Spencer Helms is an application developer for Caring Voice Coalition.
When I first came to Caring Voice Coalition (CVC) a little over a year ago, my development experience consisted of writing small applications from tutorials I found online, such as a simple calculator. I’ve learned so much since then.
I was studying for a different career path within the information technology field when I fell in love with writing software. From the moment I tried it, I couldn’t get enough. I was always tinkering around with things, trying the best I could to understand the concepts. Eventually, I decided this was where I wanted to take my career.
I started applying for developer jobs everywhere I could, and most companies didn’t give me the time of day. After months of trying to make the switch to development, I managed to obtain an interview with CVC. I had the opportunity to meet with several of the wonderful folks at CVC, and I quickly realized that it was unlike any place I’d ever worked before.
I previously worked mostly for large corporations; one place I worked for had over 10,000 employees in one building. While I was respected and my work was appreciated, at the end of the day I was just another person in a sea of nameless people. In contrast, CVC operates more like a small town: everyone knows each other, and everyone comes together to solve problems.
I work on CVC’s development team as a junior developer. This often means working with the other departments, especially Patient Services, to ensure the technological tools we build reflect exactly what is required to do their jobs. Our work consists of design meetings and internal discussions on implementing the changes everyone wants to see to make our software even better.
I’m happy to say that I have been treated with kindness and respect at CVC, from the very first interview. Everyone here knows that they are working to accomplish something bigger than themselves, and that is evident in everything that occurs here.
When I’m not working or studying, I like to play video games, especially ones that involve strategy. I love to learn and solve problems, and video games provide an excellent opportunity to relax and unwind while applying my brain to solving the various challenges a game presents. I recently started work on creating my own video game as a side project, and it has helped tremendously in my understanding of the work I do for CVC.
When the weather is nice, I love to be outside. I enjoy anything pertaining to water, whether it’s swimming in the pool, a trip to the beach or going fishing on the lake. I think wilderness survival would be an exciting challenge—to shirk all the comforts we take for granted and survive (even if only for a few days) purely on my skills to provide food, water and shelter for myself.
I think I enjoy being outside so much because it reminds me of my childhood. When I was a little kid, I used to run through the woods with my sister all day long. We didn’t have cellphones, and our only rule was, “Be back by dinner, or else!”
Today, technology pervades pretty much every aspect of my life; I use it all day at work, and I use it to study and relax when I get home. I try my best to unplug now and then, and take time to appreciate the simpler things in life. But I do love technology—learning how it works, how to fix it and, especially, how to make it work for me—and I appreciate that my job at CVC allows me to do what I enjoy. Just as is true with so many others, CVC gave me the chance to thrive when no one else would.