Arthur is the founder of Solution Street and has over 25 years of professional experience solving tough business problems. He started working with software development and personally selling custom built software as a teenager for the Radio Shack TRS-80 and the Commodore Vic-20 computers in Brooklyn, New York. Arthur has a B.S. in Computer Science from Binghamton University. His career has spanned the many changes in technology from large mainframe systems to PCs to client/server to web applications. Over the years he has worked with some of the largest and complex enterprise-wide systems for financial and telecommunications companies.
Arthur was a Senior Principal for American Management Systems, Inc. (AMS – now CGI) and a Director of Software Engineering for FolioFn before starting Solution Street. Arthur enjoys a good problem to solve and tries to keep things simple.
I have been a programmer since I was 13 programming basic and assembly language on a Commodore Vic-20. I worked for many years as a professional and I felt that I wanted a start a company that gave programmers like me a great place to work, where we had a strong focus on solving a business problems using quality software engineering. The industry was starting to get away from that by associating software engineering to an assembly line factory worker and not a structured engineering discipline.
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2. How did previous positions as senior principal for American Management Systems (now CGI) and a director of software engineering for FolioFn prepare you to found your own company?
AMS was an amazing place to work. The company focused on finding smart people who could be great consultants and solve any client’s problem. They understood that clients are not looking for technologists who can code, but rather problem solvers who can solve their process issues with great technology solutions. That philosophy is what I use every day at Solution Street. At FolioFn, we learned that you can move mountains with the right people and at Solution Street; our focus is on a stringent interview process which has brought us some of the best software engineers in the area.
3. On any given day, what are your responsibilities as Managing Partner at Solution Street?
My most important task of the day is making sure our clients are happy. I check in with them often. Occasionally, they need a hand with some application and I will jump in and code. My most recent experience was when I coded in AngularJS and wrote Selenium tests for two different clients because that was important to them. Besides that, I am making sure our employees are learning and enjoying themselves.
4. You actually had an early start in the software development space as you sold custom-built software as a teenager for the Radio Shack TRS-80 and the Commodore Vic-20 computers. What was it about software development and computers that particularly interested you back then?
Growing up in Canarsie, Brooklyn I went to a junior high school (Bildersee, PS 68) where I was in 7th grade math class. One day, the math teacher (Mr. Korb) rolled in on a cart a TRS-80 and showed us a simple program. I was floored. Only a few students were allowed to be in the special computer lab and I wasn’t one of them. I begged my teacher and after spending days and days after school learning what I needed to learn he saw my eagerness and let me join. I’m not sure what it was about computers, but I think some people are problem solvers inherently and love to work through problems. Computers are the best tools to use.
5. With a quarter century of experience in the industry, you’ve no doubt seen lots of changes in the technology space. What are the most notable, in your opinion?
The most notable has to be the prevalence and availability of free software and hardware. Back in the day you needed tons of money to afford a mainframe. Even though PCs arrived, you still couldn’t get your software out to lots of people until the internet and even then some software (databases for example) were costly. Nowadays, you can write, install, and support applications on web or mobile for little to nothing. It’s so empowering for young people who have this amazing opportunity.
6. You have expertise as a consulting services provider. What does it take to succeed in that area?
Consulting is a skill. I am still learning. When you work with clients, you first and foremost need to understand their business and their process issues. The rest is just applying solutions to those issues and trying to be a partner and not a vendor. We have been successful because we listen!
7. What value proposition does Solution Street offer that makes it a better service provider than its rivals?
We are run by software engineers. We believe in quality and listening to our clients. We are better because we have the best software engineers and we have 13 years of successful projects. I was just at a potential client this morning and told him that at any point he has an issue, he can call me and I will personally help out if need be. He liked that!
8. Do you specialize in providing services for businesses of a certain size or can you customize solutions for businesses of all sizes?
We mostly work with mid- to very large size businesses.
9. What sort of return on investment can clients look forward to when they sign on for Solution Street’s services?
We believe in agile development and this allows the client to “see the donuts being made” with every sprint release (typically 3 week iterations). We are a partner with our clients, so we should be winning them over after every iteration. Their success is our success.
10. In your down time, what sorts of hobbies or special interests do you enjoy?
Too many! Learning Italian, avid tennis player, guitar player, amateur photographer, Neapolitan pizza maker (have a wood burning oven), oil painter, and several others. I am also actively involved in a childhood cancer organization called TheTruth365. We spread the word via social media about the lack of funding for childhood cancer research.