Eating your own dog food

November 18, 2019
David Walsh

I’m not sure how many people in the property industry have experienced how software is made and the roles within a software development team. As the founder of a building analytics company, I certainly have, and I can tell you that everyone in a company like mine stands on the shoulders of their development team. Customers rarely meet them and perhaps don’t really think too much about how the sausage is made when they are choosing a solution. However, developers who code strategically, thoughtfully and securely are some of the unsung heroes of the modern world.

In an emerging industry such as building analytics, the value that software can bring to building owners, engineers and indeed, having a significant effect on global carbon emission reduction targets, is directly linked to the quality of the code and the approach to its development, including whether those involved in making it are actually “eating their own dog food”.

If you are interested in building analytics and how it plays a role in creating better, more environmentally responsible property industry, I urge you to listen to CIM’s latest podcast interview released this week featuring an expert developer who’s up there with the world’s best—Anton Mazkovoi. It’s called “Eating Your Own Dog Food” and provides valuable insights into what makes great code and what’s important in the development of high-value building analytics software.

Anton joined CIM as our Head Developer in 2017, however he is not your average head of dev. Anton joined the founders of tech giant Atlassian as the fourth (and first full-time) employee. He spent 11 years as their Head of Engineering, in which time the company grew from a four-person tech start-up to a billion-dollar enterprise software business employing more than 1400 people. Throughout his career he has worked for many other high growth technology companies too, building out an impressive skill set covering business strategy, user interface, user experience and coding. Plus, he’s a great guy!

CIM management team L-R: Dr Troy Wilson (Chief Data Scientist) David Walsh (Founder & CEO), Adam Saville-Brown (Chief Revenue Officer) and Anton Mazkovoi (Chief Technology Officer) When Anton chose to join CIM it was an awesome recognition for our company and the building operations industry as a whole. As he explains in the podcast interview, he was looking for a meaningful challenge after Atlassian. He wanted to join a business with great potential that was run by a passionate team of people who were solving an important problem. To use Anton’s own words: “I like to get excited about the people I work with and the problem I am working on. CIM is one of those rare companies that ticks both boxes.

”In the interview, Anton explains how he took the original code, which he describes as “an experiment that worked”, and collaborated with the dev team to consolidate all the pieces into the PEAK platform. He recognises the great work of CIM’s original development team—Colin, Mike, Derek and Jude—and describes the first version of CIM’s software as “the highest quality code base” he has ever seen in a startup.

Anton was a perfect culture fit at CIM from day one. Our company is full of quiet, nerdy achievers who care a lot about the operational and environmental problem we are helping to solve. We have loads of technical experts covering mechatronic and mechanical engineering, software development and data science, and they all thrive on solving big problems and working closely with other people who are passionate about solving the same building and environmental challenges.

Personally, this was a wonderful interview for me to listen to because it validates the approach I took to building CIM and our PEAK platform. After our “experiment”, I sought funding so I could build the core platform with world-class expertise from software developers, data scientists and building engineers because I knew we needed to get the software right for this complex industry. I also knew we needed to remain independent and provide our customers with technical engineering support along their building analytics journey. To use Anton’s words, this support function was established to “eat our own dog food” and tighten the loop between our product development and the customers’ needs.

Anyone interested in buying, using or investing in building analytics software would do well to investigate the approach their software provider has taken to building their solution, because, as I have said before, all building analytics software is not equal.

Listen to the interview on PodBean, iTunes or stream it on our website.

David Walsh
November 18, 2019