Thursday was my first experience as a Tasktop employee… and it was certainly not a typical “first day”! Neelan Choksi invited me to the third annual SXSW Startup Crawl .
When I got in the car with Neelan I heard lots of clanging about — what was it? The wine for our booth. Ok… things are looking up! When we got there, the energy level was intense – on the dot of 4pm we were immediately swarmed with the beginnings of over 3900 attendees.
It was pretty impressive to hear the shear enthusiasm of each person as they said … “I work at a social media blah blah blah blah blah”. Every person’s eyes said “I am hungry, I love what I do and I am going to make it.” A great vibe.
But why was our booth so popular? Neelan and I weren’t spewing anything about social media! Tasktop doesn’t make movies and we aren’t struggling musicians looking to “make it” at SXSW. And then it dawned on me…. we were the only booth with wine instead of beer! I went about serving wine happily for another 3 hours and went home feeling good about my first Tasktop experience.
But then I woke up with a different thought… as I poured each glass of wine, I would explain how Tasktop helps people deliver better software. As soon as I would say something about how many development shops are disconnected from business analysts and QA and using lots of different tools that don’t talk to each other – the immediate reaction? Vigorous nodding of heads with some rolling of eyes and a “oh my, we feel that all the time.” One Wall St guy in from NY said “I’m on the business side but I know my head of development feels this pain daily cuz I hear about it from him all the time!” Interestingly, even the small shops that we talked to were feeling the pain — guys with 5 developers were looking for ways to keep the devs in their IDEs but still connected to the Software Development Life-Cycle (SDLC). It felt really good to realize that even at an event that wasn’t a typical software development event, people clearly feel the pain that Tasktop focuses on alleviating.
Ok, so for the guy who came back multiple times for wine from Australia who owns a nightclub? Or the woman who came back asking for more recommendations for Texas vineyards to visit while she was in town? Yep, for them it was likely just for the wine. But for many of the others the pain that Tasktop aims to alleviate resonated – and that is a great feeling as a brand new employee!
About Nicole Bryan
Nicole is the director of product management at Tasktop Technologies. She has more than 17 years of experience in software and product development, focused primarily on bringing data visualization/infographics and human factors considerations to the forefront of Application Lifecycle Management. Most recently, she served as director of product management at Borland Software/Micro Focus, where she was responsible for creating a new Agile development management tool. Prior to Borland, she worked for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Regulatory Division, where she managed some of the first Agile project teams at the NYSE. Bryan brings to Tasktop a passion for improving how software is created and delivered – making the experience enjoyable, fun and yes, even delightful.