Introduce yourself. What is your role at Quext?
My name is Christopher (Chris) Allen, and my officially unofficial title is Director of Something Computery. It was partially a recognition that most non-technical people only know or remember “he said computer”, and also that, in reality, our roles aren’t always so rigid as a title would suggest.
My role is partly to participate in the abstract thinking that goes into the design of products we build. Not the parts you see on the screen, but the ideas behind what happens in the background to make it all work. My focus is around the data we produce, and how reliably it represents reality in a way we can accurately understand later.
I prefer to think of my role in terms of where I see us going, because what we do is ultimately what the journey to that place requires of us at the time. My vision is for a time where we all have very high confidence in the accuracy of information in our systems, and where we have a data team providing employees and customers with custom information, automated AI assistance, and visual feedback tools that will help everyone achieve their individual missions better than ever. These days, good data is like money. I want to build the bank and help everyone figure out how to cash in.
What is your background?
I attended Texas Tech, majoring in Music Performance. I occasionally played in orchestras across West Texas and New Mexico and a Motown cover band, and worked in on-site apartment management for 4 years. That included going through the early CAM program where a much younger, but dashing as ever, Jeff Lowry was teaching the maintenance tech classes. I moved on to a resident screening company, and some side contract work, where I did admin process efficiency projects, admin assisting, then sales, sales management, marketing and graphic design, business analysis and UI design, technical writing, and (long story) landing in IT management.
Outside the multifamily industry I’ve done work at a telecommunications company, an IT services provider, a telemedicine startup, and as an independent technology consultant. Across all those I did technical sales, design and implementation of unified communications, computer network monitoring and automation, technical project management, IT help desk team management, software integration and data handling automation, and a few small steps into software development.
For the most part I’ve largely bought books, particularly in the pre-internet days, and figured out how to make things work. As a young kid I’d take things apart and put them back together again, so it seems to be a habit. It’s been a bumpy roundabout journey, but it brought me full circle at the right time.
What is your favorite thing about working for Quext?
There’s a lot to like about Quext, from the mission to all the opportunity ahead. In the end, however, it’s always about people. Be it resounding success, faceplant or mediocrity, we’re all headed to the same place, together. The quality of the ride along the way is about people, too. Starting with the partners and carrying through, I see a great deal of walking the talk. Writing out some lofty values is easy. It’s not so easy to actually live up to their spirit. I’m grateful to have landed here where it’s a real endeavor.
What was the last thing you binged on Netflix?
It was actually “Counterpart” on Amazon Prime. I like science fiction that explores philosophical, psychological, and moral questions.