We had 60 seconds to ask our Chief Architect, Richard Smith, some quick-fire questions. Here’s what he had to say:
Where are you from?
Originally from Larkhall, I now live in Strathaven, not far (enough) from the office.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Well I’ve been to Florida every year for about the past decade, so I’d have to say Sydney, Australia.
What’s your favourite film?
Back to the Future. My kids love it now too, because it’s important to force them to like the same things.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I do a lot of things with Lego, but not sure feel I guilty about it. Maybe I should. But it’s good to have something my kids enjoy too.
What one thing about the industry would you change?
Too many agents think that the web is going to be a magic bullet, without them having to do anything. I wish they’d realise that the expertise they display in their shops, has to also come across on the web. Otherwise it’s just a database.
What is the best thing about working in travel/technology?
I’m always looking up the prices of flights and hotels around the world, so I do genuinely enjoy being part of something that people recognise and appreciate. Everyone loves going on holiday.
You’re our longest serving employee, at over 20 years with the business. How has Traveltek evolved during your time with the company?
In many ways it’s totally different, in other ways, it’s still the same. You could say that about the industry as well. People are still looking for solutions to the same problems. The opportunity to improve the agent experience is still huge.
Why has Traveltek chosen to make the move over to Amazon Web Services now?
Our biggest problem with NTT is managing growth. As traffic goes up it’s just impossible to manage that in a fixed infrastructure environment. AWS just gives us so much more flexibility.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of migrating over to AWS?
The sheer number of features and configuration values, and the assumption in the application that we’d only ever have one database server. There’s an awful lot of code to go through and check, it’s easy to lose track.
What are the main benefits that our customers will see from the migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
Initially, our ability to react to resource constraints. Being able to scale up based on current usage will make the biggest impact of all. That should then lead to better performance and hopefully more bookings for everyone.