By Maggie Hohle – maggietext.com
Barry Stump has done software engineering for more than a decade, and has been a data architect for the past five years. He’s worked for LiveNation, TicketMaster, and so forth, but for eight out of the nine months WORK Petaluma’s been open, he’s been here, perfecting his wildly successful SmartRide® app, one of Time’s Top 50 Apps of 2012. The app’s gotten great reviews because Stump and his partner have done the work; day in day out, he’s at WORK logging into servers, processing data and building the app so that the new version can provide navigation directions and have up-to-the-minute agency data. After Apple’s i06 map app’s colossal failure, “punting”, as Stump puts it, the actual work of supporting public transportation directions, there’s a new emphasis on apps that help us get from here to there. One reviewer praised SmartRide® for its “Arriving NOW” message that makes you run for the bus, rather than assume that if you have 1 minute 30 seconds till arrival, you can walk. “We were talking the other day at the [Tuesday 10 am] coffee social about ‘defensible technology’,” Stump says. The real work, which makes his app’s technology defensible, has been getting the many and varied sources of transit data cleaned up and in one place so that Smart Ride can always display the best available information no matter where you are. “We’d like to be the one-stop shop for commuters and tourists”.
At WORK, besides getting all this done, Stump says he runs into interesting people, maybe helping an SEP expert with website work, or chatting with another (non-competing) app developer. Just the other day, so pleased with his WORK experience that he felt comfortable completely giving up his home office, Stump converted it into his kids’ study room. They’re home schooled, so having a dedicated space is important. And Stump gets to leave his work at WORK.