November 19, 2018

Futura’s 3 Uniques: Deep Expertise in Utility Software

silhouette man of engineers standing at electricity station fieldpro

When thinking about our 3 Uniques and how they impact Futura’s work, Deep Expertise is almost in a way, a separate category. Our knowledge and years of experience in the utility industry are present across all of our departments, but we wanted to share a more in-depth technical meaning from our CIO himself. Let’s take a dive into Deep Expertise with Doug’s Q/A below:


Why is deep expertise important?

“Deep expertise isn’t important just for us, it’s needed for every business. By definition, an expert is someone whose learning and experience allow them to understand a subject deeper than others not in that domain. Experts are necessary. Who wouldn’t want their brain surgery done by an expert surgeon, rather than the guy who fixes their brakes? On the other hand, doesn’t everyone want their brakes fixed by an expert auto mechanic rather than a brain surgeon who has never fixed a flat?

In computer science businesses like Futura, having people with deep expertise is critical. Software technology is very complicated and changing constantly. We are continuously immersed in understanding what trends are happening and making development decisions based on testing out these technologies before we write new software.”


What does deep expertise mean (to you)?

“To me, having deep expertise is also more than just a thorough understanding of subject matter. It requires historical knowledge and experience in the nature of the business.

For example, a software company would not be guaranteed success by just possessing experts in programmers languages. They would also require experts who thoroughly understand the product requirements and business use cases for the software, in order to develop what the customer wants and needs.”


Can you provide some examples of how Futura uses deep expertise from a development point of view?

“We have a very large technology stack and a wide variety of business use cases and workflows. One of our main areas of deep expertise is our in-depth knowledge of the ESRI ArcGIS ecosystem, not just the front end use of ESRI ArcGIS, but we have a very deep expertise in the SDK’s and API’s ESRI provides. That allows us to customize and create tools and applications for our customer base.

Our Staking software is a classic example of how we used our deep expertise to develop an application that works for design engineers but was pioneered using an unconventional use of the ESRI ArcGIS platform. In doing so, we made the software easier to use and more reliable than it would have been if we’d followed a more run-of-the-mill methodology.”

As our knowledge grows through experiences and the industry changes with advancements, do you ever question your deep expertise?

“Yes, especially in the software industry. There are always many different ways to go about solving a problem. It would be easy to fall into the trap of “analysis paralysis” so it is always a balance of thoroughly testing out ideas and creating proof of concepts and making decisions on technology because time is of the essence!

In order to stay updated with dev advancements, I rely on a team approach. By no means do I pretend to know everything, and depend on others to be experts in specific areas. Together, we make forward-thinking technology decisions. I also rely on colleagues and business partners outside of Futura to help substantiate or refute our ideas. Without our team of innovative driven doers, we simply would not be the Futura people know today.”