Chris Zempel

My Story

Once upon a time, I was in college studying to become a communications major. After graduating, I surveyed the top performers in the industry and realized the paths to the top were no longer there as promised. Everything was different because the internet was eating it. This was exciting, so I decided to become a programmer.

I taught myself how to code while working part-time at a pizza place for nine months. Then, I applied to LaunchCode, and out of over 500 applicants, got one of the top placements and started making software instead of pizza.

The Moment Software Made Sense

Although I'd been officially employed as a programmer for over a year, I'd never seen anybody actually using my code beyond usage logs. The difference between developing software for nameless people you'll only see through usage logs vs people you have relationships with/sit next to is that you have skin in the game. It means you'll catch both the downside, and the upside, for your efforts.

I'd never had any skin in the game until 1:14 in this video. Seeing her happy, slightly embarassed smile was the first time I'd ever witnessed a joy-filled moment created for a complete stranger with code. This was a pivotal moment for me. I was hooked. For the first time since starting down the path to become great at building software, I finally, finally considered myself a real programmer.

Outstanding tools go way deeper than css. They require understanding the real causality, motivations, anxieties, the real job people are trying to do when they choose to use a specific tool or another. Digging in, understanding the real job, and building the tools which let others get it done with that little twinkle in their eye - that's what I love doing. That's why I love writing software.

Get in Touch

I'm always down to discuss ideas. Email here: [email protected]