Chris Parker | Creative Coder with the Soles & Soul for Startups

Chris Parker recently completed the part-time coding immersive at Tech Talent South and he’s ready to waltz his way into the working world. This lover of soles has a fever for fashion with the soul to make a positive mark on the planet. He’s not looking to be another cog in the churning wheel of big business, but rather play a vital role in a startup or mid-size biz where he can put his now known unknowns to good use.

What program did you just complete?
I just completed the TTS Part-Time Immersive Coding Course. We focused on Ruby and Rails, while touching on basic javascript and jquery. We also had a few in-depth discussions on how to utilize API within a project. I was surprised at the end of the session, as to how much I had truly learned and retained, and I feel much more prepared as I move into independent learning. Now I know the unknown unknowns, so I can go and learn exactly what I need to know. Zapata, the course instructor was amazing. Going into class after a looong day of work would have been a dread for me had Zapata not brought energy and great vibes. He was also extremely knowledgeable and helped me figure out pretty much all of the bugs and problems I would regularly run into coding.

What did you build during your time in the course?
We built a number of sample sites during class time. The actual apps we created were a Sample Twitter, a Fake Amazon, and a Weather App, among others. This variety of apps helped teach concepts and implementation.

What other past tech/creative projects have you worked on?
In the past, I have developed basic sites using HTML, CSS, and cut and paste javascript and jquery. These sites mainly functioned as “brochures” and did not have much functionality outside of displaying content. Currently, I am working on a number of sites within my organization that will be utilizing certain principles that I learned in class, specifically API’s. One site will be a database to find local endangered species as well as ways to help impact those species in a positive way, such as building birdhouses or planting vegetation for habitat restoration.

What are your best technical or creative skills?
My best technical skills are my knowledge of Adobe software, specifically Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign. My best creative skill is my merging of seemingly unrelated concepts, inspirations, and ideas to create unique solutions for whatever the problem at hand is.

What’s next on your list to learn?
Surprisingly enough, I am trying to get into a shoe making apprenticeship. I have a love for fashion and for making unique items, and I think shoe making is the next step in my personal evolution. As far as coding next steps, I plan on practicing Ruby and Rails, as well as learning PHP and javascript/jquery. Now, I need to get a better grasp on developing a fully functioning app powered by Rails that includes permissions and real authentication for multiple user types.

What tech/tools are essential to you?
Essential to my process in Adobe Illustrator and a pad and pencil. Illustrator allows me to work through ideas and concepts fairly rapidly, and the pencil and paper allows me to work on an idea where ever. I love to combine low tech and high tech to make magic. After taking this course, Sublime and Command Line have become vital tools for me. I am much more solid on coding without a display of the content. I used to only work out of Dreamweaver for that exact purpose. Now I have a much better grasp on what I am doing.

How do you stay informed & on top of emerging trends?
I stay informed literally by hopping online and looking around. I utilize Pinterest to rapidly generate inspiration, but I see trends through all of the content that I consume as a consumer.

What’s your ideal job?
My ideal job (as I am sorta done with internships at this point) is somewhere where I am exposed to a lot of different ways to create as well as end products. A place that keeps me on my toes. And above all, a place with a conscience. I believe in working for a better world for all of us, and I refuse to work for anyone that is actively poisoning it. Ideally, the position will be high paying, with benefits, as well as the perk of doing good for society and the planet.

Interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I love startups, but they can be very tough. It depends on how far along the start-up is on their journey. Mid-size seems ok, but definitely nothing large. I don’t want to feel like a lost cog that doesn’t do much for the overall machine. I like to be a vital component on the teams that I work for.

Post graduation plans?
I plan on trying to catch on rest and sleep, get my energy reserves back online, then I have a TON of projects that I will be working on personally, including a few apps and business ideas.

When are you available to start?
I am available to start late April early May.