When asked to write a blog about what I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time, I first thought of the sports almanac from Back to the Future. Of course, there is also stock info and crypto currency. But I digress as I am sure that is not the intention of this requested blog.
I have been involved in technology most of my life. I don’t mean binge watching Netflix or playing Call of Duty (although I do both), but actually making a career out of it.
I have been in the IT field for over 25 years, and it is pretty common to be approached by consultants from every possible area.
I’ve had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Midwest Pawn Convention this past weekend, and I got to see quite a few of our customers. Not only do I love getting the face time with people that I have known for many years from our industry, but it’ s just as exciting to meet customers who have recently come on board PawnMaster Nation.
At Data Age we always strive to deliver the best product we can. The amount of time dedicated to understanding the needs of the industry, developing our flagship products, and performing Quality Assurance is always monitored and managed. Writing "Clean Code" with unit tests in place assures that we can move forward rapidly with a much lower percentage of error. This means delivering the best products to our customers right out of the gates. Our teams are the best in the business at doing the research up front to make sure all gaps are filled and compliance issues are covered so the pawnbrokers can focus on running their businesses.
There is an app for this, there is an app for that, there is an app for just about anything you can think of. So what happens when the demand for something moves so quickly the supply can’t keep up? No matter what the product is, this will be a problem. In retail, it may mean that orders are not being filled and customer satisfaction goes down. In the service industry, customers are having jobs not being done on time. In Development, it is much worse. When demand for technology reaches a high level, you get products built quickly and without much thought around security. Unfortunately, that is where the mobile app stands now.
A small Maryland town, circa 1989: “Billy, come check this out!", my friend called to me from the driver side window of his Trans Am. I walked over and climbed into the passenger seat and before I was even completely settled in, the sound system washed over me. The crystal-clear sound of Great White rocking “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” sounded all too perfect, and I could feel my internal organs thumping with the bass. I looked down at his dashboard at the night club-level light show emulating from his stereo system. My friend was saying something to me, but I could only see his lips moving. I was totally immersed. Once the show was over, he got ready to drive off. He turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. He tried again. Still nothing. He ended up having to replace the engine, but that stereo system was amazing.
For many years, I flew out to New York City and Las Vegas to attend the Interop. I know, it sounds pretty rough but I made the most of it. If you are not familiar, Interop is an annual trade show promoting interoperability, IP networks, and emerging cloud computing technology.
When you set out to build software that will service thousands of customers like we do here at Data Age, you have to concentrate on the foundation. Building to scale is something you hear all the time but what constitutes accuracy in this statement? Building the platform on infrastructures that are inadequate for growth is the main mistake that software developers make. In an effort to keep their own costs at a minimum, they may host your data at the nearest facility that they can get a cheap price at instead of leveraging the best possible solution for their customer base. Also, not keeping up to date with the latest technology is a major issue for many software providers. Remember, cloud technology is constantly changing so anything past 5 years old in technology is already outdated.
As we constantly strive to add value to our products, sometimes the best features can go under the radar. Over the last 5 years we have put a stronger emphasis on training and consulting our new customers and this has allowed us to introduce more of the features that should be used on a daily basis in the PawnMaster software.