For this month’s employee spotlight we spoke with Chris Casciano. Chris works on Cureatr’s development team and works at the intersection of the product and design teams. He works with Cureatr's web based apps, admin portals, and messenger systems and he facilitates precise planning, team discussions, and of course, coding.
Chris grew up in New Jersey before attending school at Rochester Institute of Technology for mechanical engineering. As the internet was up and coming, Chris found some part time positions in this new and growing field. A few years out of school, he officially left mechanical engineering to join the world of web in its infancy. Since then he has been involved in a variety of freelance work before joining Cureatr as our Lead Frontend Engineer.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I like bringing the tools and technology and my experience to help solve the problems that the product team and UX designers are typically facing - problem solving for actual users. I like using what I know to help businesses come up with new and interesting ways to solve user problems.
Why do you like working for Cureatr?
The thing I find most challenging is probably the amount of things that we’re juggling. We want to give love and attention and keep momentum for all current projects while also continuing to innovate and update. Finding the balance there can be challenging.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Balance and prioritization. I find myself in a semi-regular battle between working on projects that will be meaningful to the company in the longer term vs. those that need immediate attention. I find this particularly challenging because as I mentioned earlier, the strategic direction and non-emergent projects are my favorite part of the job and they are usually long-term projects. Managing partnerships and working on potential new business deals are more urgent and need my attention so sometimes the big picture projects are worked on more slowly than I would like.
How would you describe Cureatr in 3 words?
Tools for providers/Tools for the Medical Industry.
What is your proudest moment at Cureatr?
I think the release of the first medication reconciliation timeline in our Meds 360° project to the team that was pro Beta testing it. It wasn’t the first big project I did here but it was a project that touched lots of different areas between mobile and web.
What one unique thing about you that people would be surprised if they knew?
I ran a couple of different hiking and outdoor information sites for a few years. Different hiking spots all around New Jersey with photos and trail info and things like that for the county parks. I've always done a lot of hiking and outdoor stuff and I just happened to be in a space where there wasn't one giant park out there. One of the early Internet communities I was on was an email message list for Appalachian trail hikers. It was like late nineties, people on email trying to connect and share stories and things like that. Before Meetup or anything like that became popular, people from the email group would schedule a time to meet at a trail head somewhere and hike around for a day. So I got sucked into that as an online community. I've done some great hikes in the whites in New Hampshire, a bunch of snowshoeing up in Maine, including on Acadia. It’s this island on the ocean that's covered in snow.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
I do a lot of cycling and just spending time outside, getting away from the computer. Before work I usually do 15 miles or so, a couple of laps around Prospect Park. I’ve done longer rides, and I signed up for a century which is 100 miles for this October. So I will have to make sure I am regularly riding to be prepared for that ride. I also like photography; going outside with a camera over my shoulder and taking some photos and then I kind of wind up back at the computer, but it still gives me some outside time.
What is the first app you check in the morning?
I usually try not to get online too much in the morning until I get in the office. I would say probably just email, make sure there's no fires burning, you know, that kind of thing. You just get all the random emails and spam and all that kind of stuff out of the way in the morning.
What were you like in high school?
I don't know that it's super different than I am now. I mean, I spent a lot of time doing sort of the same things. My high school was fairly big and had some interesting programs so I wound up helping out on a couple of different random things in school. We had a ropes course in our gym and I used to skip out of one class to go help out with that. I also went camping a lot, music shows, and, you know, driving down to Asbury Park to see things down there.