Chad Hobbs ’14 is a busy man. A Computer Science graduate, Chad is an Information Security Specialist at CACI Federal, an organizer of Charleston B-Sides and Charleston Startup Weekend, an active member of ACM and ISSA, a co-founder of a local non-profit, Makelab Charleston, actively supports the Computer Science Department, and in September, welcomed the first addition to the Hobbs family, Emmy Noelle! An advocate for Charleston’s technology movement, Hobbs is facilitating a strong influence at Silicon Harbor in Charleston.
Chad Hobbs ’14
What are some of your most vivid memories about the College and the Department?
I believe that my most vivid memories of the College would simply be every day walking from class to class. It was a treat walking by the Cistern Yard and down the brick paths, taking in all the scenery around me. Students at the College of Charleston shouldn’t take a single day on campus for granted.
Within the CS Department, the extra-curricular activities like the Coding Competition and PCDC helped me connect with other students passionate about programming. I felt a strong sense of camaraderie when working with fellow classmates towards a common goal.
How did your time at CofC prepare you for the professional world?
My time spent at the CofC laid the foundation of what should be important to me as I entered the workforce and it gave me a diverse set of tools to get started in my new career. I was able to learn what I liked within the curriculum and what I needed to spend more time on outside of class.
What are some of your biggest challenges?
Currently, my biggest challenge in life is finding a good work/home life balance. Transitioning from a full time student with lots of free time to a working professional with a baby on the way has shifted a lot of my priorities. Growing up is hard to do…
What are you most proud of?
I try to stay humble, but I feel a little bit of pride in helping other students learn what their passion within computer science was and then going after that goal. When I was able to connect someone with a good job reference, or inspired somebody to get more involved, or encouraged a deeper dialog about some programming topic, then I felt my time at the College was very well spent.
Who has been a mentor to you, and what was the biggest lesson you learned from him/her?
I really feel like the department acted as a group in molding my learning experiences. Aspen Olmsted taught me most of what I use every day. Jim Bowring made me put effort behind my aspirations. But I feel that Chris Starr was always my biggest cheerleader. He was a very busy man but always had a moment for you if you needed to ask a quick question. He constantly wanted to push the department and the individual further. And that is what I learned from him, is that you can always do more and there is always more to do.
What new trends are you seeing in your field?
I am seeing big upheavals and constant change in our industry all the time. I feel that the ability to program is within the reach of more people every day, but programming really well is increasingly harder to do. There are so many factors to consider. Our lives are surrounded by a constant swirl of data and I believe that we still don’t have a good grasp on what to do with it. Leveraging that data securely and in a meaningful way is an ongoing and evolving challenge for today and tomorrow’s computer scientists.
How do you like to spend your time outside of the office?
I am still working hard on building the technology community in the Charleston area, so most of my free time is spent working on projects like Startup Weekend, Security BSides, and Makelab Charleston. When I am not working on one of those endeavors, I really enjoy tinkering with micro-controllers and other fun electronics.