When automation is your recreation — an interview with Chris Robinson

Photo of Professional Services Manager Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson joined Cheetah in 2021, hiring in as a technical business analyst and working his way up to manager of Professional Services.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University with double majors in Telecommunications and Journalism and minors in Computer Science and Entrepreneurial Management. Before joining Cheetah, he worked in sports broadcasting with the Indiana Pacers basketball team, CBS, ESPN, and Fox, and in live-event production.

Chris is obsessed with efficiency and processes. Away from work, he is a gamer, with a preference for factory simulations that require critical thinking, systems-building, and crafting automations. So, even in his leisure time he’s honing his business and technical skills.

Check out this brief interview with Chris.

How did you end up in the tech industry?

When COVID showed up, I lost my job as an audio-visual technician with a live-event company.

Luckily, I had been writing code on the side to develop Discord bots for different school-based esports organizations. Discord is a chat program for gamers. The bots I created helped with content moderation and verified student identifications using email. So, I’ve always been interested in computers and computer science. I thought, well, let’s look for a job in the software industry.

What was your first impression of Cheetah?

I thought it was going to be an exciting new adventure. I’ve always been interested in finance. So, it was neat to be able to combine computer science and my knowledge in coding with my interest in the financial world.

What do you like about the company?

The biggest thing is the culture. I came from broadcast and events where the culture is not as good. The companies expect that you should always be available to work with the understanding that they won’t always need you. And if you find other work, they frown upon it. Then I come here, and it’s fast-paced but friendly. People are just nicer. My boss is someone I enjoy going to lunch with. But in addition to the culture, I also enjoy the opportunity to get work done and problem solve.

What do you like to do away from work?

Mostly video games. But I also bike ride and longboard.

What video games do you like to play?

My friends make fun of me, but if there is a game out there that involves automation and factory-building, I probably own it. “Factorio” started the whole genre. It’s just the sense of turning sheer chaos and pure resources into an advanced technology by setting up factories and logistics. There’s this sense of accomplishment to creating a factory in an hour.

I didn’t know this genre existed.

Oh yeah. It’s called factory simulation. You are interacting with all these systems and fine-tuning and tweaking. My favorite is “Satisfactory” where you plop down on this planet and your end goal is to send these products up a space elevator to some mega corporation in the sky. So, you start harvesting materials and you set up power factories and logistical systems. 

This is not what people who don’t game think of when they think about gaming.

It seems like it’s just another job. But it’s a fun job in a fantasy world. It satisfies my innate desire to automate as much of my life and work life as possible. If I could just press buttons to get everything done every day, that would be great.


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