Tag Archives: SumTech

Now Hiring!

The Time has Come

I am excited to enter a new phase of business!  I am now registered with the state to hire employees!

My business has been steadily growing since I started 4 years ago.  I started out part-time with side projects here and there.  Then I started working more consistently on small projects.  Last year landed a couple larger projects lasting months and years.  Today, I have so much work I realize I am not capable of completing everything myself.

What’s Next

I am looking forward to building more connections with web designers and web developers in the area who want to work together on projects.  I am very appreciative of those people I already collaborate with, and look forward to discovering who else would like to join with me.

If anybody is interested in subcontract work, employee work, or hiring my business to do work, please send me an email or give me a call!

Beginning a New Year

Today I am updating my website.  There aren’t any major design changes, but I moved the infrastructure from ASP.NET WebForms to ASP.NET MVC.  I also did some automation for creating my project summary pages.  This will help me keep this list more up to date.

In my updating, I decided to check out my blog and see what I did in 2011… hmm… 0 entries is not much for 2011.  How am I supposed to share how my business is doing if I don’t talk?  This year I will do better.  My personal challenge is to complete at least 12 entries in 2012.

I updated content on my page, and added a new “FAQs” page.  Are there any other good questions I should ask/answer?  Let me know.  Here is what I currently have written up:

Why did you name your business “SumTech”?
To me, “Sum” represents the words “Summary” and “Summation”. When solving a problem, I try to summarize the big picture of the situation, problem, or challenge at hand. This helps me build a purpose and vision for the solution I am developing, which keeps my projects and decisions focused where they need to be. Then I can break up the project into definable and manageable features and tasks, which when added (or summed) together produce the final eloquent solution.

“Tech” represents my interest in working with technology to build these solutions.

What are your rates?
I do not post rates because there are several factors I use to build quotes, such as the technology(ies) used, the particular type of problem, the monetary benefit to the company/group, etc.

My first consultation is always free, up to 2 hours. During this time we can meet, evaluate the situation, determine some potential solutions, and plan some next steps.

Depending on what is mutually beneficial for the client and myself, I can charge either by the hour or per project. For larger projects choosing the latter method, defined milestones are used to allow payment through the duration of the project.

Your formal education is not in computer science. How did you change careers?
The only formal education I have in programming is a CS 112 course my freshman year where I learned some rudimentary basics. When I graduated with my Masters degree in chemical engineering, my wife and I loved where we were living (which does not have many opportunities for chemical engineering, except for becoming a professor), so I had to find something new. I had learned a little bit about Microsoft Access, which got me connected with some temporary hourly possitions at Washington State University working with computers and Access databases. After completing several projects, and teaching myself several technologies, I began helping other businesses and started SumTech. Eventually my business grew large enough to focus on full-time.

I do not regret leaving the engineering profession, but I do miss working with differential equations, calculating flow rates, analyzing transport phenomena, and designing heat-transfer units. Yet I have seen my education shape my problem solving strategies in incredible ways. In engineering, I learned to break big problems into small, manageable pieces, I was taught that economics is an important factor in which solution is chosen, and I saw how people relations are an important aspect of seeing a project become successful. In mathematics, I also leaned systematic ways of developing algorithms, learned how to analyze whether my approoach to a problem is valid or not, and saw how technology may be used to solve complex problems thorugh automation.

In the end, I love the work I do now. I am grateful for the opportunity I have through my business to tackle some intricate problems, help businesses and individuals, meet great people, learn tons about fascinating problems and technologies, and have a lot of fun with what I do.

Could you share a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Oregon, but was raised in Mountain Home, Idaho. I came to the Palouse in 2000 to pursue my degrees at the University of Idaho.

Here, I met my beautiful wife, who has been incredibly supportive of my pursuits. We currently have one son, who is the most adorable child ever (I realize the strong potential for bias here). We hope to have more who are just as wonderful!

When I am not working or learning new technologies, I love to spend time with my family. We are also very involved in our church, Living Faith Fellowship. Also, when I do get out of the house, I enjoy playing pool, frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, tennis, and lots of other sports.

Do you have a blog?
I do have a blog, which can be found at blog.sumtech.biz. I try to give highlights of what I am learning about business, technologies, and the such.

What would be a good way to tip you for your excellent work?
Oh, thank you! If you are interested you could always get me something from my Amazon.com wishlist of books. I love books! And I love learning! My wife thinks it is funny that her husband reads textbooks for fun. It’s true. I really do read textbooks for fun, especially when they are written by good authors who express more than facts, but also impart wisdom and experience.

Re-Defining My Blog

Well, I think I tried to make my blog too focused when I started, and therefore I stopped writing anything. I am re-thinking how I approach my blog so that I may actually put content up every once in a while.

I have decided to not have a specific focus. I will share what I have been reading and learning, talk about what my business is doing, or pretty much talk about anything I want that may somehow relate to my business.

Enjoy!
Brian

My Introduction to Blogging

So here I am with my first Blog entry! I would much rather talk with people in person, but I also desire to see my business succeed. I hope this blog will be a place for customers to get to know me and what I am doing with my business. Second, I want my family and friends to know what I do with my time, if they so desire. Finally, as I continue to learn new and old technology, my thoughts may be helpful for other tech persons.

I will start by introducing myself. In my next post I will share about what technologies I have been learning. After that I hope to give updates while I am taking new steps in my business, learning new material and skills, or have something I find pertinent to share with those who are listening. Here I go…

Who am I?

My name is Brian. I am passionate about learning as much as I can, and I enjoy serving people to help them succeed. I went to University of Idaho to receive a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering along with a couple other majors in math and chemistry. I did very well in my classes and definitely enjoyed the challenges. After graduating in December 2007, my wife and I decided to stay in the Palouse region for a while. We have many friends here, and we love serving at our church.

With the lack of chemical engineering positions in the area, and being a little desperate to find some work, I started dabbling with computer programming and database work. What started as a hobby quickly became an avenue to start making an income. The learning curve has been steep and adventurous: beginning with Microsoft Access databases, then simple websites, then web applications, later server management, and so forth. Studying engineering was very exciting for me, but I am finding out how much more I enjoy building database applications for the web! It is a privilege to convert a paper system to an electronic system, or to convert and idea from someone else into a functioning reality. I never considered myself “creative,” but I am learning that I do have a creative ability in development that is pretty fun.

I am a hard worker. I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. I also live a full life beyond just work. My wife and I help mentor college students, and we are very active in our local church. I am grateful for what Jesus has done for me through his death, burial and resurrection, so I have committed myself to giving my all for his glory. I hope that the quality of my life (my love, joy, ethics, willingness to serve, concern for people, diligence, etc.) will be a testimony of how real my God is and how well he has treated me.

Additionally, I want to mention that I appreciate my wife very much. She is wonderfully supportive, especially in the times when I have wondered, “Why am I doing this?” She is my best friend, and I am grateful to have someone willing to be with me through this adventure.