With PlanStudio 3 launched into the universe this May, we thought you might like to hear from one of our bright engineers who has led the Locatrix software team on this momentous undertaking.
It is because of the tenacity, ingenuity, and creativity of our software developers we have an application that has made a difference to the working day of many businesses, and ultimately to every individual that walks through a building with an Evacuation Diagram created in PlanStudio
When we say “We Save Lives” we truly stand by it.
Here are some insights from Matthew Henry, Senior Software Engineer, on the updates he has been working on to PlanStudio 3.
Q: In your opinion, what about the new PlanStudio upgrade really sets you on fire?
A: We managed to get rid of geotagging from the user’s point of view, yet under the hood plans created with PlanStudio 3 are more accurately geotagged compared to any prior version. Managing to make something more powerful while “adding simplicity” is an incredibly difficult task, but I think we’ve pulled it off and I’m really excited about it.
Q: What difference will these upgrades/updates make to our Partners/end users?
A: We’ve made a lot of things better in PlanStudio 3 – and the net result is that you’re going to be even more productive. It’s as if we took the productivity gain of switching from other tools to PlanStudio and turned that up to 11 out of 10.
One place where PlanStudio 3 won’t make a difference is that you don’t need to re-learn everything! We’ve redesigned the user interface while respecting the experience that our existing users have with PlanStudio 2. The toolbar has all the same tools in all the same places, and those tools all work the same as they did before.
Q: If you could describe PlanStudio in a short sentence, what would you say?
A: PlanStudio is so good at what it does, that I genuinely worry the claims we make in our marketing might look too good to be true even though they’re based on our own experiences!
Q: How long in the planning and doing did Version 3 take?
A: It’s been about six months in the making – which is the longest we’ve ever spent working on a PlanStudio update.
Q: What are you most proud of in your accomplishment?
A: We originally started out with the single goal of making geotagging easier. As we designed and prototyped some ideas around this, we quickly realised that we faced a big choice. Get something out the door quickly that isn’t quite as good or commit to redesigning our UI so that we could deliver the best solution possible?
After shipping 21 updates to PlanStudio over an 18-month period, I’m incredibly proud that we made the call to take our time and go with the better option for our users – even though that meant shipping nothing for 6 months.
Q: Where do you see PlanStudio heading in the future?
A: I’d like to see PlanStudio heading into areas without 4G or Wi-Fi coverage in the future!
Beyond that – one of the best things about PlanStudio is that you’re working with data, not just a drawing. That opens a lot of potential doors in the future for allowing you to tap into that data in ways that go beyond printed diagrams.
We thought we would take this opportunity to get to know Matt, not just as a software engineer, but as the person behind all the computer science…
Q: What makes you nostalgic?
A: Music – I strongly associate memories to the music I was listening to at the time. Instead of playlists/genres, I like to keep my music ordered by the date I first added it to my library. That way when I’m scrolling through my library I’m not just scrolling through a list of songs, I’m scrolling through a list of my memories.
Q: If you had a clone, what would you have your clone do?
A: Is it bad that my immediate reaction was “do whatever I wanted and have my clone serve any resulting jail time?”
Q: Do you think robots will take over?
A: Not if they’re programmed by humans!
Q: The best place you have ever visited in the world?
Alan brings his experience and influence to the Locatrix Emergency Industry Advisory Board where he is keen to do whatever he can to contribute to the improvement of delivering critical information for emergency response.