Cronin Technology Consulting
Patrick is one of the newest members of BEAHIVE Albany, having joined in July 2014. He runs his own technology consulting and programming firm and lives in East Greenbush, NY.
BEAHIVE: What do you love about what you do?
Patrick: I love programming because it is both an art and a science — it requires both sides of the brain and the end result isn’t just functional, it’s easily maintainable for the inevitable changes that come as processes are tweaked in the future.
As a consultant, I get to face problems which are often unique, sometimes complex, and come up with solutions that meet my clients’ specific requirements. Computer programming is my main skill: I build tools that automate, increase efficiency, and decrease the likelihood of error for any kind of process that lends itself to being computerized in some fashion.
How did you start (your work)?
Growing up (and still now when I have time), I loved figuring out how things work.
From an early age I was fascinated with machines, computers and the Internet. I’ve been programming ever since I could read 3-2-1 Contact magazine, got my first technical job as a freshman in college, and haven’t considered a different career since.
There was a time I took a break from the computer screen: Fresh out of college, I joined the Peace Corps to shake things up a bit. It was a wonderful experience! For two years, I taught Math and English to grades 8-10 in a rural Namibian school.
Although almost everything was different, the one thing that didn’t change during that time was my passion for computers. I spent most weekends behind the keyboard working on a program to create school timetables, as this was a problem typically attacked using a really big piece of paper, a pencil, and a few erasers. The realization that computers provided an outlet for my creativity and satisfied my desire for problem solving solidified technology as my career path.
Since then, I surrounded myself with technology, being employed as an application programmer and contract manager, and only within the last year decided to become an independent technology consultant.
What types of clients/customers do you work with?
The wonderful thing about technology is that it has found its way into almost every business, sector, and industry you can imagine. For this reason, almost everyone who wants more from their technology might want assistance at some point.
I work with individuals, small and large businesses, and not-for-profit organizations, on everything from reviewing existing software, creating and evaluating system specifications and proposals, to software customization, complete system development and project management. In my career, I’ve enjoyed the chance to work across the marketing, international development, government, education, tourism, agriculture, e-commerce, health and finance sectors.
What brings you to Albany?
I was born and raised nearby. After living abroad for seven years, I came back to reconnect with my family. It feels like home!
What do you like best about BEAHIVE?
BEAHIVE provides a professional working environment and colleagues from a varied array of careers whom I can bounce ideas off of and learn from on a daily basis.
While my work doesn’t require much more than electricity and a decent connection to the Internet, it benefits from the freshness and cross-pollination of ideas from other technologists and people in other professions. Everyone has an opinion on how technology should work for them!
BEAHIVE is also decidedly a dramatic improvement over my other option: my basement.
Where do you see your work going in the next year… five?
Technologies are always changing, being refined, and surprising us with what else they can do.
What won’t change is my love for figuring out how things work, and using technology to solve problems. While I can’t predict what technology will let us do in five years (and to a certain degree even just next year), I know I’ll be staying on top of it for my clients.
Anything else you want us to know?