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Fireside chat with Stuart Prestedge, Co-Founder Platform Gurus

Who is Stuart Prestedge?

If you look at my LinkedIn profile, it starts with “I am an experienced and passionate technology advisor, CTO, software architect & entrepreneur and have co-founded and been CTO of a number of software companies”. I reckon that sums me up (professionally) fairly well. Basically, I love technology, and helping people (and sometimes getting paid to do so :-)) and have been doing this for over 3 decades now. I love creating software and businesses around them and can’t see myself ever wanting to stop doing this.

What’s the story behind Platform Gurus?

That is a great question! As I mentioned above, I’ve been in this game for over 30 years. Obviously, I’ve made mistakes in this time and see others doing so all the time – both when creating software and when creating businesses that are built around software (whether this is created in-house or out-sourced). I created Platform Gurus with the primary purpose of helping companies avoid all the mistakes and pitfalls that, frankly, just should not be happening in 2021. At Platform Gurus we have created technology and processes that help companies to turn their ideas into reality in a way that lets them focus on their need and us focus on how to fulfil them. We talk the customers’ language (often they are not technical) and hold their hand from start to finish (and sometimes beyond). We can hide the details from them but be fully transparent at the same time. We have strict processes to ensure quality but are flexibly to meet changing needs. In short, we take the pain, risk and a lot of the cost out of the whole process.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

Personally, I found networking and ‘putting myself out there’ extremely difficult. I still do! I love meeting and speaking with people, learning from them and helping them. But, even at the age of 50 I find it difficult to speak out in a group or do presentations (even though I want to and feel I have value to add). I have promised myself I will try harder – doing this interview is a step on that journey.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

I am definitely proud of the technology we have developed in Platform Gurus that allows cloud platforms to be described in a language that we have developed and then is automatically turned into code, documentation, tests and more technical stuff that I won’t bore you with (readers should reach out if they want to know more. I know it’s easy to say in our marketing blurb but this really does increase quality and create many cost savings for us and our customers.

What is your vision for the future of Platform Gurus?

Simple: To use our technology to help many more start-ups to create software. Personally, I’d love to help a start-up that is making a big difference to the climate, but honestly any software that helps people, even just slightly, makes me happy.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

Another good question! Not sure I can give very helpful advice here but what springs to mind is to embrace remote working. Also, slow down! I used to live in the UK where there seemed to be so much pressure and the work-life balance wasn’t very balanced. I now live in Prague and, although I work just as hard as I did in London, there seems to be much more of a balance. One positive I have noticed from the difficult times that we are going through is that people (myself included) are more ‘human’. During meetings for example a little more time is spent getting to know people. I see allowances being made when people need to reschedule because they have to deal with kids or if they don’t have the ideal home office setup. I think we have all realised that, although we still need to work to make a living, we are all people and are in this together.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

OK. Back to the work stuff! Easy: Serverless. To be more specific, in my case AWS serverless and managed services (e.g. Lambda, DynamoDB, SQS etc.) have made a real difference. Among other things, it really does allow software to be written and operated in a best-practice way and to be resilient to issues and to change and also to optimise running costs.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

Firstly, I assume you mean ‘in your digital library’. Secondly, I used to read work related books many years ago (from memory: Clean Code, Code Complete, Start with Why, Getting Things Done etc.) but now I mostly read (or listen to) science fiction books to take a break from work. I’ve probably forgotten most of what I read back in the day but like to think the important stuff has stuck.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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