Chris Giddings in New York City

About Me

Who is Giddy?

My story isn’t entirely unique. There are loads of people in tech. Even those with similar experiences as self-taught, self-developed skills and careers.

So, what exactly makes me, Chris Giddings, stand out amongst that crowd? Where do I provide an intrinsic, competitive edge?

My Values

Above all else, I value integrity, candor, transparency, humility, and a dedication to constant exploration.

Integrity

What good is working with someone if you can’t trust them to do what’s right, or what’s agreed? Frankly, I’ll always fight for what I believe to be right, but once a decision is made you can bet I’ll be right there getting it done whether or not it’s how I thought it should be.

That doesn’t mean I won’t continue seeking to right the ship as technical debt piles up. I won’t lose sight of detrimental compromises over time.

Candor & Transparency

Candor and transparency combine to ensure not only will I always share what I think, but I will do so proactively. You will never wonder where I stand on any topic, and I will also purposefully address any misunderstandings to ensure ambiguity is addressed.

Humility

Neither you nor I know everything. Neither of us sees any one thing from all vantage points. And there’s always something new to learn. Maybe a better way to do something, or a slightly less good way which can be delivered faster or with improved maintainability.

Throughout my career, I have looked to those with whom I work, and those within my extended personal and professional networks to rebase my understanding and get a more solid sense of the future.

Exploration

I have worked in a lot of jobs, across a variety of industries, and not all of my work has been in tech. I’ve seen how technology impacts consumer products, business back-office, retail and eCommerce, media, advertising, finance and insurance, transportation, and so much more!

The perspectives I have from all these experiences drive my understanding of how technologies can be used or repurposed for various needs, and what technologies could apply in unexpected ways. It also keeps me hungry for discovering new ways to do things, new technologies, new skills, and extending my body of experiences to include a wider variety of perspectives.

Exploration is key to who I am, both personally and professionally.

Hobbies

I’m involved in an array of interests outside the office. I believe everyone should be. And that we all should feel unencumbered by work as much as reasonable in our free time.

So what exactly do I do with mine?

Food & Beverage

Who doesn’t enjoy good food and drinks? Not everyone becomes a devoted connoisseur working to expand how they smell, taste, and experience the foods they eat. This attention to detail bleeds into other areas of my personal and professional life, allowing me to sense a “flavor” to my work and other hobbies.

In 2008 I started Tea-Guy.com, a blog devoted to chronicling my journey of learning about tea and discovering its nuance and the resulting love affair with the world's second most popular beverage (behind water).

In 2012 I started Secret Suppers: Cincinnati, a food group on Meetup.com, which I’ve run for the better part of the past decade (pandemic withstanding). A way to enjoy good food, good company, and great conversation while exploring different parts of the city I call home.

Television & Film

I love a good story (I mean, who doesn’t). TV and movies have captivated my mind as much as books for as long as I can remember. With the exception that comedy isn’t my genre of choice, I pretty much like it all. Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Action Adventure … you name it. And these days, I can get my fill across so many streaming services it’s almost not fair … how can anyone consume it all?

It doesn't stop me from trying. Definitely look out for posts on the entertainment I consume, and my Livestream on Twitch.

Video Games

I’m a child of the 1980s and with that comes a bit of a deal. I kind of liked games for a while when I was young. But it wasn’t until I played Westwood Studios’ Command & Conquer games that I really started becoming obsessed. Pivoting to the Caesar games, Sim City, Civilization, and non-strategy games like Doom, Quake, and later Tomb Raider … I’m a full-fledged gamer with a willingness to try pretty much any game if I think it looks remotely interesting.

Travel

Though I have made friends everywhere, from Africa and Asia to Europe and South America … I haven't traveled as much as I'd like.

I hope for this to change, and will be posting and sharing updates with my community on a regular basis as I explore this blue marble spinning in space.

Books & Learning

At one point I was a voracious reader. I've long believed that works of fiction help our mind's eye remain creative, while non-fiction keeps us grounded and reasonable. Both are valued, and necessary. As a result, I try to switch between these two groupings to ensure a constant balance.

Balanced
Photo by Patrick Fore / Unsplash

Self Improvement

If we've lived at all, we've found that there's always room to improve. Nobody knows everything. There's always someone bigger, faster, stronger … so we have work to do.

What we prioritize from this perspective determined where and how we grow. Practice, as they say, makes … well, makes us better.

I'm always hungry for more knowledge, more perspective, and more experiences. These are what drive me both personally and professionally.

Improving myself can take many forms. From the artistic to the physical, and the skills I use on the job. And everything can inform everything else. You never know when knowledge will be useful. After all, who would have guessed that Steve Jobs auditing a class at Reed College on calligraphy and typefaces would lead to major industries being born later?

Health

Like many people, something I disregarded for the majority of my life, I am now focused quite a bit … health matters. While good food and beverages have always been a big interest for me, as a newly outspoken diabetic I find new things frequently which can impact my daily life.

While I love good liquor (brandy and whiskey mostly), it’s never been a frequent thing for me. Tea, however, remains a wonderment, along with my growing interest in coffee, and cooking from scratch.

I exercise now more than I have for most of my life. My diabetes requires it. But I also find this gives me time to engage with audiobooks and to work through background thoughts on a frequent basis which helps across my hobbyist and professional settings alike.