Chris is a Senior Software Engineer at ThreeWill. His area of focus is consulting in the development of Microsoft .NET and SharePoint technologies. His primary role has been development lead in recent projects. Project roles have ranged from Development/Technical Lead to Development Resource.
Find this Podcast “Interview with Chris Edwards, Senior Software Engineer” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.
Chris Edwards: Hey, good to be with you.
Danny Ryan: Awesome. Thank you for taking time to be here. I know you’re busy today on some good projects. I’m pulling you away just here for a second. Just to get folks to get to know you a little bit better. I said you’re a senior software engineer. What’s your role at ThreeWill? What are you typically doing here?
Chris Edwards: I’ve been a senior software engineer for a while. I do a lot of stuff where I actually help support customers. That’s 1 thing. We mainly go in and help if they got an existing application, or existing system, help them keep that running. That’s one aspect. I also like to get into the code from the ground up and write software and put my engineering hat on and try to design and write software that’s needed, or offer guidance if something’s already in place, help to guide folks that are working on a new piece of software, guide that along. That’s one aspect of some of the things I do.
Also, at ThreeWill I help play more of the infrastructure person as well. Things that happen like local servers, or the Wi-Fi, or things along the infrastructure line, keep things running smoothly, or attempt to make sure everything’s going smoothly at ThreeWill. Bounce around a little bit, but it’s always doing something, always keep myself busy, always learning new things and trying to stay on top of technologies as best as possible.
Danny Ryan: That’s great. For folks who may not know this, but Chris’s nickname is the Bazooka. Chris, tell me the story behind getting the Bazooka.
Chris Edwards: Going back a little bit, I guess it was around about 2010 time frame, I was actually working with Derek DeMoro on a Jive project, our drive connector project. We were actually doing some presentations out at the SharePoint Conference showing the connector off. Basically, Derek kept throwing things at me to try and fix and going to get things working and doing presentations. Basically, he said everything he threw at me I was able to just knock out and blow away. He called me the Bazooka. At least that’s my understanding of the story.
Danny Ryan: That stuck with you. We need to have your own little Lego guy with a bazooka holding his hands. That’s Chris, you just knock things out. I think that’s the thing that we love about you is you come in regardless of the situation. You come in with a great attitude and willingness to learn new things.
I know when we were prepping for this a little bit you were talking about you’ve been using Angular recently. Has that been the framework of choice? Tell me a little bit more about that.
Chris Edwards: Yeah. Yes, learning how some of the newer technologies, particularly more of the Java Script libraries. A lot of development is focused in on a lot of the new libraries that seem to be coming down the road. AngularJS is a nice framework that covers a lot of ground. Spent some time learning about AngularJS, how it all works, how it fits into SharePoint, how it doesn’t fit into SharePoint.
My skills more recently have been more SharePoint centric, but doesn’t necessarily have to be. Angular’s a tool to work outside of that really and learn more modern development practices, understanding some of the more detailed Java Script libraries that can plug into that. jQuery is great, but I’ve spent my time with that. I’ve done a lot with that.
There’s a lot of newer libraries out there like AngularJS that you’ve got to stay on top of. Been learning a little bit about Node on the server side and just trying to make sure that I understand how those technologies fit into the Microsoft stack and they fit outside the Microsoft stack. I think it’s important to understand both sides of that. That’s what I’ve been spending my engineering, my learning at least.
I’ve done a little bit of work with AngularJS in the field. Worked on a project dealing with basically tracking devices, things like that that used Angular pretty heavily. I’ve also worked with a pretty big company in the current time working on support. It’s all based on Angular.
Working on trying to make sure that the application is usable, working properly, and just fixing issues more than anything. If I wanted to write an AngularJS app, put it into SharePoint, how would all that work together. I’ve been even diving into that as well.
Danny Ryan: Awesome. Tell me a little bit more when you’re not blowing away problems at work. Tell me a little bit more of what you’re doing outside of work. Any hobbies or things particular passions that you have outside of work?
Chris Edwards: Yeah, I would say I love spending time with my family. I got 4 girls, try to spend individual time with them as well as family time. That’s probably a top priority, and making sure that we’re all having fun and doing things together and 1 on 1.
Also, 1 of my passions, or 1 of my more recent passions, actually over the last year or 2 is learning how to make beer. Actually been trying to tinker with that quite a bit, yeah, try to tinker with that. Try to figure out how to get that down. I’ve got the basic process down. I made some pretty decent batches. I really am starting to get more passionate about really fine tuning what that process is and what the output of it is. Anxious to dive in. This requires time, requires money of course, resources. That’s for the most part. That’s my main passion.
Danny Ryan: Did Lane get you into that?
Chris Edwards: No, no, we’ve talked about it quite a bit, a fair amount. No, just something I’ve always been interested in. It’s a fun process. It’s something you can do by yourself, or sometimes with the help of another person. It’s fun and you get to enjoy the output of it. There’s all kinds of benefits of it. It’s work. I can tell you that much. It’s definitely not a simple task to go through and do.
Danny Ryan: There’s definitely science involved with it all.
Chris Edwards: Yes, yes. So far it hasn’t really been much of the science. It’s been more of just the process, trying to understand how it all works. I’m more passionate now about learning about the science of it, how do you actually get it consistent. How do you make it a certain way, that kind of thing. The more fun parts are starting to come along.
Danny Ryan: It’s awesome. While you’re enjoying your output, are there any favorite TV shows you like to watch, or anything along those lines?
Chris Edwards: Yeah, I don’t watch a whole lot of TV. I finally finished watching Breaking Bad which has been over forever, finally finished watching that. I’m really behind on all the stuff. I just finished watch that actually 3 weeks ago.
Yeah, I’ve always like science fiction type movies and shows and things along that line. I was a big Star Wars fan. That seems to be everywhere now. It was overdone. I like Smallville. I used to stay up. I watched all those episodes. We all watch Superman. I really don’t watch a whole whole lot of TV, just things here there like maybe a Face Off. That’s a show where they do make up, special science fiction make up, things like that, enjoy stuff like that. I enjoy it but my family enjoys it as well. We watch that together.
Danny Ryan: Don’t get any ideas from watching Breaking Bad just because you can brew your own beer doesn’t mean ….
Chris Edwards: You’re sensing a theme here. No, not at all.
Danny Ryan: Let me get really personal. Here’s a real personal question. What type of phone is yours? Everybody’s got a different phone here at ThreeWill. What’s your phone of choice? Is there a particular apps that you’re fond of? Give me a little bit of background there.
Chris Edwards: Until about February of this year, I was an Android person. Before that my wife had gotten an iPhone. She finally got convinced to get an iPhone. Her daughter was using an iPhone. That was the only way she could use …. She basically was restricted to iMessage, her daughter.
Basically she had to get an iPhone to work with that. I went ahead and made the switch, in February, myself to go to the iPhone and haven’t looked back. It’s actually been a great phone, thoroughly enjoy it. I thought it would be …. I didn’t really know what to expect. So far everything just works. I’m pretty happy with it.
Danny Ryan: I didn’t realize you came over to the dark side. I thought you were still on Android.
Chris Edwards: No, no. I got an iPhone 6.
Danny Ryan: Anything you miss about Android like the configuration stuff or anything like that?
Chris Edwards: The only thing I say I miss it, but it probably died out necessarily. It’s just 1 of those things that’s nice to have, but maybe it’s not. Being able to take the battery out. Being able to plug in memory cards and things like that. The other thing I tell myself that I miss it, but I don’t necessarily really miss it. I haven’t really had any issues with the iPhone itself. It’s been great.
Danny Ryan: Do you have a favorite app that you use on the iPhone?
Chris Edwards: I use Waze every day. I find that that helps me out every day. That’s probably my favorite app in terms of it’s just very useful.
Danny Ryan: Have you ever changed the voices on it at all?
Chris Edwards: Yeah. I changed it to Arnold once.
Danny Ryan: We changed when we were driving around last week down in Florida. We changed it. You’ll get a kick out of …. If you haven’t changed it to Boy Band, you have to try that sometime. The kids were laughing every time we turn left, turn right. You’ll get a couple chuckles out it.
Just 1 last question here. It’s a little self-serving. Tell me a little bit about what you like. You’ve been at ThreeWill for a while. How long has it been?
Chris Edwards: Yeah, I’ve actually been at ThreeWill for 10 years. Yeah, February.
Danny Ryan: Congratulations.
Chris Edwards: Yeah.
Danny Ryan: 10 years.
Chris Edwards: A decade.
Danny Ryan: A decade of your life you’ve been here. That tells me you might like it here. What do you like about being at ThreeWill? What keeps you here? What are you excited about? Give me a little bit of background there.
Chris Edwards: To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed the people I work with, that’s probably number 1. I get along with everybody. I’ve known most of you guys for that long, for 10 years maybe plus. Definitely 1 part of it.
I like the fact that we get to focus in on some hard problems, and some fun problems, and sometimes they’re not so fun problems. I like working with the customers and the folks at ThreeWill. I sense that we all like to take on the problems like they’re our own. I really enjoy doing that and helping customers, helping people as well.
I can say I’ve never been bored at ThreeWill. I’ve always had something to do whether it’s either internal, or actually working with the customer for projects. There’s always something to do. There’s always something fun to do. That’s encouraged to learn, and participate, and work together as a group. I think we all work well together and definitely thoroughly enjoy that.
I notice that when I go other places; sometimes I go on other customer sites. It’s like wow, this is not the same experience that I would have at ThreeWill. This is totally …. I’m not as comfortable here as I would be back in the office. That tells me something right there. I’ve got a good thing.
Danny Ryan: We love you, Bazooka. We look forward to the next 10 years, 10 plus years. You just have the best attitude about things. You pick up things so quickly and just love having you on the team.
Chris Edwards: Awesome. Love to be part of it.
Danny Ryan: Thank you for taking the time to do this and taking time out of your busy day. I know you’ve got a real busy morning this morning. Thank you for doing it. Thanks everybody for listening. Hope this was a nice way for you to get to learn more about Chris and his background and a little bit more about him maybe if you’re working with him on a project, or just wanted to get to know more about ThreeWill in general. Thanks so much for joining. Bye-bye.