Christian Cox

April 16, 2018

My youngest sister and me

How do you feel about trying something new, whether it be implementing an unfamiliar tool or accepting a new challenge?   Do you hesitate? Does even the thought of taking on something new cause you anxiety? Be assured that such feelings are quite normal and can even have a positive impact on your performance.

Christian Cox who came to OTGS from a front-end developing background has built up an exceptional reputation of giving amazing support to Toolset clients and, as if this wasn’t enough, he has recently jumped out of his “comfort” zone to pitch in and help with a new marketing-oriented venture.

Christian:  That’s right. Although I work closely with the Toolset support team, I have also recently worked on a few projects with the Marketing team.  Previously, I had recorded a few video presentations for Toolset support and this led to being approached to collaborate on a new marketing video project

What is Toolset and what is your role in the team?

With Toolset, clients can build advanced WordPress sites without writing PHP.  It includes the plugins Views, Forms, Layouts, Access Maps and Reference Sites.

I work as a customer support representative for Toolset.I think it’s important to know a lot about WordPress in general, have a good grasp on PHP, have experience working with plugins and themes, and a generous amount of HTML, CSS and JavaScript knowledge. Beyond that, patience and compassion are always helpful.

Our clients submit support requests through a forum, and supporters evaluate their problems and make suggestions to resolve those problems. Sometimes they have “how-to” questions, and other times they run into situations where things do not seem to be working as expected. I usually ask a few questions to help me understand their request. Then I ask them to perform some troubleshooting tasks in order to eliminate possible conflicts with other plugins and themes. I might ask them to walk me through the steps required to reproduce the problem if it’s complicated. If I’m not able to reproduce the problem, I will create a clone of their site and try to install it locally on my own WordPress environment. Then I am able to run additional tests. If I’m not able to solve the problem I will escalate it to my 2nd tier support team and follow up with the client when I receive more information.

My work background before joining OTGS  has certainly proved to be been an asset. I was a front-end developer for about 10 years. I worked for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, then Apple in California. In 2016 I took a few months off work, and, while I was researching work-from-home opportunities, I heard about OTGS. I joined in December 2016.

What challenges and advantages do you find by working from home?

I currently have the advantage of working on Sundays instead of Fridays, which gives me the ability to handle appointments and other non-work responsibilities on Friday. I do find it challenging to work with multilingual sites, especially non-Latin languages. It can also be challenging to work with a team that is spread out across varying time zones.

Working from home takes self-discipline. How do you handle a typical day?

With my pet Roxy

Yes, self-discipline is essential.  Following a daily routine certainly helps, but it is also necessary to be flexible to incorporate additional projects such as the video recordings I mentioned earlier.  I usually start out my day by reading emails and following up on priority or escalated tickets. Then I start going through my queue in chronological order, and when that’s done I take new tickets. Sitting all morning at my workstation can be wearing, so I take a break in the middle of the day to go outside if the weather is not bad. Fresh air and some exercise and I’m ready to continue my work.  I wrap up around 6.

Now we have met the professional you, Christian, tell us a little about yourself

I am actually from South Carolina in the USA, although I have moved around a bit – to California and Georgia. I live in Charleston, a city which was founded by settlers from England in 1670.  It was first known as Charles Town to honor King Charles II of England because the first settlers were mostly from England. Charleston played a crucial role in the American War of Independence against the British and later still in the American Civil War.

I am one of 6 siblings and we all try to keep up with each other. We are spread across the country from Philadelphia, Salt Lake City in Utah to Rhode Island. We try to visit our parents at different times during the year since it would be difficult for everyone to be together at once! I guess I live the closest – only about 2 hours away.

With my siblings at Christmas

I like live music, watching movies, trying new restaurants, cooking, and traveling.  Charleston is a great place to visit. It is known for its unique culture which blends Southern U.S., English, French, and West African traditions. This is especially reflected in its famous food culture.  You’ll find a lot of restaurants in the Charleston area serving popular fresh seafood dishes such as Shrimp and grits – every chef has his own spin on the dish.

Fried green tomatoes – Fresh, tangy medallions of fried green tomatoes, crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside.  “Y’all eat these right away while they’re still hot.”

She-crab soup  – a rich soup made of milk or heavy cream, crabmeat and crab roe (hence she-crab soup) with a dash of dry sherry.

Soft-shell crab  –  a crab that has outgrown the size of its shell and has shed its hard shell to create a new larger shell.  This takes a few days to harden and the crab’s body is soft and can be eaten whole  – soft shell and all!

Any hopes or plans for the future?

All being well, I’m planning to go to Machu Picchu this September.  I have never been to South America and I am really looking forward to the experience!

Like Christian, are you considering making a career change or taking on a new role in your job?

You can check out our open positions here.