A little about me.

Hi, I’m Chris Graber, the founder of Captive Coder, a full service software development and business efficiency consulting firm. See my services here.

I truly enjoy interacting with multidisciplinary teams towards a common goal. I like to use my technical, creative, and business skills to create unique, custom solutions and have experience supporting projects in areas such as finance, healthcare, environment, government, and more.

I have over two decades of experience in the technology sector and have worked with startups, midsized businesses, and nonprofit organizations on a wide variety of projects and in various capacities.



My back story:

I hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara, where I graduated with honors and was a Regents Scholar. I’ve always been excited about sustainable technologies, and during college I had an internship working on the GM EV1 electric car, utilizing 3D CAD software to create innovative tooling.

I knew that software, databases, and the internet were exploding, so I moved to San Francisco to immerse myself in new technologies. I landed a position at Palladium Interactive and worked on a team that created websites to support CD-ROM titles: I coded website front ends with HTML and JavaScript on a PC and used Photoshop on a Mac for my creative design work. I began to learn some backend Perl coding and took UC Berkeley extension courses to learn Unix and Perl. Palladium was acquired by the Learning Company and Mattel.

Along the way, I began working on various side projects while working full time, and hence the birth of Captive Coder. I found this an invaluable way to keep up to speed with the latest technologies and innovations.

After Palladium I moved to Fluid in San Francisco and worked in the SOMA area, a hotbed for internet innovation: Fluid is a full service software and creative firm. Beautifully designed, database driven websites were our specialty. I developed an intense passion for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that would work across any browser or OS, and the ability to turn an of our designers’ complex Photoshop mockups into a web-reality. Due to this affinity for the front end, I mentored junior frontend developers. More and more I focused on backend skills, many which laid the foundation for my work today, such as database design, complex business logic, design patterns, version control, and a love of Linux and open source technologies.

Then it was back “home” to San Diego and Clear Balance where I was a software engineering manager for 9 years, working in a dynamic environment of healthcare and finance experts. Clear Balance used a proprietary model to process millions of dollars of hospital debt each month, and align appropriate patients with bank loans. I managed a team of software developers, database administrators, and offshore consultants. I worked closely with our IT director to map out appropriate technologies, ensuring security and uptime for our 24/7/365 operations. Clear Balance experienced rapid growth and I worked with all key departments heads and our CFO and CEO to build a robust, high performance IT infrastructure and innovative software, and implemented novel data analytics and reporting. Some technologies included: Linux, PHP, Perl, IBM DB2, MS SQL Server, Crystal Reports, HTML, CSS, JavaScript/jQuery.

I then was the IT Director and Co-Executive Director of ISEAI. I leveraged a wide variety of software to help the organization fulfill its mission, and to connect board members, staff, and members worldwide. I implemented and managed Google Workspace (formerly GSuite), developed and customized the WordPress website and managed two developers, and configured the membership platform, conference registration, live streaming conference platforms, our donation platform, customized and ran our Zoom account for meetings and member webinars, and more.