Hi friends! My name is Chris Dela Pena and I live in the Greater Seattle area with my wife, daughter and mother-in-law.

Why am I writing this blog? Also, why is it called “becoming a versatile engineer?” In short, I’m writing to capture points of my career, which includes engineering experience across many roles. I use the term “versatile,” because I’ve been fortunate enough to touch many different engineering domains and can wear many different hats. I’d like to say I’m adaptable and know (at least) a little about a lot. My hope is to share this blog with friends and family (particularly my daughter when she’s a bit older) and hopefully any other budding engineers out there.  Let’s go!

What about your career?

Over the past 18 years I’ve performed engineering work for the state Dept. of Transportation, land development, environmental remediation, aircraft production, product reverse engineering, spacecraft production, production factory design, and more. I’ve held individual contributor, lead engineer, project manager, engineering manager and consultant roles.

I’ve usually taken classes in addition to working full-time. While working I’ve obtained a Masters in Systems Engineering, a certificate in Project Management, industry training in aluminum and titanium, CAD and accounting. And now, I’m taking my final course before graduating with a Bachelors in Computer Science.

Great, you’ve moved around and like school. So what?

As the saying goes, the more you see, the less you know. I feel that a blog will help me track my experiences, document things I’ve found interesting, capture “aha” moments. All the while, a blog would help me chronicle my next career steps, which are totally unknown right now. Put another, I am graduating with a computer science degree and am exploring where to apply it. I fortunately work for a very large company with many opportunities to apply my new degree, but there are of course many opportunities out there!

What’s next?

We’ll find out together!