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!

Inside Quenk

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.

Touring

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 tour@quenk.com.

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.

* Venezuela

* 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  lasana@startupgrind.com.

Caribbean Technology

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!

PS:

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:

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