Good technological solutions are invisible
An interview with Marko Kruijer, Tech lead at Fabrique Amsterdam.
Marko is Tech Lead at our Amsterdam studio. He monitors the quality of our work and is the driving force behind technically innovative projects. Making the impossible possible is what he loves doing most.
My days are varied. I attend stand-up and sit-down meetings, pitches, give technical advice, coach the team, brainstorm with our clients, and research technical challenges. A coaching and advisory role suits me well. I like being the rubber ducky, giving teammates a little push in the right direction.
Perfect is the enemy of done
When the client’s goals have been achieved, when the client is happy and the end user is well served, I call that a job well done. The challenge of finding the right balance between the various disciplines is a challenge I like. What is the best we can do while still being feasible? I think Fabriquers are quite modest, it would be good to share more often what we have made and what we are proud of. We regularly win prizes. That's great, because it shows that fellow professionals also see and appreciate what we make. It's about the end result, not just what you think of your own work. You shouldn't grade your own homework. I don't think anybody is ever really satisfied with their own work.
Major league team sports
The stuff you come up with together is better than the stuff you come up with alone. When I started looking around for the next step in my career I focused on an agency where everything is at major league level, from design to UX, project management and development. Now I can say: mission accomplished. Everyone here is an expert in his or her own field, our talks and discussions are reasoned and in-depth. Everyone knows a lot about it, everyone can keep up. It couldn’t be any other way, because we make sustainable sites and apps that last for years. Creating a good basis for our clients to build on for years to come. That is my guiding principle.
A project I am proud of is the War Child website. A content-driven site with a donation button. Not very complex, but to get it right you need time. We first heard from the client in October and the site had to be up and running by December. Six weeks was not a lot, but together with the client’s team we pulled out all the stops. We worked hard and made smart choices like not making a homepage. We simply made the campaign page into the homepage. The rest was irrelevant. By December the site was up and running and donations were pouring in. Saying yes to something, going for it and then making it happen. That’s the best thing there is.
Another example is our project for Museum De Lakenhal. There was a desire to bring more depth to the collection by using wayfinding. The client asked us to make an app with technology like QR codes or beacons. Then we thought, maybe we can do something with image recognition. We investigated this and found out that we could. This was followed by research in which we weighed up the options of building our own tool, using Google, or purchasing an existing solution. We opted for a SAAS solution. It worked really well. During the first test on location, we were pleasantly surprised by the result. The whole team, together with the Museum De Lakenhal people, worked very hard to achieve this result. When you then see everyone walking through the hall and enjoying the app, that is the icing on the cake.
What about the future?
Fabrique is an ambitious agency, so we want to do work that has a positive impact on the lives of as many people as possible. We see an ever-increasing role of technology in innovative solutions. Not only the design and creation, but also the maintenance and optimization. This means we always have room for driven specialists or strategic generalists. To strengthen our teams and better serve our clients. Making things together in which technology seems invisible, but certainly makes a difference. Seemingly simple solutions to complex problems. That’s what gets me up in the morning!