✨Team highlight: welcoming Chris Grass!

Get to know our newest senior software engineer!

May 4, 2021

We are thrilled to welcome Chris Grass to the Bear team! He joins us as a senior engineer from Rakuten Kobo, and brings deep experience in enterprise software. As we continue to grow our exceptional engineering team, we couldn’t be more excited to have Chris’s skills with us, driving Bear to the next level.

‍What are you most excited about as you join Bear?

As I join Bear, I'm most excited about its growth potential. I think the problem Bear is tackling—the increasing complexity of scaling a business in ecommerce—is only going to grow. Each ecomm marketplace has their own unique way of integrating with businesses, which means that as a business expands into more of those marketplaces, the amount of work scales too. That's where Bear comes in, providing a single point of entry for all of these marketplaces, letting businesses scale painlessly. I'm excited about what the future holds for Bear, and I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

Joining as a senior eng, what’s your philosophy on leadership?

I think leadership is about building a strong team by helping your team members succeed. A good leader should be able to recognize each person's individual strengths and goals, and give them the opportunities to succeed at both. By focusing on the team, you build a dynamic team that works well together.


How do you approach writing code?

I like to plan my route before entering the code forest. I review the requirements of my task and use pen and paper to draw diagrams and write pseudocode before heading to my actual coding environment. By working through the problem in my head, away from the computer, I can identify the right tools for the job before I set off. I also try to follow Test Driven Development (TDD), which means writing my tests before writing the code, but I don't always practice it.


What’s the one piece of advice you would give to new software developers?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. When you pay attention and ask questions, it shows interest and thought. A necessary question is asked where there's ambiguity or knowledge disparity. A great question is one that's relevant to the topic at hand and provokes thought. Asking necessary questions is an essential communication skill, while recognizing how and when to ask great questions is highly valuable.


What’s your favourite ecommerce marketplace?

My favourite ecommerce marketplace would have to be Steam. If you're an active PC gamer like myself, you've likely used Steam to browse and purchase video games. They have an annual summer sale that gives you something to look forward to. I also love their support for game mods through the Steam Workshop, which lets game developers expose parts of their code so the community can build alternate game modes, new in-game items, and more. I've recently started playing the fan-made Portal 2 mod called Portal Reloaded, which takes the mind-bending puzzles to a new level. As a marketplace, Steam listens to their customers to help grow communities and improve the overall experience.


What’s your favorite article of furniture?

I'm a big fan of the L-shaped sectional. It supports all sorts of lounge styles and is perfect for reading, watching movies, or gaming.


What’s your go-to downtime activity?

I like being in nature. The sights after the hike up a hill, the sounds of birds singing and streams flowing, the smell of pine trees... there isn't anything more calming than a walk in nature.

Watch out for the bears, Chris! Welcome to the team!

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