If you are one of our earliest customers, you might have talked to me. Back in the day we had no support staff, no onboarding staff. Our CEO doubled as a sales manager and I did pretty much the rest. Building the system and taking care of our few customers.
My name is Henri Toivonen and I'm the CTO of HappyBooking. During the first years of our company's history I was also the only developer building new features and maintaining old ones. These days my responsibilities have changed in many ways, but at the same time they are still the same.
In the end the only thing that matters to me is to build the system that was in our vision from the start - simple, easy to use, a way for hoteliers still using old installed systems (or even paper and pen) to save time by catching up with advancements in technology.
It sure sounds easy when I put it like that, but in reality things are much more complicated and difficult than you might imagine. For each customer we bring onboard we have at least 1 more opinion to consider, and 1 more organization that is dependent on the system working as expected and almost always being up and working. The technical implications of this is that as time passes, we must be more and more careful with what we do. Testing must be more and more rigorous to make sure that we didn't accidentally break anything. This all makes for much more work than initially thought and can, if you let it, slow down progress.
However - we, as a company, believe strongly in the lean principles, and the agile movement. That means that we must never accept a slowing pace in development. We must be able to try out new things without fear. This is the challenge right now for us, from a technical standpoint. Striking the perfect balance between maintenance and new features, between testing and taking some chances. And at the same time try to listen in to as many customer’s ideas of improvements as possible - and finding the common things that people are requesting. And at the same time not giving up on the bigger picture plan that I have in my mind of what I want the product to be, and especially what the vision was of what HappyBooking should stand for – save time and ease of use.
I am planning to write a blog post a month or so, with current thoughts, struggles, ambitions, ideas. Let me know if there is anything you would like to read more about. Watch this space to find out more about what is going on behind the scenes!