About Stan York

Stan York (VP of Development at Spitfire) has been developing software for decades. Which means he's old enough to remember when punched cards where the state of the art UI. Stan makes no secret about the fact he often prefers data to people, so it should come as no surprise that he is an expert in databases and SQL server. If asked, he might admit he is an MCP, because he knows this is important to some people, particularly at Microsoft. The postings on this site are his own and don’t necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

Experience Matters

I was tickled the other day to hear from an old colleague via Linkedin. She kindly reminisced about how in bygone days I taught her something about SQL, and now she is mentoring others. While I remember working with this person, and distinctly recall that she was worth the investment of time to explain things to (which is high praise, as there have been too many who have not reached that bar), I cannot recall what it was that I might have helped her learn. It was just normal, professional experience stuff.

Bear with me a few moments, because this past (Valentine-adjacent) weekend my spouse and I dined in Charlottesville, VA—a town full of young professionals. We observed that the restaurant was generously stocked with young twentysomething couples, and we had a grand time entertaining ourselves observing their behavior. For example, we noted that several couples seemed to have this mandate to consume their wine at exactly the same rate so there was always an equal amount in each of their wine glasses. Maybe you just had to be there, but it was fun to watch. By contrast, my wife and I have been dining together for 34 years and counting, so our drink rates are independent of each other. Boy, we could teach these kids a few things from our many years of experience (#1: real communication!)  Not to worry, we left them alone to stumble along and enjoy their journeys.

At Spitfire, we see something similar during implementation meetings. In some ways, these are a little bit like an early dating relationship, but I wish they were less like dating and more like an agile team. Instead, we have clients that are sure they know what they are doing and try to go it alone. Others cannot be bothered to slow down a moment and talk about details—like a sane Work Breakdown Structure and how, when you set things up well, marrying project accounting and project management is not that hard at all.

We have decades of experience doing this!  And I am willing to bet we have cultivated and polished domain expertise that will surprise you. Yes, even you.

Our implementation team knows project management and project accounting very, very well—yes, even what it’s like to track the change order process from RFI through execution into budget revision and schedule of values billing, not to mention forecasting, compliance tracking, field reports and so much more. Sure, every client is different, with unique company culture and history.  Some lean towards how it has always been done, others study every option. But odds are we can make any company’s work life more sane by guiding executives, administrators and managers through the important decisions and details. Along the way, we help tame billing cycles and better track the all-important single version of the truth.

If you are in the market for a project management system, sure, start with our demo, but when you get serious, ask for a “first date” with one of our implementation specialists and really communicate—both by expressing your work needs and by listening to the our voice of experience for solutions. That could be the start of a long and productive relationship.

Oops! Not Again!

Lest I seem to be judgmental, let’s start out with a professional revelation: I probably make hundreds of mistakes a year. In fact, it is possible I picked my career—one where mistakes are so intrinsic we call them “bugs” instead —because of a summer day when I was around ten, tossing a game of catch in a narrow NYC street. You see, I observed the dense proximity of windows all around and wondered how it was I hadn’t broken one yet. Within 5 minutes of that very thought, an errant throw of mine went through a neighbor’s window.  Oops! I knew then and there I was going to make plenty of mistakes.

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Awe Thanks

treeI recently enjoyed reading The Healing Power of Nature, an article in the July 14th issue of TIME magazine by Alexandra Sifferlin. One of the points in the piece was that a 2015 study found that people who spent 60 seconds looking up at towering trees were more likely to report feeling awe than those who looked at equally tall buildings.  

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A New Modest Proposal

confused manThese days, it seems that comedians have an ever increasing role in social commentary, bringing a voice and attention to important issues that are otherwise often ignored. YouTube commentary by John Oliver typically gets more than 4 million views—an interesting contrast to the less than 100,000 typical views for YouTube content from Rachel Maddow with MSNBC.

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