At Digital Collections (DC), we’re having a good run, with many customer projects currently going on. In the ”enterprise software“ space we’re operating in, many customers mean lots of manual work to do – consulting, data migration, configuration, custom features, integration and roll-out.
But like other permanently-busy software developers, we find that short-term project requirements frequently trump research and innovation. We keep adding features and custom code, but we’re neglecting learning (about our customers and new technology), and we’re moving towards our core product vision at a glacial pace at best.
That’s why, four weeks ago, we set up a new department: the Digital Collections Lab! Staffed with two ”part-time“ developers – Pascal Rohde with 50% of his time, me (Tim Strehle) with 80% –, we’re now fully dedicating several days per week to new product development and research. The rest of our time we work on the existing product and projects, together with the other developers.
Leading the Lab as developer and product manager is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from our customers how our software can help them do their job better, and to evaluate our own ideas for improving our software. (You bet that after 17+ years developing DAM software at DC, I have a ton of ideas. How about Distributed DAM, schema.org or Self-Contained Systems aka microservices? And that’s just me!)
We want to move our product development much closer to the customer. If you’re a customer interested in the next generation of DC products, and if you’re able to spend some of your precious time on evaluating designs and prototypes and giving us feedback, we’d love to hear from you!