I would never have dreamed that my plumbing apprenticeship would lead me to where I am today.
Recently I was honoured to be invited back to where it all began, to take part in the TAFE Digital Tech Talk Series and a Professional Development Session. It was held at the St Leonards campus where ironically, I had completed my plumbing certificate so many years earlier. I spent a good 4 years making the weekly pilgrimage to the classrooms here in Northern Sydney, but this time I was returning to share my knowledge about how I started TradiePad and my vision of helping the trades, service and construction industry evolve through the use of technology.
Initially, I was introduced to the TAFE Digital team by my good mates at Apple as a potential candidate to speak to IT students about my career in the industry. I explained my story to the TAFE guys and they realised that there was so much more reach than just IT, this was a message that expands into construction and small business management in general. But this presented a bit of a challenge, how do we run an interview that appeals to young IT Professionals and developers as well as the next generation of plumbers, sparkies and carpenters….
So we just told it like it is, technology is changing the way the world does business, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, it touches the very fabric of workflow process, automation and communication in the workplace. We all need to be aware of the impact this will have on our lives moving forward, for some of us it presents an opportunity, and for others it’s a challenge, but what is most important is to embrace the change and be ready for it, as it’s not going away.
"TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD DOES BUSINESS, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT INDUSTRY YOU’RE IN, IT TOUCHES THE VERY FABRIC OF WORKFLOW PROCESS, AUTOMATION AND COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE."
For the IT folks in the audience the message was about the changing face of software development and taking an integrated or ecosystem approach, “API First” was a key comment and I spoke about the way that Xero has built their following and the connected family they’ve created. Don’t try and be all things to all people, focus on solving a problem and solve it exceptionally well. I mentioned Deputy and ServiceM8 as a couple of our outstanding solutions that follow this mantra, real Aussie success stories taking on the world! Hopefully, that provides some inspiration to a budding coder looking to create the next world-changing app.
For the Tradies that were listening, it was more of an awareness story. The young guys and girls at TAFE are studying their trade, but they also need to learn business skills. They are the grassroots of the industry and to be given the chance to educate them on the shift that is taking place due to technology meant the opportunity to help them think bigger and better. Technology provides a foundation that can be laid and built upon for years to come, as long as you have the correct foundation you can build whatever you want. Education on how to build it is where TradiePad comes in.
Today technology is ingrained in our daily lives like never before, but because it is so common, its benefits can be overlooked. My aim was to talk students through these new “tools of the trade” and help them see that they aren’t just the next generation of tradies, they are the next generation of business people. Tradies today need to be tech savvy and those who fail to adapt will certainly be left behind. The industry is evolving at a rapid rate and there has never been a better time than today to adopt technology and cloud software into your operations.
"THEY AREN’T JUST THE NEXT GENERATION OF TRADIES, THEY ARE THE NEXT GENERATION OF BUSINESS PEOPLE."
A big thank you to Nathan Rose, IT head teacher and interviewer for my Tech Talk Series and to TAFE NSW for recognising our passion for this topic and providing the opportunity for me to share industry insights and the work we do with TradiePad. Hopefully the start of much larger things to come.
If you would like to watch the live recording please do so below!