Digging deep into the core of VSN (III): Our Apps & Tools team

Behind the scenes: A look into the roles of our development teams. On this third and final stage we scoop the daily activity of our Apps & Tools team

During these last weeks, we drove through the daily duties of our development team, or like we like to call them, the VSN’s Core. In the first article, we spotlight the work of our Backend team, who is in charge of our platform VSN Explorer and its media asset management system VSNExplorer MAM.

On the second stop of this trip, we talked about the people that manage the Frontend of the VSN’s products: the professionals that figure out how to make them intuitive, easy to manage and, above all, attractive from a design perspective.

We arrive at the last station with a look on our Apps & Tools team. The last, but not the least. Reading the article you will discover that their work is key, as they manage specific aims to make possible that our customers can get the most out of our solutions.

Like our two previous departments, teamwork is the basis of their daily activity. The opinion of their colleagues, sharing tasks and the joint professional development of the whole group is what keeps them moving forward. If one has a problem, everyone is involved and no one is left behind. Do you want to know more about how they work? Keep on reading and you will find out!

Our Apps & Tools team

People tend to be pretty clear on the general nature of responsibility when you talk about Backend and Frontend development: the division of labour is clear enough. But Apps and Tools is a little more complex. Or at least nuanced. We like to think of them like the surgeons of our team, working in a targeted, highly specific manner. 

Understanding the role of the Apps and Tools team requires understanding the nature of VSN products in general. Our products occupy a position that almost seems to be a paradox; in their general sense they are designed to meet the needs of their market as broadly as possible – allowing users to unbox and dive in, confident that they will find all of the functionality they need, presented in a format that is intuitive and usable right off the bat. But at the same time, VSN products are highly customizable – able to gel with the existing business processes of clients seamlessly. 

It’s this latter element where our surgeons from the Apps and Tools team come in. Their ‘making things match’ can range from the highly technical – meeting the specific broadcast and ingest specifications of a client, through to introducing third-party integrations, through to more ‘big picture’ matching of business process workflows. 

The day-to-day activities of the team are broadly similar to Frontend and Backend in their structure; they begin with a presentation of activities in order to review progress, address challenges and provide potential feedback/insight, and then the team moves on to the individual tasks that will contribute to the bigger project vision that is the focus of each three-week ‘sprint’

As with the other two teams, the responses we gained from the Apps and Tools department showed an incredible respect and value of colleague inputs and the help and knowledge that they could gain from each other. 

For the Apps and Tools team, ideas about innovation were again a dualistic notion; they were about making things work more efficiently and effectively– refining incrementally using knowledge based on the fundamental needs of our clients – as much as they were about introducing revolutionary technological elements. And similarly, the methods for driving innovation were similar; engaging in constant professional development on both a personal level (through courses and training), and a team level (through the use of time devoted to ‘retrospectives’; meetings where individuals can present new programs, technologies or other activities and ideas to the team that they think might be valuable). 

A thank you

Having gone through all of this we’d like to offer a thank you. Actually, a double thank you. The first is to our three teams for taking the time to give an insight into what they do: we know that talking about yourself can be tough, not to mention time-consuming in a job that is demanding enough as it is. But more than this, we’d like to thank them for the work that they do and the positive attitude they bring to our operation; something that we know about day-to-day, but really, truly see with clear eyes when it is presented in these ‘big picture’ terms. Their commitment to VSN’s vision, to the notion of being a team and a community, and to constantly driving innovation and progress on behalf of our clients makes us immeasurably proud and grateful.

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