Bar-Z is a mobile software development firm based in Austin, TX. Founded in 2005, the company is experienced in offering a variety of unique customized digital solutions for a variety of niche industries. Bar-Z works with organizations such as publishers and broadcasters, theme parks and attractions, municipalities, convention and visitor bureaus, and destination marketing organizations to help them engage and communicate with their audiences and realize new revenue opportunities.
The Bar-Z Full Digital Platform supports mobile responsive design websites and native apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Their comprehensive approach delivers editorial, advertising and location-based content to audiences on any type of device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop computer.
Hsoi Enterprises’ relationship with Bar-Z started in 2012 when John became an employee of Bar-Z. In his two years at Bar-Z, John was Bar-Z’s Lead iOS Developer and a key architect in their white-label GoExplore platform.
Bar-Z needed to grow their GoExplore platform. They transitioned from a Ruby on Rails based Content Management System (CMS) to a more powerful CMS based upon Drupal. As a key team member in designing, architecting, and specifying the structure for the cloud-server, the iOS and Android apps, and the communication structure between the mobile apps and the cloud, John was critical in helping the GoExplore platform move forward.
It couldn’t all be just under-the-hood changes. Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 5 required adaptation of the app architecture due to the screen changes, while ensuring production requirements were kept to a minimum so as to minimize burden and cost upon customers and internal production teams. When Bar-Z expanded to add iPad support, John had to balance the needs of iPad with the needs of customers and the needs of a small business. When Apple announced iOS 7, it created a huge burden on all developers to shift and modernize their apps. Much planning, code changing, and balancing Apple’s forward movement with customer production impacts was tricky, but John was able to provide solutions that enabled customers to move forward at their pace while ensuring the GoExplore platform moved forward with Apple. Today, Bar-Z is able to provide GoExplore in a host of configurations, flexible enough and powerful enough to provide Bar-Z’s customers with the custom solution they want for their app.
An important part of software development isn’t just the things you see, but the infrastructure that helps make the things you see. Early on, John developed Bar-Z’s in-house build and deployment system. This system streamlined the app build process, automating many features which freed employees from tedious tasks so they could focus where man-power was most needed. The system also provided an “over-the-air” mechanism that facilitated the installation of beta-test builds for customers, alleviating non-technical customers from the pains of technical geekery.
After leaving Bar-Z, John was retained to continue providing consulting and programming.
The work at Bar-Z demonstrates that software development isn’t just the ability to write code, but to understand the full scope of the development process. Be it writing code, designing architectures, listening to customers, or balancing the needs of development with the needs of customers against the realities of a small business.
Simply stated “John is a professional”. He takes time to understand the business issue and then plans out the required development and then delivers bug free code on time. John is an excellent communicator and is a joy to work with.
– Wm. Lee Little, Founder & CEO Bar-Z