In order to highlight Austin Tech Alliance’s growing membership of organizations who support our mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector, we regularly feature members. Up this month: Simpat Tech
Introduce your organization and how it contributes to Austin’s tech sector.
Simpat is an Austin-based custom software consulting company that creates successful, simple, and manageable software experiences. In addition to hiring Austin developers, we contribute to projects that support positive outcomes in the city. As an example, we helped to build criminal justice software for Travis County that enables more efficient digital evidence flow to defense attorneys, resulting in reduced jail times for defendants.
Why does Simpat Tech love Austin?
There’s no other city in the US that embraces technology the way Austin does. Being in a city that’s always on the leading edge pushes us to stay relevant by continually updating our skills and practices. We also love how much Austin has to offer, from kayaking in the hill country to music events, high-end restaurants, and local bars. We feel like we get to be “tourists” every day, while also enjoying all the advantages of being based in a “techie” city.
Why is it important for the tech community to become more civically engaged?
One thing we’ve observed is that our experiences leveraging technology in our work can often be applied to external circumstances, outside of the specific context of work – and that these experiences can be used to make society better when they’re shared and applied across the larger community. In many ways, we’ve seen that the tech community is uniquely positioned to be able to make a big impact without much upfront cost. All we need is a computer and some time, and not only can our services impact people and organizations, they can spark further ideas for future improvements and innovations.
What are some essential aspects of civic engagement in Austin?
A few aspects we’ve been pleased to participate in include Austin’s large startup and Meetup communities. We’ve also been able to connect with area youth through various mentorship programs – hopefully repaying some of the support we’ve received as a growing company in the city.
What do you think are Austin’s tech community’s biggest challenges?
Certainly, Austin is a competitive market for hiring developers, which results in higher salaries and greater turnover on teams. We believe the big opportunity there comes down to building cultures that celebrate high-quality work and happy team members. Traditional technology services staffing in Austin has become such a commodity. But although anybody can hire and staff people, it’s going to be those companies and agencies that learn to lead with value that’ll emerge as future winners.
Why is it important to be an ATA member?
When we first started Simpat Tech, we know that giving back to our community would always be an essential piece of the company. We see the ATA as another platform for giving back, and we look forward to connecting with members and supporting its mission in the future.
Is your organization working on anything fun that you’d like to share with ATA members?
Yes! We’re currently working on an open source project that will help developers to build and release solutions more quickly. And although we’re disappointed to have had to pause the robotics mentoring work we were doing at an Austin elementary school due to COVID, we’re continuing to create a vibrant, active culture within Simpat Tech during these uncertain times. A few efforts we’ve undertaken so far to maintain Simpat’s culture include hosting virtual happy hours, trivia games, Jeopardy sessions, town hall meetings, and video game challenges.
Learn more about Simpat Tech by visiting simpat.tech