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There’s a lot to be said for people who notice the details. The details are what make something beautiful, and unique. Well executed details make the difference between a gold and silver medal in the Olympics. Where and when you take a breath while swimming the 50M freestyle can add or save you milliseconds that count. And that level of skill takes practice and training. To us, QA is exactly like Olympic swimming, only above water and without the speedos. You have to be fast, dedicated and amazingly persistent to do it well. We’re glad our Director of Quality Engineering Chris Scofield takes to triaging bugs like Ledecky takes to water — only he wears chinos and a jaunty five-button twill vest instead of high cut competitive style swimwear. (Thanks, Chris. Really.) It’s not easy being the guy who points out every excruciating pixel faux pas. And it’s not easy to be the team who has to listen to him either. But he does it with both grace and sincere appreciation for his craft and our Pendo craftsmen and women. Chris gets a gold medal for quality every day at Pendo, and we all level up when he’s around.
So, for this employee spotlight, we sat down with Chris to learn what he’s passionate about and how he ended up here at Pendo.
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in Winston-Salem, NC (which is an awesome place to live when you’re a teenager…insert sarcasm), but I have been in Raleigh since 2003. NC State University initially brought me here, and I stuck around after graduation because Raleigh was at the time — and still is to this day — on every ‘Best City…’ list around. I chose a career in technology right out of college, and have cultivated a great career in the industry ever since.
What brought you here? Why did you choose Pendo?
Being challenged to keep up with exceptionally smart people is fun (exhausting, but fun). I chose Pendo because I wanted to be at a place with highly effective, consistent and intentional leadership (and I wanted to do my best impression of a sponge). Pendo provides all of those things in spades. Within a week I was a completely saturated sponge. I am in awe of the people that surround me at Pendo, from top to bottom. Now, add that we are working on some complex technical software problems and that we have a mission to make the software experience better the world over, Pendo is a company I can align with!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far at Pendo (or something you’re excited for)?
Well, I already have a long list. I’ve had the privilege of building an extraordinary team, establishing some industry best practices around automation and quality engineering.
Where could someone find you outside of Pendo’s walls? (What do you like to do outside of work?)
Usually at home with the family…but that’s not a fun answer. So, I enjoy playing soccer, a lot- especially when I get to do it with many of my colleagues on Pendo’s intramural soccer team. I also enjoy finding new restaurants, going to the mountains of North Carolina or West Virginia, and doing woodworking projects on the side.
Why did you pick Raleigh to settle down? Why do you stay here?
Raleigh has some of the highest rated interstates running through it in the whole country, so we have that going for us. Seriously though, the cost of living is great, diverse population, access (to parks, infrastructure…Google Fiber anyone?!?, great food, etc.), Raleigh is an easy 3-hour drive to the mountains or to the beach. With all this, it is a tech industry hotspot alongside California and Texas.
What’s something that makes you unique?
I am a leadership junkie for sure. When meeting new folks, most people tend to ask a series of standard questions (What do you do? Where are you from? etc.). I get irritated at those. People are so interesting — ask something radical!
I love asking people, first thing, what gets them out of bed in the morning. Really, there is not a person alive who is not in the business of people. Whether you work with, for, or above I believe everyone should make the art of people their business.
I also sing and “play” guitar, draw, build things, and love long walks in the mountains.
What’s your favorite thing about the Pendo product?
There is a lot to love about the product here. I like working on the engineering team and being privy to how our product is actually made. We eat our own dogfood, which is really beneficial.
But it is how we stay connected to our user base and inject quality in every aspect of our business that I love the most. We have taken something really complex, and have made it accessible, scalable, and easy to use for anyone. As for the team, it’s best-in-show. I have not met one person here that I am not thoroughly impressed with. Not only technical ability but personality and willingness to teach or learn anything, this team stands out.
Just Erik Troan incessantly trying to get me to sing in front of the entire company.
In all fairness, Chris told the team on his first week here that he auditioned for American Idol. We’re not, not going to force you to sing karaoke.