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Hiring the Right IT Services Company for Your Business

it-services-company

As a small business, you are always making difficult decisions about when to do things in-house, and when to outsource certain processes or projects. When it comes to IT work, there is often a steep learning curve. Sure, you can do the work yourself but it may take precious time and resources to train yourself, and even then, it might be done wrong. That’s even before we get into regular maintenance and troubleshooting.

From creating secure and reliable networks to digital marketing plans and collateral, there is so much to consider when building the IT side of even a small business. But investing in proper IT services can have fantastic dividends.

Holding back on properly investing in IT services may lower your productivity, reduce efficiency, and see you fall behind your competitors. Nobody wants to miss out on any of that. So let’s talk about why small businesses hire IT service companies to hire experts.

What are IT Services?

IT Services is a broad term for the contracted development of custom software for business. So just like you might hire a cleaning service to vacuum your office, you might hire an IT Service company to manage the development and management of your services and systems.

What Services are included?

There are many kinds of IT Services and each company is going to have its own unique options. Let’s talk about some of the most common IT Services that small companies contract out:

  1. Website Design and Hosting
  2. Network Services
  3. Custom Program Development
  4. Digital Marketing

popular-it-services

Let’s run through each one and check them out a bit more.

Website Design and Hosting

It seems almost unimaginable that you could have a business without a website these days. You might be surprised to learn that around 40% of businesses these days don’t have a website. If you find yourself in that camp, then it’s time to get on board.

website design

And people’s expectations for how a website should look and function are higher than ever before. But building and hosting websites takes skills and knowledge a small business owner might not have. And even those who do may find their time is better spent running the business than the website.

Building a great website goes hand-in-hand with online marketing and SEO (search engine optimization). You want your website to be mobile responsive, load quickly, and look nice. You can reach your target audience better having solid marketing and SEO tactics.

Your website might be the first interaction a customer has with your business and the value of that first impression is huge. Ensuring that customers see your business in the best possible light is worth investing in experts.

Network Services

Even small companies find they need their various devices to connect and talk to one another. Plus, they need all of their tech protected from intruders. But sometimes setting up reliable, secure networks can be complicated and is often time-consuming.

We’ve all had fights with printers or faulty internet. Who hasn’t ever wanted to toss their laptop right out the window?

network-services

Fighting with tech is exhausting and frustrating. Bad IT setups can leach time and efficiency out of business. You want your tech and devices to be reliable so you can spend more time working and less time troubleshooting.

Businesses who’ve hired high-quality IT services contractors often find the experience worth the investment. Network services often expand from basic services to more comprehensive services like emergency help desk support, data backup, disaster recovery services, and more. Hiring professionals can expedite the process and ensure that it facilitates work instead of making more of it.

And it might keep you from throwing a laptop out a window. 

Custom Program Management

Custom software can create fantastic opportunities for businesses to optimize workflows and services. In her article on Technology Advice, Tamara Scott says, “The software that provides the highest value to companies is often the hardest to implement.” 

We know this to be true from years of experience. When software is built for your business it provides the biggest return on investment. And when there is so much value to be had from custom software, it’s worth hiring a company with knowledgeable and reliable experts to help you along.

Digital Marketing

Marketing has grown into a living part of business. The days of brochures and billboards doing the majority of marketing are long gone. Social networks, blogs, video, email, and many other forms of digital marketing are becoming common, trusted forms of building a customer base and communication channels.

digital-marketing

In his Business.com article, Don’t Go It Alone: The Case for Hiring a Marketing Expert Ryan Ayers says, “Modern marketing is complex and requires a wide variety of skills and breadth of knowledge that can take years to acquire. Your business can’t limp along until you’ve learned everything you need to know about digital marketing.” That’s a powerful endorsement for the value of hiring an experienced digital marketing team.

How to Choose a Great Service Provider

How do you go about choosing the right service provider?

Just because a business is large doesn’t necessitate the need for a large IT services company. The company you hire needs to be able to make you a priority. You’ll be able to identify over-extended and bolstered promises from IT Service companies pretty quickly.

it-services-hire

 

So, what do you look for?

  • Clear and reasonable SLAs (service-level agreement). If the company has experience in solving tech issues, they’ll know how long a service should take and what you can expect to spend. Make sure they can offer service agreements that are created before the work begins.
  • Specific services and areas of expertise. A great IT Services company will have individuals who are experts in specific parts of IT Services. They’ll offer years of experience and knowledge that only a focus can offer.
  • A company that wants to understand what you do so they can provide what you need. Are they asking you a lot of questions about what your needs are, or are they only talking about what they do?
  • Look for references! Who have they worked for and who was happy with the job they did.

Contact Atiba for IT Hosted Services

Atiba has a talented and knowledgeable crew ready to help you get the most out of your IT. Our team of IT professionals over 20 has years of experience in focus areas to ensure that the work you need is done properly, quickly, and meets your needs.

We’ve helped many businesses just like yours grow their IT capabilities to better serve their business (check out our Case Studies).

We’re part human and part geek and we’re excited to help you! Contact us today for a free project quote.

How Microsoft Access Helps Small Businesses Leverage Data

In 2017 The Economist published a report titled, The World’s Most Valuable Resource is no Longer Oil but Data. That’s a pretty punchy title that garnered plenty of attention, and for good reason.

There seems to be no dispute these days that data can make or break a business. While large companies pump huge budgets into their data machines, small businesses have to find affordable and effective ways to leverage the data available to them.

“If you run a business, and you want to do anything with your data, the first thing you need to do is create the infrastructure required to store and query that data. Data does not live in spreadsheets.” –Samuel Flender

Gathering, sorting, and making meaning of all that data can be a huge undertaking.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Tools like Microsoft Access help small businesses do big business tasks by offering custom database solutions.

Despite the dynamic landscape of IT, there are some tools that have stood the test of time, continuing to show value for users. Microsoft Access software is one of those tools that businesses turn to again and again to help make the most of data for understanding cost, opportunity, and clarity.

It might not have a flashy name, but it’s quite the workhorse. Let’s talk about what Microsoft Access software can do for your business.

What is Microsoft Access?

First things first, let’s talk about what Microsoft Access actually is.

We like to describe Microsoft Access as “Excel after 100 Red Bulls.”

All jokes aside, it’s a versatile database development tool that’s available in the Microsoft Office suite. It helps small and medium businesses gather, organize, and utilize multiple sources of data to help run their business.

Over the years it’s gained a reputation for its value. It allows businesses to gather, analyze, and use data in ways that would otherwise require expensive custom databases built from the ground up and maintained by an in-house IT team.

Because Microsoft Access is an “out of the box” solution, design and maintenance are easy to contract out. It can be customized to the needs of the business while operating off a standard design foundation. That means as long as the company you contract has a knowledgeable Microsoft Access development expert, they can build your database or jump in and maintain or modify a design set up by someone else.

For an “out of the box” solution it’s surprisingly powerful and adaptable in the hands of a knowledgeable IT expert. This makes it an affordable, dynamic, reliable database option for the small business.

How Would a Small Business Use It?

Let’s say you’re a small landscaping company, how would you go about using this tool? Microsoft Access can help stream-line tons of office work for you with the right setup. You have a lot of info coming into, and going out of even a small office. Microsoft Access development can help you make and utilize all that data.

microsoft-access-business-data

Even a landscape business has lots of business data

Things like rent, materials, equipment purchases, maintenance, payroll, accounts payable, insurance, taxes, and more all come from various sources. Plus, they all get billed and paid at different times, to different people.

And because your business is impacted by seasonal changes, you also need to plan ahead for things like ordering, staffing, and advertising. It’s a lot of information and it all impacts your profitability and budgets. You can use the various Microsoft Access templates to get the best results for your business.

“Executives often underestimate the financial returns that can be generated by using data to create operational efficiencies” – Barbara H. Wixom & Jeanne W. Ross 

A Microsoft Access database can help you bring all of those costs and expenditures into one place, allowing you to view them in meaningful reports, and share that information with those in the company who need it. It also reduces opportunities for errors from duplication or entry mistakes, ensuring more reliable and useful data.

You can help plan ahead by analyzing data and building reports based on trends from the previous months and years. You can identify where time, money and resources are well used, and when they’re bleeding you dry.

If you set it up on a cloud source, you can even make all that information as mobile as you are.

Why Doesn’t Everyone use Microsoft Access?

With all these benefits, why isn’t every business out there making use of this stellar tool? While Microsoft Access will look and feel like other Microsoft tools, it definitely requires some knowledge and expertise to set up and manage.

Many small business owners find hiring consultants is the fastest way to get the most bang for the buck when using it. A good consultant can help you build the intake, analysis, and reporting tools that make Microsoft Access so valuable.

How Atiba Can Help You With Microsoft Access

Finding a knowledgeable, reliable team to consult and provide Microsoft Access development services may seem hard but that’s where we come in. Atiba has been a Microsoft Partner for over 20 years now and our team of experts knows just about everything there is to know when it comes to Microsoft tools.

Here’s what we provide:

  1. Local Knowledge. Because Microsoft Access’ function is to personalize your business data, it can be really valuable to have a company that can work directly and personally with you to customize the setup and functionality of your data.
  2. Microsoft Experts. While Microsoft Access looks a lot like other Microsoft tools that are very user friendly, it takes knowledge and experience to set up and maintain. Our team is knowledgeable and experienced with the tool.
  3. Continual Support. Even the best setups for Microsoft Access will require support over time. We can partner with you so that you have a great experience on day one and years down the road. A well supported Microsoft Access database can adapt with you as a business grows and changes.

As you can see, Microsoft Access comes with a myriad of options to help your small business grow and leverage data effectively.

Ready to get started?

No matter what problem you’re having, we can fix it. As leading IT experts and consultants, we provide immediate response times and 24/7 support.

Reach out to us today!

 

 

Optimizing eCommerce Sites with Magento Consultants

If the world has learned anything over the past few months, it’s the value of having an effective eCommerce business. Not only are customers more comfortable making online purchases, in many ways, but the online shop also allows customers more freedom and security.

But in order for customers to find, like, and especially buy from your site, it has to have a solid platform and thoughtful design. So let’s talk about how a Magento Consultant at Atiba can help Magento hosted eCommerce sites win customers and optimize their business.

Atiba Magento Consultant

Atiba is a Nashville-based Magento Consultant.

What does a Magento Consultant do?

Let’s start things off with a basic question, what exactly do Magento consultants do?

In short, they are experts who examine an eCommerce website and know how to make it profitable. They often have many years of experience with big-name companies who rely on them.

Just because the big guys love them doesn’t mean they aren’t excited to jump in and help smaller companies thrive. Magento consultants cover a wide range of topics, such as IT and strategy eCommerce experts who take a comprehensive approach to improve large and small eCommerce sites. They understand how and why people shop online and they know how to analyze a site to find opportunities and solutions.  

While there are many aspects Magento consulting examines and considers, the process is fairly straight forward.  

They ask a few basic, but common, questions.  

  • Does the site get enough traffic?
  • Are the people who visit the site making purchases?
  • Does the site have a high customer retention rate? 

Each of these questions can lead to technical and strategic improvements that could benefit the site. Let’s talk about what that process might look like.  

How do They Help Customers?

what-is-magento-consulting

So we posed the questions above, now what can the Magento experts do for customers?

Magento consultants help customers: 

  • Drive traffic 
  • Increase purchases 
  • Improve overall technical and strategical health  

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have a great product available for purchase. When shopping online, customers navigate an immense sea of options. While the price is important, customers base their purchase decision on many factors.

Effective eCommerce sites do a great job making the shopping experience easy and enjoyable. Those that focus on customer experience are more likely to have a higher customer retention rate.

To become one of those sites customers love and return to is every seller’s dream. Magento hosting is a great platform for building a strong eCommerce site. Using a sound strategy and expert knowledge can go a long way in optimizing an already great platform.

If you really want to kickstart your website into a bustling sales machine, you want to consider having Magento consultants help optimize your site.

Traffic

Without people visiting the site, you have no chance of making a sale.

Pretty simple, right?

So that’s where Magento consultants are going to begin. They look at how people would find your site. By checking SEO (search engine optimization) data, they can suggest both technical and content changes. These changes can boost your visibility in search rankings, your click-through rate, and help lower your bounce rate.  

mangento consulting traffic

For example, if someone is looking for hiking socks they’ll go to a search engine and type “hiking socks.”

Hundreds of eCommerce sites that sell socks will pop up including ads and featured snippets. According to a study by SEO Hacker, the vast majority of people aren’t going to get further than Page 2 when looking for a site to visit.

How do you make sure that your page shows up high enough in those search results? And what if the customer accidentally types in “boot soks”? Would the search engine know to pull your site up?  

Ecommerce sites that don’t optimize SEO are losing their chance to even try to make a sale. BigCommerce.com in its article, Ecommerce SEO Guide: How Online Stores Can Drive Organic Traffic in 2020 Bill Widmer believes that “SEO has the highest ROI of any eCommerce marketing campaign.” With that kind of impact, the value of the improvement is huge. Knowing the right changes to make to your site is a challenging part of improving SEO.

There are tons of factors that go into SEO rankings and Magento experts can help you make thoughtful and effective changes to improve those rankings. From making sure you cover the basics so a “hiking socks” search puts you front and center to ensuring a messy “boot soks” search still brings your site and everything in between.

Making Purchases

Great! The customer has clicked on your site. Now what? Is the purchase process simple? Can customers navigate the site easily? What happens if users abandon their carts during the purchase process?  

magento consulting making purchases

Magento consultants can help with this, by looking at:

  • How people navigate your site 
  • If and when they add things to their cart 
  • Where they abandon the purchase flow 

Magento consulting can help you improve customer sales funnel so that customers who land on your site actually make purchases.  

Maybe during the customer’s quest for hiking socks, one of your pages didn’t load well on a mobile device. Those precious hiking socks were left in an abandoned cart. Do you have a strategy to bring that customer back?

page speed magento consultingMagento can help you see and fix that slow loading page and create a marketing plan to reach out to customers who almost bought your socks.  

Salescycle.com data shows that “cart abandonment data from 2018 puts the global average cart abandonment rate at 79.17% across all sectors”. That’s a lot of opportunities for eCommerce sites to optimize the process and capture more sales.

Finding and fixing those abandoned carts and other sales flow opportunities could mean a major payoff for you and a better experience for your customers. Which leads us to repeat business.

Customer Retention

You’ve come up with a plan of how to reach out to customers who abandoned their carts. The customer came back and ended up buying those hiking socks, fantastic!

As a business owner, will you be happy if a customer buys a pair of socks and then rides off into the sunset? No! You want them to come back and continue buying socks from your store.

As well as some boots, a tent, a fishing pole, and even a ukulele. But they never come back to your site, why?

magento consulting acquisitionYou worked hard for your customers and you don’t want to lose them in a single sale. Remember, acquiring new customers is always more expensive than retaining them. In his article, What is a Repeat Customer and Why are they Profitable? Alex McEachern says “The average eCommerce store devotes more than 80% of their marketing budget to acquisition.”

That’s a huge investment lost when customers don’t return. Magento consulting creates meaningful and customizable marketing that’s paired with effective data analytics. Those tools help you create a purchase experience your customers love and return to again and again.  

Conclusion 

The eCommerce world is dynamic and competitive. While in many ways it’s still new, there are people who have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and success making eCommerce sites robust and profitable. You could spend a fortune tinkering with a site and through trial, error, and likely significant expense, find success.  

A partnership with Magento consulting can remove significant time and guesswork from your approach, giving you the leg-up your site needs to compete online. Working with Magento consultants can help you better understand why and when your site functions most successfully.

There’s a lot that’s unknown in the world but one thing seems for sure, people are spending more money online than ever before. The sooner your site is found, the sooner you’ll see the benefits and the profits Reach out to Atiba today in order to optimize your Magento-hosted eCommerce website.

The Internet is Broken

The internet is broken.

On March 12, 2019, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the Word Wide Web, commemorated its 30th birthday with a blog post that focused largely on what is wrong with it.

While working at the European scientific research center CERN in 1989, Sir Tim submitted a paper entitled “Information Management: A Proposal,” (which his boss returned to him with a note: “Vague but exciting”.)  Since then, the web and the internet it’s built on have come a long way.  What started as a relatively simple platform to post and link to information has become central to most of our lives.

There’s no doubt — at 30 years old the World Wide Web has a lot to celebrate.

It’s the place we go for everything from healthcare, to news, to shopping. We can use it to communicate, pontificate, or find a date.  Whether you’re selling, buying, blogging, tweeting, or just browsing, the World Wide Web has made many tasks in life much easier.

But as Sir Tim points out, the web’s ease of use is both a strength and a weakness.

As much as it provides otherwise marginalized groups with a place to speak freely, it also provides a conduit for hate speech and bullying. As easy as the web makes it to publish news, videos, and pictures, it provides no way of vetting their accuracy or source—it’s difficult to tell fact from fiction. With all the good this ingenious invention provides us, it also enables a worldwide unregulated platform for scammers and criminals to do harm.

Despite his warnings about the current state of the web, Sir Tim is hopeful for its future, stating that “given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web.”

So, how can we build a better web?  How can we balance the benefits of freedom with the risks of promoting a virtual wild wild west?

There’s no easy answer, but Sir Tim’s blog post has inspired some interesting ideas. Most proposals to build a better web center around three common goals:

  • Reduce the spread of fake content (news, photos, and videos).
  • Stop the use of the web as a platform for cyberbullying.
  • Protect the web from scammers, hackers, and those with criminal intent.

When it comes to reducing the fake content, whether it originates from hackers or governments, AI (artificial intelligence) is far from perfect but is rapidly improving.  Companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google are already using AI to block some fake content, but as the bad actors get more sophisticated it has become an ongoing battle. Nevertheless, as AI improves there’s a good chance the amount of fake content will fade.

Ending cyberbullying is more complex because it’s hard to define.  What’s the difference between online bullying, gossiping, or just sharing an honest opinion?  The latest ideas around curbing cyberbullying include technical, educational, and legal remedies.  Several are gaining traction, whether social media hate speech filters or mobile apps that alert parents when their kid is either a victim or perpetrator.

Protecting the web from being taken over by scammers is perhaps the biggest challenge. Because most all activity on the web can be anonymous, it can be hard to deter those with ill intent from tricking users into giving up their credit cards or their identities. Even so, techies are hard at work building “data loss prevention” systems that enhance antivirus, antimalware, and firewall systems by managing what data leaves your computer in addition to what is trying to enter it.

So yes, the internet is broken but all is not lost.

In the words for Sir Tim, “The web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it. It won’t be easy. But if we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we want.”

JJ Rosen is the founder of Atiba. A Nashville software development and IT support company.  Visit www.atiba.com or www.atibanetworkservices.com for more info.

 

 

Tales from a 40 something Nashville IT guy: The Good and Bad of Technical Change

Written by JJ Rosen for The Tennessean…

Everything I’ve learned is now obsolete.

At least that’s what I concluded after completing my once-a-decade spring cleaning last weekend.

Having skipped the last couple of these epic declutter efforts, I knew I was in for a challenge.  Computer geeks like myself tend to struggle with what I call “never know when I might need it again” syndrome.  That, along with a sentimental attachment to technologies of the past, leads many of us to hang on to many cool things that most non-techies simply refer to as “junk.”

So, I dug into spring cleaning with a mix of curiosity and dread.  I was excited to take a walk down my geeky memory lane yet a bit sad to face the prospect of throwing things out that once were so valuable to me.

The first treasures I found in the corners of our attic included some old-school tech like:

  • My first PC (running DOS)
  • An old dot matrix printer
  • A copy of Lotus 1-2-3
  • Disks 1 and 3 of WordPerfect
  • An AOL CD
  • My first programming book – “dBase III Plus for Beginners”

I figured it was time for all of those to go.  None had been very expensive even 20-something years ago, but their sentimental value had faded since the 90s.

I found a few boxes of serial port adapters, parallel printer cables, and old modems. I’m not sure how these survived, so the decision to trash them was an easy one.

But things got more complicated as I made my way toward the center of the pile.

Nearly 30 years ago I zeroed out my savings account to buy a $2,000 copy of Novell NetWare 3.12.  This industry standard software for setting up servers and computer networks arrived in a big red box with 20 diskettes and five books.   I spent two years learning all there was to know about NetWare, only to see it totally fall out of favor a year later when Microsoft Windows Server came along.

How could I throw something away that was once so valuable? Heaving $2,000 and two years of work into the garbage just seemed wrong.

This can be tough to deal with for technology professionals.  No matter what we master today, there is good chance that within two to five years it will be completely obsolete.   It’s a never-ending learning curve.

Of course, tech isn’t the only profession that require ongoing education to remain relevant. All kinds of jobs face this – doctors, lawyers, CPAs, teachers, just to name a few.

I remember early on in my career, the prospect of starting over with a new technology every few years sounded like a negative thing.  I figured burnout would be the inevitable result of this cycle of learning the latest programming language then watching it become a relic only a short time later, and then repeating this pattern for years on end.

But, as I sat in my attic staring at my expensive but obsolete box of NetWare 3.12 diskettes, I began to think about the alternative of forced obsolescence—boredom.

Surrounded by boxes of old technology made me appreciate the upside of choosing a career that forces you to learn new things.  As much as I enjoyed learning NetWare, dbase III Plus, and Lotus 1-2-3, their demise forced me to move on to the next challenge.  This cycle keeps a job interesting.

So, after a bit more debate, I decided that along with my other old tech, my Netware box must go.  All that I had learned from it was now obsolete.  And that’s a good thing.

 

 

JJ Rosen is the founder of Atiba. A Nashville software development and IT consulting firmVisit www.atiba.com or www.cabedge.com for more info.

 

Managed Services: 5 Benefits of Outsourcing IT

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5 Benefits of Outsourcing IT Managed Services

 

In an ever-growing world of technology, it can become overwhelming trying to keep up with the changes and risks involved with “doing it yourself”. That is why more businesses and organizations are outsourcing all or a portion of their IT department to a Managed Services provider like Atiba. Below are 5 benefits that can immediately be gained through outsourcing your IT through Managed Services.

 

IT Managed Services headquartered in Nashville, TN with additional IT support in Huntsville, AL, and Chattanooga, TN.

 

  1. Controlling Costs

Outsourcing allows you to budget effectively by only paying for what you use when you need it. Also, full-time IT staff may not have “enough work” to justify their compensation. Outsourcing Managed Services allows you to focus your resources where you need them most.

  1. Reduce Risk

No matter the business, there is sensitive data and information that needs to be protected. Are you positive that your current firewall, servers, and security measures are up to date and doing their assigned tasks? A Managed Services company that is familiar with the requirements and standards needed to stay compliant will allow you to minimize the risk associated with maintaining sensitive information.

  1. Experienced and Qualified

If the HR department is hiring the IT staff, how do they know they have the experience truly needed to meet the needs of the organization? Would you go to a doctor if you were their only patient, or would you want one that has seen and diagnosed many issues before? The same is for your IT department. Trust the experts that are seeing more “patients”.

  1. Higher Efficiency

Organizations that use the DIY approach can have much higher costs and longer time frames for implementation and fixes. This will filter down to their customers. A highly skilled Managed Services team can implement new technology and forecast issues prior to them happening. This eliminates downtime and loss of production. It also allows the organization to focus on their core business rather than IT decisions that may or may not be correct or needed at all.

  1. Level the Playing Field

Having a Managed Services partner will allow your organization to have access to similar technology and expertise that typically only larger corporations have. This allows you to grow and scale at the pace you want without worrying about your IT keeping up. It is also closely related to the first benefit I listed regarding controlling costs.

 

Each one of these benefits can be used to create a much larger list of reasons to outsource your IT, but this should give you enough information to start the conversation within your organization. It can help determine what is best for you and your business. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, Atiba uses a Half Geek, Half Human approach to offer Managed Services to the entire US. This includes recent expansions to offer additional IT support and Managed Services in Huntsville, AL, and Chattanooga, TN.

 

Contact Michael Baker – National Director of Business Development at 615-866-1832 or mbaker@atiba.com for more information and a free estimate.

https://www.linkedin.com/company/atiba-software-llc

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Atiba Kids: Learning to Troubleshoot

Atiba Kids is our blog series written by the kids of Atiba techies about their techno-geek adventures.

Troubleshooting and Video Games By Max Rosen (Kid of Atibian JJ Rosen)

We all know that one kid who is really into video games, but also into the tech behind it. For a lot of people, that is me.

I love getting into the sort of complicated tech behind video games. When people don’t know how to fix something wrong with their game, I’m always ready to help.

For instance, a good friend of mine was having some trouble with getting a laggy (adults just say “slow”) game. He was running at around 15 FPS (Frames Per Second) and had been doing so for a good while. I had done my research beforehand, and found out it was because he was dedicating only 2GB of RAM to the game, where he should’ve been using 4-15GB. I helped him reconfigure the memory done and boom, his game runs far smoother.

However, we all have our limits of computer knowledge.

Last summer, I had acquired a Virtual Reality (VR) headset. VR is still kind of new to the gaming industry, so naturally, there are bugs. I plugged everything into my desktop, got the VR sensors running, and installed all of the software.. It ran for about 20 minutes. I got to play the game Beat Saber, a sort of guitar-hero but with swords and VR, for around 15 minutes; and Rec Room, a multi-player minigame hub, for about five.

And then suddently…my VR headset just crashed. It stopped working. My techie cousin and I were perplexed! We spent two hours troubleshooting.

First, we restarted the computer. Like any person who has watched any comedy involving computers we were saying, “Of course this will work, it always does”. It didn’t. Next step, we re-ran the installer. Didn’t work. We restarted again after running the installer just to be safe. Still nothing.

We had tried so many things, from unplugging things and plugging them back in, and timing it, to switching the video ports around, to even busting open the headset and unplugging and plugging cords. We tried everything… or so we thought.

Just like in any hobby, there are always people better than you in tech support. I got frustrated so I ate dinner and went to bed.

Next day I woke up and got on the support site for my particular VR headset. I reluctantly started a chat with a superior techie. We talked about all of the troubleshooting I had already done, then she started giving me new ideas. A few of them I face-palmed on, saying in my head “Oh I’m so dumb,” and “Why didn’t I think of that?”.

Being with other techies is like being in a music store, you pick up a guitar to try it out, and you play your best, then as soon as you are done someone picks up another guitar and starts shredding the heck out of that thing. In other words, you don’t want to look stupid.

Eventually, after spending about an hour chatting with the support agent, she said, “You could have one of two different problems, but they both lead to a common answer: your VR headset is faulty”. In a sense I was relieved. I was glad that the product was just broken instead of my computer being the problem. A day later I sent the headset back, and in a week, we got a new one.

A lesson was learned:

Never be afraid to call a support agent even if it makes you feel inferior. Just admit it, there is someone better than you and it’s okay to call them for help.

Shadowing Day

Sometimes the best thing about loving your job is being able to share it with other people. Atiba believes in investing in the future, and a few weeks ago, Atiba employees hosted a group of young software developers in our Nashville office for “Shadow Day.”

Here’s the feedback we got…

My Shadow Day at Atiba:

I came to Nashville last Tuesday to do a shadow day  at Atiba. I am a recent graduate from the school Bowling Green State University in Ohio and am looking to become a full time web developer. On Wednesday I got to see what the Tech scene in Nashville is like in person and it is very cool.

The office at Atiba has a very unique aesthetic as it is located in an old car factory that now is host to many different businesses. At the top of the office is were all of the coders at Atiba work and it reminded me of a scene from AMC’s show Halt and Catch Fire. For the majority of the day I got to talk to and learn from lots of different coders while they worked on their projects. One big thing that helped me is seeing what languages and programs are used in the industry so I could see what I still need to learn. Later on I got to go out to lunch with all of the programmers at Osake for some of the best sushi I have had. After we got back I got a chance to watch some C programming and understand the workflow of the programmers at Atiba

After having the chance to see a real tech company in action, it has made me want to dive into the programming world even more than before. I am very excited to see what things will come next in the tech world and for myself.


Shadowing is one of the most valuable job experiences someone new on the job market can have.  Interested in shadowing at Atiba?   Email us at jobs@atiba.com !

A Day in the Life of a Nashville Angular Developer

A Day in the Life of an Atiba Nashville Angular Developer

Sharing what we do Atiba so both clients and potential employees can see the behind the scenes of what’s it like being a coder in Nashville is part of our culture.  AngularJS / Angular coding along with ReactJS has been some of the main coding we have been working on for our clients the past few years.

Here’s a peak at a day the life of an Atiba Nashville Angular developer:

  • We did our stand-up meetings with clients and/or internal development teams first thing every morning at 8 am each day.
  • From there, I usually connect into Jira to look at the user stories I will be working on for the day
  • I started in Angular but now I have been focusing in Angular 2.x development.   I have 2 main projects I am working on.  One is working on the front-end of an intranet site and the other is for a large public website we developed and support called Guitars.com.
  • Lunch! We usually pickup lunch (we have a Microsoft Teams Channel we use to coordinate lunch plans.  Sometimes we all go out / depends on the day.
  • After lunch I either keep the Angular coding going — or depending on deadlines I will use some of my learning time that Atiba builds into the week to study new tech (currently working on learning PHP Laravel)
  • Wind down ~5 pm or so, some days stay later others done a bit sooner.

I have been working at Atiba for 7 years.  I started as a C# coder and still work on some .Net but have enjoyed mixing it up a bit!

Atiba has some of Nashville’s best front-end developers with a crew of JavaScript gurus doing Angular, React, JQuery and more.   Let us know if we can can ever help you with you project!

 

 

Kids and Technology – It’s not all bad…

The combination of tech and kid gets a bad rap.  Is tech bad for kids?  Not always…

JJ Rosen from Atiba — our bi-weekly Tennessean.com column on biz-tech topics for Nashville and beyond.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/money/tech/2018/09/28/technology-and-kids-really-such-bad-thing/1447161002/