We're thrilled to introduce you to Stephen Avila, a talented Software Engineer at Core10. Stephen's journey into the tech industry began through the NewForce program, a six-month, fully-remote, tuition-free coding school that connects great talent with jobs in West Virginia. As a NewForce Graduate, Stephen was equipped with the technical and professional skills necessary to hit the ground running in this role as a Software Engineer at Core10.
Since joining Core10, Stephen has made a significant impact on his team and the company as a whole. Our team has praised him for his technical aptitude and his unwavering commitment to being a team player. Not only does Stephen work hard to deepen his own knowledge and expertise by obtaining new certifications, but he also helps his colleagues to do the same.
"Stephen is a talented engineer and an absolute joy to work with. He is very gracious and always ready to help his team members with a smile and also has an unmistakable desire to learn and be better, every day. Stephen is always working on a new certification to deepen his knowledge and after he earns a certification, he assists others in earning it as well. He is a real team player."
As we dive deeper into Stephen's story, we'll learn more about his journey into the tech industry, his experiences at Core10, and what sets him apart as a standout Software Engineer.
What is your role at Core10?
I am a Software Engineer 2 at Core10. I work as a part of the Mesh integrations team and I run the Azure Fundamentals training course.
How long have you been with Core10?
I started with Core10 in April of 2021, so I’m just under my 2-year mark.
How did you hear about Core10?
I heard about Core10 through the NewForce program. Clay McKinney talked to the cohort I was in and really championed how great of a work environment Core10 has.
Why did you choose to work at Core10?
Core10 was on the short list of places I wanted to apply to because I felt that it would have been the best place to grow my career. After almost 2 years, I can definitely confirm I was correct in that belief, and it’s amazing the support I’ve had from coworkers throughout my various endeavors here.
What did you do before joining the team?
Before I joined Core10, I worked as a surgery tech on the Burn ICU at Cabell Huntington Hospital. While I had decided that I wanted to pursue my bachelor’s in Information Technology and the NewForce program, I had no idea that pursuit would lead me to where I am today.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Marshall University, and currently, I’m attending Mountwest Community and Technical College.
What did you study?
I had originally studied under the nursing program in college at Marshall, before transitioning to a field in surgery tech after my career shifted me towards working at Cabell Huntington Hospital. From there, I started to pursue a career that would align with my interests and hobbies, which at the time revolved around building computers.
What got you interested in a career in software development?
My interest in software development started while I was working with a company doing reviews for a website. While it was more of the basic Wordpress skills, I found that I was truly interested in that side of programming. For me it made as much sense as my hobby of building computers. I wanted to know how things worked, and I’m an inquisitive person by nature, so I feel like I’ve always been drawn to the tech world in some way. I then found out about the NewForce program and how I would not only get to learn the skills I was intrigued by but also get the opportunity to utilize those skills in a career I could be passionate about.
What is your favorite project you have worked on at Core10?
My favorite projects have been the Tru Treasury project and the Mesh project. I feel like the experiences from both have helped me along my career path and are integral to the engineer I am today.
Tell us about your life outside of Core10... Family life? Pets? Hobbies?
My girlfriend and our dogs are what keeps me motivated to put forward my best in everything I do. Because everything I do, I do for them. My girlfriend, Madi, and I met during my first day at Cabell Huntington Hospital and we have practically been attached to the hip ever since. Shortly after we began dating, I became lucky enough to meet her dog Ghost(now our dog lol) and we became best buds almost immediately.
This past year, we made the decision to grow our family with the addition of Buster, who we rescued from our local shelter. We had originally only planned to do a doggie-day- out, but Ghost and Buster got along so well that we had to go forward with the adoption process.
When we aren’t relaxing with our dogs, we typically are out with our friend group. We have had a bit of a game night tradition for a few years now, and it’s typically how we spend our weekends. It’s been one of the most awesome traditions I have ever had, and I feel like our group continues to grow to this day.
How do you give back to the community?
For giving back to the community, I really do all I can to help out our local shelters. This could be doing doggie day outs for the pups so they can enjoy a nice day at the park or donating what I can to the shelter to help. We also have been able to take in lost pets and find their owners, which has been such a rewarding experience. It’s actually a fairly common experience with how close we live to the park in Huntington.
What is something other people find most surprising to learn about you?
I feel like the most surprising thing for people who may not know me is I used to be a huge Pro-wrestling nerd, and while I was growing up it was something I was so passionate about that I thought one day I’d actually venture to have a career in it. Also, I’m a really good cook.
What is your favorite thing about living and working in Huntington, West Virginia?
My favorite thing about Huntington is the people I’ve met here. I feel very blessed to have had so many great people come into my life from here.
Why did you choose to stay there?
For right now, it’s because of how close we are to family and friends. Eventually, I would like to live near the beach. It gets way too cold here.
Anything else you’d like to share???
If there’s anything I would like to share, it would be a thank you. Thank you to all the wonderful and amazing people that make Core10 such a great place to work at.