QX reminders from hospo to a software developer

My favourite Urban Dictionary definition of “QX” is
“In scrabble the most feeble attempt at a word to try to get rid of two letters that will never be used otherwise”, but we like it as an abbreviation for one of our favourite aspects of software development, Quality Experience.  We believe that quality should be an experience that starts from the initial contact with us, all the way to delivery and beyond.  It encompasses and requires integrity, competence and communication, not just the delivery of an elegant piece of software. It should go without saying (we hope!) that the latter is deeply important to us also…

In a delightfully quirky cafe in Mt Maunganui over new year, an otherwise perfectly-adequate-but-not-stellar waiter made a fatal error.  He noticed that the new paper napkin he’d just delivered with my food wasn’t entirely clean and asked if I’d like him to replace it and instantly I had to suppress irritation.  A small thing on its own and probably something most reasonable people would brush off…

However when you put it into words, the concept of giving a customer the option of less than stellar QX sounds ridiculous, and it is.  A big enough thing, or enough of those little things add up to a quality experience a customer might feel inspired to blog about (naming no waiters, you know who you are)…

Having said that, in an enthusiastic attempt to help someone get a start with their project we have in the past occasionally tried to do too much for too little, and the result has been the similar to my underwhelming cafe experience.  In spite of best intentions the customer ended up feeling irritated for a variety of valid reasons, and as developers our integrity felt niggly, we felt out of sorts knowing we could have done a cleaner job, and we got stretched in all directions which never works for anybody.  I can’t speak for the waiter, but he for sure didn’t walk away with the sort of energy that comes with knowing you’ve done a great job and created a raving fan.

We are always excited about helping customers get their projects up and running and we always work with them to ensure no unnecessary spend, often starting with a prototype, but these days we’ve learned to be smarter at finding ways of supporting clients to get things off the ground in a way that delivers better than expected outcomes, feels good along the way, and is win-win for everyone.  

We very much feel that striving for quality in every stage of software development should be a given, never an option.  And so should a clean napkin. Just saying.

We’ve moved!

With our short move to BizDojo complete, the team has settled in!  Our space has been named “Gary”, for reasons best known to Lincoln. We have plans to extend our Nerf arsenal and jump scares are still a cultural feature…

We’re loving the new space and the new vibe (such a lot of cool people and businesses here, not to mention cake) and the coffee machine is getting some regular use… It also doesn’t hurt that we’re super close to a bunch of great food places, and the team regularly hits Sam Ragnarsson‘s The Kiwi Viking sub shop on Lichfield St.  Matt fully endorses the bacon burger.

If you’d like to visit us in our new habitat (or The Republic of Gary), we’re easily found in the original building on Ash St, on the first floor, situated conveniently close to the coffee machine.

New CEO for Stickmen Media

Stickmen Media is super excited to announce that Sam Ragnarsson is taking on the position of CEO, starting (very appropriately) on Star Wars Day, May the 4th.  Sam brings with him energy, experience, a passion for games and software, a cracking sense of humour, and best of all, the ability to swear in Icelandic.

The timing couldn’t be better after a year of evolution and milestones. Over the last year Stickmen Media has completed many diverse projects, not least of which are; the award winning mobile Virtual Reality game (http://www.itm.co.nz/gofish), a mobile App and website for doctors to track their professional development and  an augmented reality App for the oil and gas industry. Stickmen Media’s own game, “After The Light”, a scary-beautiful first-person zombie shooter set in caverns and caves, for PC, VR, PlayStation and PlayStation VR, is also well into development.

It’s been amazing seeing so much coming together at Stickmen Media, while parts of it have been challenging. The core founders of Stickmen Media, Brook and Margaret, have reached a point where they felt that the company is now at a juncture to shake things up and take it, along with it’s awesome team, to the next level.  With a new CEO, Brook can concentrate on his core skills as a CTO, and indulge in his passion for all things software, sciency and games. Of course he will still be very much a part of daily interactions with customers. Margaret will continue in her role as COO, but with additional focus on marketing and sales.

We also moved into our new big office in Epic, where we have space for our VR set-up, and probably a tennis court as well. 

To add to the momentum, we’re about to start development on a couple of large projects, both of which are unique and exciting to say the least.  As well as that we have a healthy pipeline of smaller projects coming online that we’re looking forward to starting.

In the next few weeks Sam will be putting out a post that will reveal some of the new focus and direction for Stickmen.  In the meantime we hope you’ll join us in welcoming Sam to Stickmen Media!