Martello BLOG : Martello Life

Martello's 2018 Podcast ListSummer is officially in full swing, and it’s been a busy one here at Martello. Everyone has been working hard preparing for all of the exciting things that are coming up in the next couple of months, which means this long weekend will be a welcome break. Whether embarking on a road trip, spending time at the lake, or relaxing in town, one thing is certain – many Martellians will be catching up on their favourite podcasts! If you’re looking for something to unwind to this weekend, give one of them a listen:

Name: Doug Bellinger, Chief Technology Officer
Go-To Summer Podcast #1: Revisionist History
I love it because: Odd perspectives on interesting things.
Go-To Summer Podcast #2: CBC’s This is That
I love it because: Funny “Fake News” to distract you from the real fake news.

Name: Emmanuelle Ruelle, Software Designer
Go-To Summer Podcast: Oh No Ross and Carrie
I love it because: Oh No Ross and Carrie is a show where the hosts do not just report on spirituality, fringe science and the paranormal (from a scientific, evidence-based standpoint), but show up so we do not have to. This show will debunk claims in a very entertaining way. You always learn something new in a very interesting way.

Name: Antoine Roux, Technical Director
Go-To Summer Podcast: Affaires Sensibles
I love it because: You learn a lot about recent history, from historical events like the fall of Salvador Allende to key moments like when the Deep Blue AI beat Garry Kasparov at chess. (note: this is in French)

Name: Alok Swamy, Software Developer
Go-To Summer Podcast: Hello Internet
I love it because: It’s hosted by two educators/entertainers that discuss a variety of issues (from world news to Starbucks hot stoppers) from wildly different angles.

Name: Sara Purdon, Marketing Specialist
Go-To Summer Podcast: S-Town Podcast
I love it because: This is a seven-part podcast that introduces you to John B. McLemore, a brilliant, madman horologist living in southern Alabama. With a null of a plot twist, this thoughtful piece of investigative journalism tries to examine an unsolved murder but ends up uncovering the complexity behind its central character in a beautiful and heartbreaking story.

Name: Salina Tran, Junior Marketing Specialist
Go-To Summer Podcast: HBR IdeaCast
I love it because: I enjoy listening to leading thinkers in business and management as I know I will always learn something new.

Name: Ben Tucker, Sales Coordinator
Go-To Summer Podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience
I love it because: Great interviewer and a very wide variety of guests on the show.

Name: Maria Sukey, Marketing Intern
Go-To Summer Podcast: Sandra
I love it because: It’s a dramatic comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Alia Shawkat, and Ethan Hawke that centers on an Alexa/Siri-type product called Sandra that is voiced by real people. It’s a neat concept and with a great storyline that hooked me in on the first episode!

Last March, with a pile of candy and a team of enthusiastic mentors, Martello helped students at every hour of the night to develop a solution for their CU Hacking challenge. Carleton University’s Hackathon, CUHacking was an extraordinary experience in mentoring that also brought back nostalgic memories of our university life! Fast-forward to today, and we are excited to once again be sponsoring CUHacking. This year’s hackathon, with more than 1200 applicants, will be held at Carleton University’s Residence Commons on March 31 to April 1. We’re honoured to present a new challenge this year which students will have 24 hours to hack. Many of Martello’s developers are former hackathon participants, and we encourage students to participate in CUHacking. It offers a fun approach to developing skills that are not taught in class while gaining the experience of building a solution to a real problem.

The initial steps in solving a hackathon problem are comparable to building your own startup company. Like a hackathon, every startup begins with a real challenge that people are facing. It is the developer’s job to solve the challenge better than anybody else in the market. Here are some ‘inside’ tips on how you should think through Martello’s CUHacking Challenge: Take our API for a Test Drive and Bring Data to Life.

Visualize the Customer

Developing a solution is a great achievement, but if it is not designed for the right customer or end user, the product is impractical. Ask questions like: Who are we developing this solution for? How does this application or web server benefit the users? How will this solution change the user’s life? You need to obtain a strong understanding of your persona and design a solution that will fulfil their needs and address their problems. Once you have nailed this step, continue gathering feedback, improving user experience and providing new services that will keep your customers happy.

Build your Problem Statement

Before you start coding, it is essential to build your problem statement. What is a problem statement and why is it critical? A problem statement is a concise description of the selected challenge, and it defines how you and your team plan to solve the problem. Drafting out the problem statement will help you stay focused and use your time efficiently throughout the hackathon. After piecing your code together, ensure that all of the components of the solutions align with your problem statement.

We are eager to see how students will interpret Martello’s CUHacking Challenge – the most impressive solution will be awarded a Martello Hackathon Starter Kit containing a raspberry pi kit, Amazon echo dot, multi-colour RBG keyboard and a $50 Amazon gift card! Be sure to check out our Cleaner Better Modular Scalable CSS Workshop by Martello’s Senior Web Designer, Paul Grant and follow us on twitter for day-of-event pictures and updates.

It can be hard sometimes to pinpoint that exact moment when an idea becomes a company. That time when casual conversations over coffee and ideas sketched onto a whiteboard solidify into a tangible thing. For Martello, our inception had several key players and the Rochester Institute of Technology(RIT) and its proximity to telecom titan Terry Matthews played a significant part.

It was back in early 2009 that Terry Matthews introduced Niall Gallagher to Emilio DiLorenzo who was working at RIT as the Associate Chief Information Officer. At the time Niall was looking into business ideas for a new WesleyClover company. He and Emilio developed the business concept that would eventually become Martello Technologies.

So how does RIT factor into Martello’s inception? Founded in 1829, the Rochester Institute of Technology is a privately funded university that focuses heavily on career education and experiential learning. When Niall and Emilio first met, Emilio was a graduate of RIT and was working for the university. After Martello was founded, Emilio chose to stay on at RIT and rented a small office space in RIT’s technology business incubator. It was there that Emilio met fellow RIT graduate, Bill Kuker. At the time, Bill was employed by RIT as a systems programmer creating telecommunication, computer, and data network monitoring and management software for the university. Bill was also an active member of RIT’s Computer Science House (CSH), which is one of the oldest and most active special interest houses at the university. Since 1976, CSH has created a unique space where the focus is on immersing students in technology, giving them the resources and facilities they need to develop exceptional software solutions. Of CSH, Bill said

“No matter what kind of phone you use, websites you visit, car you drive, method you use to pay for coffee, you’ve used a dozen pieces of software developed by the people at CSH or from companies they’ve founded, before breakfast.”

While at RIT, Emilio and Bill were working on several product ideas that they were looking to develop into a company. After meeting Niall, with his Mitel and telecom expertise, the idea for Martello clicked.  As Martello grew, so did the relationship with RIT and the company eventually hired on additional graduates of the program. The very first release of any software is bound to make its developers wince a bit when looked at years later, but the first release of MarWatch clearly planted the seeds for what would become the product we sell today.

It allowed you to keep tabs on customer networks and access sites remotely. As the company evolved, our early Martellians soon realized that telecom service providers using the software would have a real differentiator in a competitive market if they had greater visibility into voice quality and the performance of their telephone systems. Today, that software has evolved into a network performance management and monitoring solution that speeds problem to resolution time and provides tools to proactively detect faults and pinpoint issues on the network.

Now a lead software developer at Martello, when Bill Kuker first heard about our Employee-Directed Gift Program, he knew that he wanted to make his first donation to RIT’s Computer Science House (CSH) to support the work that they were doing. CSH has multi-purpose rooms with ample resources for its members to use including email, newsgroups, databases, web space services, private wired networks, in addition to servers and workstations. Bill honed his skills while using the CSH resources and wanted to give back to the group that had helped him advance his professional and academic career.
Early Martello Office
Martello’s relationship with the Rochester Institute of Technology was pivotal in the founding of our company and its alumni have made significant contributions to product development and towards the shaping of our company. Through Bill’s involvement with RIT and the donation that he made to the Computer Science House we hope to be a small part of the legacy of great work from this university.