Cleared for Takeoff: The Return to Alaska Airlines

This post is my attempt to write down some of my thoughts and reflections on what has been one of the most informative, testing, and growth filled six months of my life. As you can probably surmise from the title of this post, I am returning to Alaska Airlines on Monday the 8th of July. How I got here is a whole story in itself but I’d love to write about my experiences of the past six months.

As I mentioned in my previous post, leaving Alaska Airlines was a very difficult decision for me, but I took that leap to join a startup called Upbound. In this new role, I was able to use my passion for automation to help with multi-cloud architecture, CI/CD automation, and working as a utility player either setting up the networking equipment in the new office to working in the code for some of the core company products. During my time at Upbound, I have experienced joys and challenges of a Series A startup. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have worked there and am thankful for the people I was able to work with every day. Upbound employs some of the brightest engineers I’ve ever worked with and I’m so excited to see where they will take the company. I’m looking forward to reading and hearing about the amazing work that will continue at Upbound.

My return to Alaska will be in a very different role than I had before. During my first time at Alaska, I worked on a team which was under the IT branch of the company, and primarily worked on systems that were internally facing. This new role will be in the E-Commerce organization, which will allow my work to focus on the guest facing side of the business. I’m beyond excited for this new challenge. There is a lot of work ahead, but the very thought of helping other E-Commerce software engineers get their code shipped out faster with the end goal of improving guest satisfaction, really gets me pumped up. A big part of this new role will be to help continue the containerization and microservices effort surrounding many of the core Alaska products.

This has been a crazy ride, but one that I’m very thankful for. Upbound has made me into a better engineer and I will always be grateful for that.

It’s time to go, I’ve been cleared for takeoff…

7 Replies to “Cleared for Takeoff: The Return to Alaska Airlines”

  1. Chris,
    It was with great interest I read your post.
    As you know, as your aunt who loves you so much, I am one of your biggest fans. I have followed your career with admiration and pride🥰
    This last journey with Upbound was an exciting , learning experience. Returning to Alaskan Airlines, in a new capacity, feels like you have returned “home”😍
    I wish you all the very best and look forward to following all your great experiences ahead.
    All My Love.❤️❤️❤️
    Kathy

  2. So happy for you, friend! I know you were dearly missed when you left and will be welcomed back with open arms. Career transitions like this might be short-lived, but teach us the most about ourselves. It will be an invaluable experience you carry with you always. You’ll be fantastic wherever you go and in whatever you do!!

  3. Chris,
    What an exciting time for you- Alaska is very lucky to have a chance to have you back!
    Wish you all the best!
    ~Lani

  4. Wait, was this whole thing just so Nick wouldn’t be your manager? Alaska is very lucky indeed to have you return!

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