Note: The following post was originally distributed to QT clients and partners.
Happy New Year!
From the management and staff of Quenk Technologies Limited; we hope last year gave you what you needed to conquer this one.
2018 was a challenging year for us both inside and outside QT but in the end so much was learned and accomplished that I have only one thing to say to 2019: Come through!
In 2018 we developed and experimented with a number of internal software libraries. Mostly oriented at building applications for organizing an organisation's information.
If we have not been in touch for a while, now might be a good time to reach if information management is the problem you are trying to solve.
Most if not all, of these libraries are based on web technology however, in 2019 we intended to put some more focus on native Android as we experiment outside the realm of data management.
An interesting thing happened on January 03 2018, we turned 5! There was little fanfare as I was too busy with important client work.
The past five years however have been an intense teacher of how to start a business in Trinidad and Tobago. Somewhat disturbingly, I am encouraged to know that organisations big and as small as QT all suffer from some of the same issues.
Late last year we reviewed how we price our consulting services which resulted in a complete overhaul in structure and a price increase.
While I understand the dynamics of our economic environment, I also understand that quality software engineering is costly and takes time. It's a disservice to our clients, ourselves, partners and the industry as a whole to provide heavily discounted solutions in a fraction of the time required.
It not only increases the risk of failure, but that failure can have an exponential effect of lowering confidence in the local software engineering industry, as word of mouth gets around.
In order for local businesses to better appreciate and reap the rewards of that, they must see software projects as investments, not overheads.
I encourage all my peers to walk away from leads that want e-commerce platforms and the like built in 5 days and encourage clients to clearly decide whether they want a mock up, prototype, an application, a system or a business built for them.
We silently launched a tour in 2018 called the Indie Tour, meant as a form of outreach and client education. In 2019 we intend to continue the tour, offering technical and non-technical sessions to organisations throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
The goal of the tour is to do our part to foster a more informed market so we can do less explaining of why a Microsoft Access file is not comparable to a custom made, Web enabled information system and more explaining about speeding up advanced search at 1 million customer accounts.
If you would like to hear more or book a session, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Islands Of Trinidad and Tobago
Outside of QT we saw our country slowly changing and taking new form:
* The abrupt closure of Petrotrin.
* The restructuring of TSTT.
* The continued water taxi fiasco.
* The proposed Toco dock.
* Massive flooding.
* Legislation to share tax information
* and T&T starring on an EU blacklist.
Depending on your approach to business one may see these as signals for panic or opportunity.
Regardless, what's important in these times, to any local business or professional on the fence about remaining or not, is to have a clear vision.
Have a clear vision of what you or your organisation is out to accomplish. Without that vision, you will be doomed to chasing trends and your accomplishments will not last longer than the news cycle.
Learning From Each Other
If we have interacted within the last month or two you may have heard me mention Startup Grind. I volunteered to start a chapter for the Tunapuna/Piarco region a few months ago.
One of the things I have noticed in the past 5 years is how common it is, for people with similar interests and problems in TnT, to have no idea about each other.
Even when they live within 1 kilometer of each other!
This is true in business as well and I truly believe that one of the key ingredients to transforming this nation is to increase public, genuine, independent dialogue.
The Startup Grind model can help with that. If you would like to get involved or become speaker, let me know by sending an email to email@example.com.
I spend some of my time outside QT serving a growing community of software developers and enthusiasts. This year we hosted our first conference where members of the diaspora stepped up to the plate to openly share their knowledge.
It was my hope to make the Caribbean Developer community more inclusive of the other Caribbean territories however it has been a challenge to keep up with what is going on regionally.
In 2019 I'll strive to do better but for now, thanks to all the community members inside and outside of T&T!
We also hosted 4 successful meetups including a collaboration with members of the local Google Developer Group for their DevFest event. The DevFest event itself was one of the more technically authentic developer focused atmospheres I have seen in T&T in a while (outside of academia).
Kudos to the organizing team and their speakers (including myself :) ).
Elsewhere, announcements were made about new online payment services available in Trinidad and Tobago.
Yes! We now have some slightly more realistic options!
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done before accepting payments is trivial but at least we are having steps in the right direction. Or as others may see it, some direction.
What I have learned from interacting with local software professionals is that there is no shortage of technical potential in TnT.
What we have instead are great minds whose growth is stunted because they can't find jobs or meet enough clients with projects that are innovative, interesting and profitable.
Why? I firmly believe it's due to our self destructive economical structure where exploitation and entitlement replace effort and engagement.
The status quo is cemented and change deferred until it is too late.
My advice to those adversely affected? #Replace.
If you can't find an organisation to join that is willing to excel and lead in its field, then create one.
It's no longer an opinion; it's a fact that the general population wants more local services to be convenient and automated. Not to mention there is an entire world out there to be explored.
If the incumbents won't answer the call then why not you?
Have a prosperous 2019!
Did I mention 2019 is going to be a big year for Quenk Technologies?
We have a number of announcements upcoming on changes, new products and services as well as our 2019 tour!
You can keep up to date by subscribing to our announcement newsletter here: