Page 382, the middle of grid D-3 – she always gave me Kool-aid after I tested her backflow device or fixed her sprinklers.
It still feels like just yesterday where I wouldn’t be caught dead without my wrinkled Thomas Guide sitting next to me while I was testing backflow devices. Flip to the street name index, back to the page, “Nice, this one has a cross street-listed. That’ll help!” A few years later my trusty Thomas Guide was nowhere to be found – it had been replaced with a stack of driving directions from Microsoft Streets & Trips. A few years later those were gone in favor of a windshield mounted GPS. I couldn’t tell you where that GPS went; it’s long been replaced by a string of smartphones.
Technology always moves forward – sure, sometimes I like to fight it–my favorite watch isn’t going to be replaced by the newest iWatch anytime soon. But it’s safe to say that I’m generally pretty accepting of new technology and try to take the best advantage of it to make my life easier.
I grew up testing backflow devices,which of course meant I had no interest in doing it after I grew up. I took my fondness for technology and found a lot of success in that field. Mobile banking apps, worldwide networks, massive data analysis engines -I’ve done all that.
It was about a year ago – I was helping my dad setup his new smartphone. “Hey dad, why don’t we see if there is a backflow testing app for your phone. It’s time you stop fighting the paper monster in your office.”
We looked, we didn’t find any! I couldn’t believe it, it was 2014, there had to be something! We scoured the internet – and found a few options but he quickly dismissed them, they didn’t meet his needs.
A few nights later after I had exhaustively poured over the options available,I finally accepted that what my dad’s company and tester’s like him needed just didn’t exist.
The last year has been a blur — from conversations with tester’s & water districts across the country about what would make their lives better to late nights spent trying to take that feedback and make it a reality.
I’ve worked hard to take my 15 years in the backflow industry and another 15 years in the technology industry and meet at just the right spot in the middle. We’ve built what I think is an ideal usage of technology to make the day-to-day life of backflow testers & their companies a lot simpler. I’m excited with what we’ve built & I’m proud of it!
‘So it’s done?’
Technology always moves forward – and so does everything else! Test report formats, industry regulations, device models. We’ll never be done – but that’s the best part! Unlike the old Thomas Guide’s that you had to throw out every year in favor of the new one, our application was built to be constantly improved.
Spend your time doing what you do best – testing backflow devices – Let us worry about the technology that helps you do it better.
Every Thursday we’ll have a blog that will focus on technology – we’re calling it Tech Thursday (I was never one for creative names…) Look forward to examples of how we’re using data & analytics to make our application better, new industry technology, and anything else technology related.