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 for 9 months while working part-time at a pizza place. 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 never considered myself a real programmer until 1:14 in this video - (changing time on their player is confusing - you need to click on the current time, then drag to your desired time). Seeing her happy, slightly embarassed smile was the first time I'd ever witnessed a joy-filled moment I created for someone I had never met with code. My software did that. It was one of those random moments that get lodged perfectly in your mind forever - I remember exactly where I was sitting, who was around me, and how my trajectory subtly changed when I discovered helping people really does make my heart sing. The world swung into sharp relief. Programming is a means to an end, a tool who's principle value is impact on other people.

I've mainly worked remotely and with enough different kinds of teams and domains to know that I don't know how things are "supposed" to be done and that this is quite useful. A sensitivity to the frustration of a situation is an advantage in creating truly useful software, better business systems, and happier lives. I deeply believe the most important characteristic of technology is how humane it is, which I would define as how well it deals with the frailties and shortcomings of the humans who use it.

Get in Touch

I'm always down to get coffee. Email here: [email protected]