From Writing Emails to Writing Code: How I Built My Future at Chartbeat

October 13th, 2015 by Chris

You’ve heard this story before—boy graduates college, boy moves to New York, boy starts working at a tech startup full of cool nerds, boy finds a career path.

Did that sound braggy? I promise I didn’t mean it to sound braggy.

I started at Chartbeat on the Chartcorps support team in the spring of 2014, newly relocated to New York and with no tech skills to speak of. I was quickly intimidated by the onslaught of esoteric terminology and the sheer intelligence of the engineering team.

API? Repo? Pinger? Django? Kafka? I still have my notes from those early days of onboarding, and it’s mostly hastily written acronyms with notes of “look this up later”.

Slowly I began to grasp the basics of HTML and CSS through Codecademy and Treehouse classes and solidified my technique by taking ownership of some small web page design tasks.

“One of the advantages of joining a startup is that there’s so much work to go around; if you assert yourself, you create the opportunity to work on projects that will teach you.”

I never intended to get into tech, nor had I ever considered myself the kind of person that might enjoy this field, but the more I threw myself into understanding markup code and the anatomy of a website, I found myself enthralled by the structured logic and rules that govern computer programming.

After a few months of self-directed learning, I joined forces with one of my teammates on Chartcorps to tackle the challenge of completely redesigning our support site — a project that would prove to be one of the most challenging and rewarding I’ve completed at Chartbeat. After months of trial and tons of errors, we launched the support site the company uses now, and I had finally worked through an entire design and code project.

One of the cornerstones of Chartbeat’s culture is an investment in its own people, and as I started to take my own development into coding and design more seriously, I also began taking advantage of all the help Chartbeat was willing to provide to me.

I started using the monthly book stipend to buy books the design team and front-end devs recommended — from typography and UX to JavaScript and JQuery.

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Finally this September, I decided to take my education to the next level and use Chartbeat’s super-generous continuing education policy to help pay for a three-month graphic design class at the School of Visual Arts. Not only am I being prompted to produce design work, but also I have the opportunity to learn from an experienced digital art director, to become more fluent in the language of design, and to practice.

Though it probably sounds like I’m running for political office, what Chartbeat has really shown me is that you’re never solely responsible for your own success. Everything I’ve learned and accomplished was helped by the advice and insight of the designers, engineers, and Chartcorps teammates that I work with everyday.

And this might sound like the cheesiest thing of all, but I promise: it’s completely true (cross my chart and hope to die). This place — this startup, family, former yoga studio, or whatever you call it — helped me find a career path I’m excited for. I’m excited for the future. For my future.

So yeah: here’s the hiring page.

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