Up Close With Chris Hight

Current job: Right now I joke that I am like Batman, mild mannered computer scientist by day, vigilante teacher by night. In all seriousness though, I currently work for Interject Data Systems as a Data Engineer working out of HP here in Vancouver. That said, I am also running a code literacy organization called Future of Code that teaches kids and young adults how to code. I am currently in the process of applying for non-profit status so that we can continue to grow this and offer a great form of code literacy education to the next generation.

Proudest professional moment: This is tough because I think I can always do better. I think what really makes my day is helping people and knowing their day became better as well. The Future of Code organization has been a club for almost five years now. Taking that club and the classes that my team and I developed and turning that into an organization has been great and a lot of fun. The most important part of that though has been giving the kids a consistent and safe place to learn and grow. I really am lucky to get to work with so many amazing kids and be part of them having fun with computer science.

First job: I started working at Dairy Queen in Camas when I was 15 years old. I spent three-and-a-half years there before moving on to another job after I graduated high school. I spent most of those years as a cook, coming home smelling like hamburgers and fries every night.

Fun fact: I am a big Ireland rugby fan. Every year I find some way to watch the Six Nations Championship and root for my team. I don’t normally watch sports so it is a rare event for me to be jumping up and down in front of the TV yelling at it excitedly, but it always seems to happen during the Six Nations.

Favorite spot on a Saturday night: It’s not every Saturday but I enjoy game nights. My friends and family like to get together and play board games. I think our favorite one lately has been Betrayal at House on the Hill. It’s a fun game which usually ends up with one person becoming the bad guy half way through the game. Always makes for a fun night.

Favorite movie: The original Star Wars movies are still at the top of my list. I was introduced to these when I was seven and I have been a fan ever since. Anybody walked into my house would have no doubt with the quantity of Star Wars stuff in immediate view.

Music of choice: I love 90s alternative rock. My go-to band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Favorite place to eat: I’m going to broaden this question and say that my favorite “place” to eat was New Orleans. I was lucky enough to vacation there and fell in love with the food. I ate at a lot of great restaurants and I was never once disappointed with the food.

Motto/Inspirational quote: I’ve been using one by Steve Jobs on a lot of handouts for Future of Code. I think it is fitting to my life and hope others can take something from it. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Joanna Yorke-Payne
Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.

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