Cowell, LLC

Technical Training

Chris Cowell on a bench

Painless technical training
for less-technical people

email envelope
phone 503-309-2716


This is a one-man operation: I design the curricula, create training materials, and lead all instruction.

Technical Background

My interest in computers and programming started at age twelve, when I coded in BASIC and assembly language and beta tested Apple II text adventures.

After studying computer science at Harvard, I worked for eighteen years as a developer and test automator at large and small software and consulting companies. Each of those roles included training and mentoring responsibilities, which were the best parts of my job.

These days I keep my brain limber by studying machine learning, neural networks, and functional programming.

Teaching Background

My love for teaching began in middle school, when I taught programming to students and VisiCalc to their parents.

In philosophy graduate school at Berkeley, I refined my teaching approach and presentation strategies by instructing hundreds of undergraduates in logic, writing, and philosophy.

Since then I’ve tutored General Motors factory workers in adult literacy, taught test automation to non-programming QA colleagues, and lectured high school students on how to break in to the software industry.

During my career I’ve done one-on-one coaching, presented to 150 people, and covered every size of group in between. I’ve given talks and classes on technical and non-technical topics.

Gently and patiently helping people understand new concepts and learn to do things they couldn’t do yesterday is just about the most fun activity I can think of.

Education and Certifications

  • B.A. in computer science, Harvard
  • Ph.D. in philosophy, Berkeley
  • Certified ScrumMaster
  • Puppet Certified Professional