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Hello, Chris!

By Chris
December 03, 2019

Hi, my name is Chris. I’m a frontend developer living in Conflans Sainte Honorine, just outside of Paris, France. I like cooperative board games, gymnastics (tricking), dream pop, and weird fiction. I’m always trying to learn more (good thing, because this job demands it), and build things with what I’ve learned. I also have a tendancy to start ambitious personal coding projects and not finish them.

While I’ve been interested in the idea of writing, I’ve never invested heavily in the practice of writing regularly and publicly. I’m hoping to use this blog as an opportunity to share what I’ve learned and what I’m working on, mostly in the space of frontend development. I’m interested in learning more about math, basic computer science, functional programming, and machine learning. In writing here, I hope Dave and I will be able to keep an ongoing record of our projects and what we’re learning, and, with some luck, help some others along the way.

A bit of history:

I ended up taking an out-of-the-way path to becoming a developer. While I was interested in programming and computers while I was younger (I would make little programs in QBASIC or on the TI calculators we used for algebra in school, and I had a website or two which was filled with tables and gifs before CSS Zen Garden was a thing), I wasn’t really interested in getting a career in technology. I wanted to translate Latin for a living (or something).

I got my undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College. The required curriculum of literature, philosophy, arts, science, and language (Greek and French) was right up my alley, and I liked the rigorous discussion and close reading of original sources approach so much that I signed up for another year and a half getting a Master’s in the Eastern Classics from St. John’s in Santa Fe, NM.

Up until graduating from my Master’s program, I had worked almost exclusively as a barista, though I had done some stints as a tutor. I was interested in education, and I signed up for a program which prepared me for a public-teaching role (Baltimore City Teaching Residency). I taught high school math at Frederick Douglass High School, where I learned a lot about pedagogy, management (classroom-, time-, and stress-), and community.

After three years of teaching, I decided to look at other opportunities and ended up settling on programming. I took a few months of self-instructed study, using whatever resources I could find on the internet to fill in the blanks from what I had learned in my highschool Java class (there were, and still are, a lot of blanks). After I felt more-or-less prepared to work, I started interviewing for junior level jobs. At the same time, I started doing some freelance for friends and family, and on a then digital worker marketplace for programmers. Somewhere along the line, I stopped interviewing for jobs, and officially started calling myself a freelance developer.

I’ve been working freelance for a bit over 5 years at this point and I currently hold a long-term contract with the French car company Renault working mostly with React.