Celebrating a Decade of Unrelenting Dedication to Great Product Design
In 2008, we opened our doors with the goal of building a full-service design and engineering company. With some ups and downs, we have become the company our founders envisioned and are now celebrating our first #DecadeofDesign.
IPS’ celebration interviews showcase personal, fun and thoughtful stories from some of IPS’ longest tenured employees. The series gives an inside look from the people that represent the values and dedication that have served as a cornerstone our first decade.
Questions: Celebration Series Anthony Gray
- What is your name?
- What is your position at IPS?
Sr. Lead Software Engineer
- How long have you worked at IPS?
Almost 9 years
- What was your first contact with IPS?
My first contact was in my final semester at Stony Brook while selling sports supplements. One of my regulars was Derek Peterson who was heading the Software Department at the time. He noticed I had a laptop open on the back counter with some of my homework on it. At that point he asked if I was interested in interning with IPS and the rest is kind of history. I started off interning and here I am 9 years later managing Software Engineers.
- What was the product design field like when you first got started working with IPS?
We were starting to see miniaturization and IoT in its infancy. One of the first products I worked on was for Zebra Technologies(Motorola at the time) called the EWB100. It was essentially a miniaturized walkie talkie that worked across a WiFi network. In addition to the standard communications it had the ability to store and playback tasks using a text-to speech engine. A manager could use a web application to store a task for a specific device which was tied to a user. The user could then use the device to playback their tasks. Because of the small size this device was considered wearable with the Trekkies describing it as the closest to a Star Trek shirt communicator as we could get at the time. Keep in mind this was before wearable technology such as the Apple Watch were on the radar.
- What were some of the main challenges for you over the time you’ve worked at IPS?
Like any services company you have your challenging customers and challenging technological requirements and the impossible deadlines they come with. Launching the web site for Schoolwide Fundamentals in less than a year was something miraculous that we accomplished. A personal challenge has been keeping up with all the new technology. Since we accept all challenges there is no telling what bleeding edge technology will come in the door. We’re prepared for it all.
- Looking back, what changes in the industry and IPS have you seen over those years?
I think the growth of the IoT space and mobile device market has exploded. We started out as a Software Department that specialized in Microsoft .Net services specifically on Windows Mobile devices. Today, we’re doing any mobile platform Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and even custom platforms built on embedded operating systems. Specifically, tools and libraries to support small footprint IoT devices have exploded. Technologies like Node.js, BLE, and miniaturization of hardware has enabled us to create networks of communicating devices in a cost-effective manner.
- From your perspective, what would you say are IPS’ greatest accomplishments over the years?
I think that we’ve continued to grow and succeed on Long Island when many tech companies are moving away. We’ve also stayed true to ourselves by keeping a strong emphasis on core values instead of throwing them out the window as some companies do when they grow large.
- Please share one memory of a funny situation/scenario that you’ve encountered, thanks to IPS, over the last 10 years.
There’s the one time where the software team decided to try out carjacking. Danny had a rental car that we were not all that familiar with and he drove us out to lunch to celebrate some milestone or other (which is very common and awesome). When we came out we got into the wrong white car and tried to make a getaway before realizing it was the wrong car.
- Describe what IPS means to you, on a personal level, in 15 words or less.
It’s a place where technology, family, and friends all meet to accomplish some great works. (15 exactly!)