris 1

Here I am experimenting with how far I can lean the bike before it slides out.

Chris 2

Discussion– Passion for the subject

I love IT Management, and here’s why:

Being a manager, I get to work with a lot of smart people doing a lot of very interesting things. Rather than doing just a few cool things on my own, I enjoy creating teams to make significant achievements and advancements in their fields. I really enjoy the people aspect of management where I get to help great people achieve amazing results which they can’t do on their own.

My analytical side loves data and tracking the team performance to more accurately predict results, such as when software will be ready to release. I create custom estimation methods to best match the team. When we release a version, I get to see how accurate my estimates are. From there I can make adjustments for the next version and the process continues.

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