Learn about Andrew’s background in tech, how he got started, and how he ended up working with Bixly. Plus we talk about his non-tech related hobbies and passions!

Full Transcript Below:

Cris:

How did you get into tech?

Andrew:

Starting of, like, a software development firm. It was because I wanted to get my foot in the door as a programmer. You get to wear all the hats and so I got pretty good at project management.

Cris:

What some stuff that’s up and coming in tech right now that you’re kind of excited about?

Cris:

All right, Andrew. So today this is super fun. We get to just interview you and kind of talk about what we’re calling this series of Get To Know The Bixly Team. And so we get to know Andrew today, which is super fun. So, Andrew, what’s your background and how did you get into tech to begin with?

Andrew:

Sure. So my background is, I originally started just doing, like, software testing, kind of QA testing role thing like that. And it was because I wanted to get my foot in the door as a programmer. So I was basically like the script monkey and brute force tested things and eventually got some opportunities to write some real code. So that was my foot in the door. Good advice to other people, if you want to become programmers, maybe be a tester first.

Cris:

What was the stack that you were kind of testing within or like languages?

Andrew:

Super old school because it was embedded systems programming. So think assembly language, C even like Pascal and stuff like that. And I’m not that old, like we just were very old even when I was doing them. They’re like, oh my gosh, he’s 70. So I started with that. I did that for a few years and then I ended up going off as a freelancer to do just web programming because that was what building a website was still a pretty big deal. At that point, it was like early dot net stuff. Dot net was like becoming a thing. And then I ended up starting like a software development firm kind of along the lines of Bixly. I mean, we had a variety of clients and things like that. Tend to specialize more in like self service payments and like self service type solutions.

Cris:

Kiosks things like that.

Andrew:

Kiosks, yeah. Taking payments, things that would reduce wait times in lines and whatnot. And yeah, so did that for quite a few years and then ended up coming to Bixly, and about a year and a half ago.

Cris:

Nice. So what got you connected with us? That’s the perfect segue. How did you get connected with Bixly about a year and a half ago, two years ago, whatever it was?

Andrew:

Yeah, so I was actually a Bixly client early on, probably, very long time ago now. But it was kind of in the early Bixly days, so actually contracted one of you guys developers. He was doing dot net for me at the time and we just had a really good chemistry. And so I worked with him for a couple of years and Bixly actually ended up taking him back because he was so good. So you guys have really good programmers even way back then. And then I just kind of maintained contact ever since because we were both sort of in a parallel industry. I mean, we were kind of loosely competitors, but realistically not going after the same client. So I always just had a good relationship with Bixly. And honestly, it was always a place that I thought would be cool to work, but I was doing my own thing.

Cris:

Right, you had your own thing and we were doing our thing and your thing. But yeah, I remember we’d always kind of cross each other’s paths in networking circles or things like that. It’d be like, oh, hey Andrew, what’s up? So that’s cool.

Andrew:

So we had a lot in common. And yeah, the stars finally aligned and now I’m here.

Cris:

And so it was like a year and a half ago [crosstalk 00:03:30].

Andrew:

Yeah, I think about a year and a half ago. Yeah.

Cris:

You came in and kind of started doing some consulting with us because we had a need with your very extensive background in tech and also your strong leadership abilities and capabilities to speak into projects, you were helping us with management and all that kind of stuff.

Andrew:

Yeah, that was one of the good things about being sold like that was, you get to wear all the hats, which is also very stressful, but you get to wear all the hats. And so I got pretty good at project management, dealing with clients, interfacing between developers and clients. I have a programming background. And so just playing that middleman, which is a lot of what I do at Bixly here, is keep clients happy, understand their requirements, make sure the developers understand those requirements and make sure everything ultimately, it’s cohesive so that we have a great solution that our clients are happy with and the developers have a great environment to work in.

Cris:

Cool. So working here now, obviously with us, you’re again, leading projects in a lot of ways. You’re getting immersed into a lot of new technologies, learning new things from clients that may be coming through. What’s some stuff that’s up and coming in tech right now that you’re kind of excited about and would want to talk about?

Andrew:

Yeah, sure. I mean, it’s not, like, super sexy or anything. I mean obviously like AI and those things are super exciting, but really just the real demand for self-service solutions. Obviously, COVID kind of speed tracked all those things because trouble even further wanting to minimize human interaction, which is sad in some ways, but also, provides a lot of opportunity because people want to… They want to order from their phones. They want to order from a kiosk. They want to have minimal human contact. They want to wait as little time as possible. They want to have interactive menus, like all these things. And so self-service is increasingly becoming more and more of a thing. And I have a big background in self service and it’s something that Bixly does really well. So I feel like it’s a real opportunity to really kind of make these… to help our clients solve these problems where their clients and customers want to interact with them in a very different way.

Cris:

Yeah. And we’ve even seen it that it was something that was already out there in the world. COVID landed, it became more of an interest. And then coming out on the other side of all of this, these things are sticking around and they’re staying around. And so it’s been a really neat industry that in some ways was forced and a little more with that but there’s always been the need. So that’s cool. What do you enjoy most about Bixly? Like what in particular, over the last year and a half have you really liked about, I guess being here or being able to do here, if it’s kind of something that we allow you to do within your job role?

Andrew:

Yeah, sure. Really, just the temperament of the people… the people here. I mean, that’s really what it comes down to. In the job listings, we always started out with the whole no jerks or punks thing. And I mean, that’s real. The people here, they don’t have big egos. Everyone’s very willing to share information to help you grow. And it’s really like a safe place where you can just be candid and admit what you don’t know and not have to put on this air of I’ve got it all together. I know everything and I’m smarter than everybody else that works around me, under me. All of the things, you you don’t have to be like that. So yeah, it’s a great place to grow. It’s a great place to learn and it’s just a lot of fun too. All because of the people and really, the culture that was instilled by the leadership many years ago has continued to be a heritage that’s been passed on. So yeah, it’s an awesome place to work.

Cris:

That’s good. Now, I’m going to let you kind of talk about yourself a little bit more in that was very nice saying the team was good. But for you particularly having come over to Bixly, you touched on it a little bit, your skill sets, what is something in particular that you think you’ve really brought to the team in the last year and a half that’s helped us grow? Because we have grown a lot in the last year and a half. So how have you contributed to that, you think?

Andrew:

I have a lot of experience interacting with clients and particularly, clients that are not super technical and even clients that are really technical. And I think I’m really good at translating their ideas and their kind of business requirements, their objectives into something that’s actually actionable and getting that done. Helping push back on ideas that are maybe not so good, but in a tactful way. And helping them get to something that is really the perfect fit solution for them that they’re going to be happy with. So I think that kind of soft skill of translating all of that and understanding and having the right amount of tact with both the developers and the clients, that’s something that I enjoy and just comes really natural to me.

Cris:

And it’s helped a lot. We’ve seen the growth of our company over this year. And I think we’ve been able to spread the net even a little bit wider with customers that we’re reaching and you play a big part in that. So that’s awesome.

Andrew:

Yeah, my pleasure.

Cris:

Thanks. So we talk about, all I could think of was Chick-fil-A. So other than tech, what are some of your other interests? The tech is great. I love it. We live it. We eat, sleep, breathe tech, but when we’re not doing that, what are you passionate about?

Andrew:

Yeah, sure. So I’ve been doing Brazilian jiu jitsu for over 10 years. I’m a brown belt now. Hopefully, soon I’ll be a black belt. Message my sensei. So yeah, I’ve been doing that for a really long time. I really enjoy that. I just — I like combat sports. I like watching the UFC, that kind of stuff. And I also, I like teaching kids. My kids are involved in it. Lately, I’ve been teaching adults, so that’s super fun to me. So I do enjoy being a teacher and sharing knowledge and just the physicality of it. And then over this last year, I started gaming with my kids too. So that’s been super fun also. Sometimes without them.

Cris:

Like console, PC?

Andrew:

Oh, like PC gaming. Yeah. Yeah, like playing like tactical first person shooters and stuff like that. So yeah, it’s super fun. I’m really sucky at it, but I do like all the fast decision making under pressure with no real consequences, unlike real life. So, yeah. It’s fun.

Cris:

That’s cool. Awesome. Well, I feel like we got to know you a little bit better through all of this, which is awesome. And this was really fun. It was very natural. I’m excited for the rest of the series, obviously to interview more of the team members. Anything else that you think would be worth knowing about you, Andrew? Otherwise, if not, we can wrap.

Andrew:

All right. I think we can wrap.

Alexandra:

Thank you, you for joining us for this episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Andrew a little bit better. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave those in the comments section down below. In the description to this video, you can find a link to our free custom software guide, and that will help you plan out your next project. You can also find a link to our website, bixly.com. And if you feel like Bixly is the right team to take your project idea from just an idea to reality. You can also hit that button on our website that says free app validation and get an hour free consultation. Until next time, this has been a Bixly Tech Tuesday.

Originally published at https://blog.bixly.com on May 11, 2021.

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