UT Monthly Feature Chris Snyder

At Unleashed, our commitment to being the best, without exception or excuse, can only be possible with thoughtful and determined teammates. As part of our recurring series, we feature Chris Snyder, a lead web developer who encompasses all of the Unleashed values. Our President Mike Spinosa described Chris as intelligent, creative, and solution-focused.

Recently, Chris developed a Sitewide Alert Module that has been widely adopted by Unleashed clients and across the Drupal community to improve communications during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

1. What has been your favorite project this year? How did it go?

My favorite project this year would have to be working on the United States Naval Institute (USNI) and building out their custom integrations. It went very well. It is always nice to work with USNI because of the strong relationship our teams have. They trust us with some complex custom integrations and are also always fun to work with.

2. What challenges did you face on that project?

One of the biggest challenges we faced this year with USNI was timing. With the change in times that everyone has experienced this year thanks to COVID-19, USNI needed to move their textbooks along with other resources online quickly. They also made a large change in how they promote their content with members and nonmembers.  We only had one to two weeks to complete the initial project, so things were a bit crazy.

3. When you can't find a solution for a project, where do you go for answers as a lead developer?

I always try to turn to my Unleashed internal team first. Nicknamed Planet Express, we will sit down and brainstorm solutions and research different concepts. If that doesn't work, we will turn to the broader open-source community. We use Drupal.org or videodrupal.org to look at projects that are similar to ours and then reformat the solutions. It's all about teamwork.

Planet Express Meeting

4. What is your favorite part of a digital project?

For me, it's the discovery or the beginning of development because that is where you think through the solutions and set up the project. At that point, you either put yourself and your team on the right track or not. It's critical to understand what you're doing and why you're doing it. I enjoy the challenge.

5. What is your favorite language to code in?

That's an easy one: PHP.

6. What is your favorite sci-fi movie or book?

The Martian, the book. Not the movie.

7. If you could have a superpower, what would you pick?

I would like foresight, or the ability to see the future. I do not mean the inevitable future, but the future that is being created from my current decisions.

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