How I fell into Software Development
This journey is a long one, really, but this is the journey that I first wanted to share when I decided to build this website. I never dreamed of being a Software Developer, and that is why I have decided to include so much of my life story in this journey. This journey isn't finished yet, but as you read, I hope that you can be encouraged as you see some of the steps that took me here to where I am today, studying Software Development, and building this website.
by Christopher Wray
High School Graduation
In June 2011, I graduated High School. I had lots of grand plans, but they mostly involved driving around in a VW bus through the United States and hitchhiking Highway 101. I never got the VW bus, but I did get to drive through the US, and parts of Highway 101.
June 09, 2011
Time in Ohio
I spent time with my sisters family in Ohio this fall. I worked the worst job of my life pouring concrete, and I knew I never wanted to do that again, but my sister and her family were so kind to me. I will never forget the amazing conversations my sister Stacy and I had in her kitchen. When an elderly friend was about to pass away, I headed back to Washington.
November 16, 2011
First trip to China
I spent an amazing two weeks in China with some dear friends. I was blown away by the beauty of the country and its people. During this time, I met a Buyi family, Hannalilly and was given a handmade notebook, which is how Hannalilly and I started the fair trade company "The Buyi Project".
September 19, 2012
A website for the Buyi Project
A friend of mine asked me if I had a website for the Buyi Project, our fair trade company, and I said no, that we probably didn't have the money. She said, "why don't you build one yourself?" I did some research and realized I probably could, and I did. It was my first chance to build something online and I realized that I really liked being able to design.
March 05, 2013
Buyi Project and nursery side work.
I spent a lot of time with my cousin, Mary, giving input as we designed marketing material for our nursery and the Buyi Project. I am so thankful for the time she invested in the Buyi Project, and showing me how she did her work. I am also so grateful for my friend Jordan, sister Shelly, nieces and nephews, and my mom for all the times we spent putting Buyi Notebooks together in the evenings.
July 16, 2013
Finished my Associates Degree
I had started work on the family farm and then nursery, and I finished my Associates degree at our local community college. I found that I really enjoyed working with plants, and learned Spanish, but didn’t have a super clear idea of what I wanted to do for my career yet.
April 02, 2014
Summer on the Nursery
This summer was a ton of fun with the nursery crew, and I was really starting to help out. I was constantly trying to find ways to improve efficiency and productivity. I also spent a lot of time with my cousin Sid, improving an inventory application that we used in the nursery. I mainly did bug testing and feedback. He was really kind and started sharing with me what was possible with applications and software.
July 14, 2015
Loving nursery life, but wanting something more.
I had started to really love working on the family nursery. I was learning a lot, and almost entirely communicating in Spanish. It was great, but I couldn't deny that I yearned for something more. I felt God was calling me back to China, to serve others, but now I am not sure. This led me to seek opportunities in Asia. My dad and I spoke about it, and he thought maybe the best would be for me to do one option I presented to him, which was go to a school for a few months in Thailand that would give me a better idea of what being a missionary was really like.
September 15, 2015
Shutting down the Buyi Project
This winter, with plans to move to Thailand, I decided to finally shut down the Buyi Project. It was a long time coming. I had spent almost all my free time on the Buyi Project over the past 3 years, but I was starting to see that it really was not achieving what I had hoped it would. It was a bad business model, and I finally admitted it. I was putting all of my extra income into purchasing the notebooks, even though we were not selling nearly as much as I was purchasing in order to help the people in China, and I was burnt out. I also knew that with plans of school in Thailand, then a move, it would be pretty much impossible to keep going. I had failed in a lot of ways, so it was difficult and painful to admit what happened to people that had been a part of the project. Over time I realized that much fewer people really cared as much as I thought they did, and I was thankful that I had decided to shut down the business. The longer time went, I realized how unsustainable the idea really was.
January 19, 2016
Four months in Oregon
In March (I think) I moved to Oregon to serve as an interim manager of our Nursery there. I spent time with Bob Evatt, who taught me a ton more about plants in a short time. I also joined Good Shepherd Community Church which was an amazing place during those short months. My friend Andrew really took me in.