At Data Tapestry, we pride ourselves in deeply understanding your business needs and delivering solutions in a hands-on or consulting capacity. Our staff not only performs analytics, but we also build and support custom software products. Philip Vacarro, our full-stack software developer, explains how he partners with multiple clients in different capacities to deliver production software solutions, advise on data architecture, and provide product support.
Can you tell us about your background and current role at Data Tapestry?
I’m a full stack software developer, and I serve as the first stop for new clients when it comes to consulting on data architecture and other products we’ve built. I’ve worked as a software engineer for Siemens in the research and development. We focused on interventional imaging. After that, I worked as a full stack developer at ORNL. We collected terabytes of data submitted from scientists all over the world. The data was then centralized in an application so that other researchers could be granted access.
You have quite a few projects that you are responsible for, what is your role on each?
I manage and actively work on the UT Parking application. The interface allows donors to donate money to the university and then view where they are in the queue for parking selection for the upcoming sports season based on that donation. I serve in a consulting capacity for another application. It is currently being used for contract management. So, I provide product support, and am currently looking to expand the solution so it can be applied across multiple industries. Both projects use different databases and front-end frameworks so I have to be able to work seamlessly between the two to make sure the clients are getting the best experience.
How do you approach managing such different projects?
I pretty much try to understand what the client is really after because that influences the design decisions.
I like to focus on the more critical ones like database design. It’s harder to change if you go down a path that’s not ideal. I like to make them as generic as possible so they are in turn flexible.
If the database (the foundation) is set up properly, then you have the data laid out in a way that’s logical and not restrictive. This affords us more freedom on how to display the front end to the user.
What do your deliverables look like and how do they help the client?
For the UT parking application, the interface is a tool that allows payment collection and parking assignment. It also has to be flexible enough to accommodate different seasons. The contract management system helps to centralize and standardize data collection in order to improve efficiency and minimize human error.