Monthly Archives: August 2011

SRT’s Mike Woelmer finishes his 3000 mile journey from Portland to DC

One of the things I like the most about my job is that I work with the most amazing people. Mike Woelmer is one of those folks. As a Senior Developer at SRT, Mike has done a lot of interesting work. His versatility is evident in his work. In the time that he’s worked for us he’s worked on calculations in back-end software, representations of data in WPF, an engaging touch screen interface for our survey engine, a mobile application, and used a Python-based web framework for a local customer.

Early this year, Mike came to Bill and I and asked if we thought it would be a problem for him to take a month off to ride across America in his velomobile. You may have seen this interesting bike parked outside our office. It is a bike — entirely human powered. It’s how Mike gets to work most days, riding about 20 miles. But this was a much different trip. This was a trip from Portland, OR to Washington, DC over a period of 4 weeks. That’s 3000 miles, over first the Rockies, then the Appalachians. And a whole lot of country in between. Mike asked if this would be a problem because he would be taking his vacation in one big chunk of 4 weeks. We told him to go ahead. I don’t think either of us really thought hard about what he was doing. No, it wasn’t a problem for the business, but wow … 3000 miles. On a bike. Through the mountains.

A week ago, Mike and the other riders spent the night in Fort Wayne, IN on their way across the country. I threw my kids in the car and headed down there to cheer him on and to recognize his accomplishment in person. When the children complained that our 140 mile car ride was long, I reminded them that Mike had ridden his bike that far, that day (he rode 128 miles last Thursday). When we got to Fort Wayne, we got to see, in person, what Mike had been doing for the previous 3 weeks. Typically on his bike by 6:30 am until about 4:30-5:30 pm, he rolled into camp and set up his backpacking tent (damp from being taken down at 5:30 am). Mike was limited to one bag on the trip, plus what he could carry on the bike, so he has minimal clothes and has to do laundry every few days. He also had to get out to a restaurant and/or grocery store each night, which meant more riding after his ride for the day had technically ended. When we saw him, he was pretty tired, but determined. Oh, and raccoons had gotten into the tour’s snack bag of Clif bars the night before.

And early in the evening on Wednesday, August 24, Mike and the other riders rolled into Washington, DC, the final destination in their journey across America. We’re all amazed at Mike’s accomplishment. There’s one question that remains: will Mike ride into work on Monday … or drive?

SRT Solutions named to Inc 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies

SRT Solutions, is thrilled to be named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies in 2011. To top it off, we were the top ranked software company in Michigan (at position 1901 of the 5000). Bill Wagner and I started this company in 1999, and I feel fortunate to have such a great business partner and a thriving company.

Bill and I didn’t grow this company without help. The patience of our staff, as we transitioned from independent consultants to employers, has been critical, and part of the growth experience. But through steady growth, we’ve been careful to preserve the company culture, believing that if we have a company that we want to work for, then employees and customers will agree. That’s served us well. Much of our business is word of mouth and repeat business, and so our growth is due in large part to our customer as well. We’re glad that they enjoy working with us. Exposure to a variety of industries as we work closely with customers, is one of the joys of custom software development, and also brings fresh perspective to applications across disciplines.

Our employees continue to amaze me. They truly participate in the growth of the company, not only by developing great software but also through fresh ideas and valuable insight into managing the company. Their contribution of applications for the CodeMash conference (PaintWars, MobiMash) and the Hands on Museum Tech Twilight (Android Music Player) provide a fun way to showcase software. Their open source projects (Elevate, ActionLinq, and Jasmine-Flex) have provided value to the greater software community, as well as to our customers. Their articles, appearing in national publications such as MSDN Magazine and Visual Studio Magazine, benefit software developers around the world. Their participation in charity development weekends, such as GiveCamp (Ann Arbor, Lansing) have provided working applications to deserving charities. They have grown their own knowledge, participated, and presented at many local, regional, and national software developer groups. I am grateful for their generosity and benefit directly from their knowledge. The Inc. 5000 ranking is a reflection of their hard work.

The Inc. 5000 list of 2011 represents companies who have grown through the recession. As a Michigan company, we are even more sensitive to that, given the hardships that our state has experienced. We’ve written and spoken about the vibrant software ecosystem in Michigan, and the Inc. 5000 list supports this. The other Michigan software companies on the list include WorkForce Software (2426), Plex Systems (2573), Atomic Object (3043), TechSmith (3486), Campfire Interactive (3660), DaySmart Software (4945), DSS Corporation (4949(, and Paramount Technologies (4964). Of course, the list isn’t only made up of software companies; 125 Michigan companies are represented across a variety of industries.¬†Huge congrats to all! Michigan is a great place to be, and we’re glad that the Inc. 5000 list represents so many of our friends and neighbors!