Interview with Chris Johnstone, Developer

For our Computronix employee interviews, we sit down with people from all levels of our company and ask them about their jobs, and what it’s like working for Computronix.


The stereotypical computer programmer is quiet, probably introverted, and perhaps even kind of awkward. Chris Johnstone does not fit the stereotype. “I have kind of an outgoing skillset, it’s not the most common thing around programmers,” he admits early in our interview. He injects passion and expression into the stories he tells as we discuss his time working for Computronix, a place that he obviously loves.


After graduating from post-secondary education, Chris had his pick of jobs, being courted by several tech companies, including major international ones. It wasn’t easy for him to choose a local software company with less than 200 employees, but it’s not a decision he regrets. “I decided that I wanted to be happy at work,” he explains. “Actually, I was kinda scared the first little while, like ‘Is the trapdoor going to open?’ But after about 6 months, I stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop.”


He has worked here for two years now, and in addition to his primary role as a developer, he’s done Quality Assurance testing, and trained new employees. He also leads the ambassador team, a team that represents Computronix at various university career fairs and professional association events in the Edmonton and Denver areas. “Roles here don’t have boxes,” Chris says, “express an interest in something, and suddenly you’re doing it!” His favorite part of the job isn’t any of those though, it’s the people and the environment. “I’ve never been so excited to go to work every day!”


However, his time as a Computronix employee hasn’t all been happy and fun. In fact, he went through one of the most significant personal challenges in his life during his first year, as his mother grew sick and passed away over a period of several weeks. But even through that, he expresses how much he was supported by his boss and by his project team, as they covered for him during his bereavement time, and even when he returned to work. “It’s challenging to come back to work after something like that. You have this expectation that you’re supposed to be normal, that you need to go back to being your old self. But here, no one expects that. Even when I called my boss to explain what was going on, the first words out of his mouth were, ‘What can I do for you? Don’t worry about work, what do you need me to do?’”


In his opinion, that’s one of the things that makes Computronix so unique: “The amount that you are actively supported.” Virtually all of the managers, even up to the executive team, have open door policies, and employees are encouraged to make their opinions known. Chris proudly shares a story of when he did just that, while he was still in an entry-level, bottom-of-the-totem-pole position. He was working on a major project, and they were fast approaching the deadline to send it to the client for acceptance. However, despite fears of not wanting to rock the boat and disrupt a major project, Chris told his supervisor that he felt the project wasn’t yet at the acceptable quality. They had a meeting to discuss it, the project delivery was delayed, and in the end it was sent out as a much better quality solution. “I feel like I saved the day,” Chris explains, smiling broadly.