So I’m back at work after a relaxing two and a half week break, meaning that I’m raring to go. 2012 was a bit of a transition year for Touchwork I suppose, in that we lost our previous development manager, took on a new managing director in the form of Ignatius, and with it a new organisational chart, I took up the reigns of Software Development Manager, Touchwork adopted a new business strategy, grabbed new office space in a new building which we now share with Rudi’s latest business project, Hypenica, and we lost all the remaining developers to better opportunities elsewhere.

In terms of the software front, major development on our legacy product TxtandTell finally came to a halt, allowing it to now join the ranks of our other unattended, running solutions like MAGRetail and SANParks Analysis, freeing up development resources in the process. Our Distell project continued to grow exponentially through Steve’s hard work during the year, and continues to be one of Touchwork SA’s bedrock products. Before he left, Tristan completed his work on the Routing Server project, which now allows us to finally sidestep our older, legacy message handling infrastructure. As for myself, 2012 was almost entirely devoted to work on SurveyThumb, now re-branded Kinetica, which will serve as Touchwork’s main feedback collection software solution for the foreseeable future, and will be pushed as Touchwork’s flagship platform.

2013 marks my fifth year at Touchwork now, and in the dual role Software Development Manager and Senior Developer it looks like I’m going to have a lot on my plate going forward. With Steve’s resignation towards the end of last year, and as the last remaining original development team member at Touchwork, I now have the opportunity to build up a new coding team from scratch, and as such will be in charge of exactly how I want the development process at Touchwork to take shape. It will be a big challenge and learning curve for me of course, but as per usual I’m quite excited by the possibilities. Already my first new recruit in the form of senior developer Tracy Baving joins the team next week, so I’m looking to get cracking sooner than later.

This should be the year that Touchwork begins to churn out mobile applications in addition to continuing work on Distell and Kinetica, meaning that there should be a couple of new tricks to pick up on as the year progresses. In any event, 2013 should be an exciting year for us no matter what the development team pushes out the door, seeing as this is the year Ignatius’ big turnaround strategy gets implemented as we slip into the previously unexplored space of a Physical Asset Management consultancy and solutions provider!

Oh, and I thought I’d finish up by posting a few pics and a video taken from our two year end functions last year, the first being a team-build for Touchwork which saw us heading off to the awesome Cool Runnings toboggan park in Bellville (followed by lunch at Col’Cacchio at Willowbridge), and the second which was a fancy picnic at the picturesque Cape Point Vineyards grounds, which saw giant lawn games, an impromptu cricket battle, fortune reading and even a neck massage or two!

(Just for the record, tobogganing turns out to be a great deal of fun. I did go a little too fast on my second run and came off the sled, but even that was adrenaline-packed fun.)