Meet Anthony Russo. He is a Senior Implementation Technical Lead at Qu, and a resident database architect.
As part of the founding three members of Qu, Anthony joined the team to help build the first ever iteration of Qu's POS software. He has since held an important role in supporting the growth of the company.
In this short interview, you'll learn about his story, his impact at Qu, and his commitment to always going beyond--whether that’s on the slopes where he loves to Ski, or in the field doing installations with customers.
What do you do at Qu?
I troubleshoot and find solutions to complex database and technical installation challenges.
When you’re building something entirely new and you work on a team of three, you learn to bootstrap and do whatever needs to be done in order to succeed. There’s no ‘job’ that isn’t your responsibility. So naturally, when we started, we were all doing a little bit of everything.
I started on the team as a developer, designer, and a database specialist. I helped design Qu’s original data model – the one that we’ve built on continuously and still use today.
When we won our first customers and started doing installations, we needed someone on the technical team to make sure they were executed perfectly. So, I started doing those, and then moved into the customer experience side of things, which is something I enjoy doing a lot.
I find it really rewarding to see how happy our customers are after an installation, when they can use their new POS system with ease and don’t have to deal with their daily problems anymore.
What does your day-to-day entail?
I do a little bit of implementation and support, but really, as the technical lead of the CXP team, I support the team in finding solutions to technical issues relating to our database architecture.
Since I helped design the original database model, I have intimate knowledge of how it works, so I'm able to assist if we ever have any issues.
I spend half of my time researching new and better solutions and I work with the team to design and implement them for Qu. Then the other half of my time is spent helping get implementations done, efficiently and smoothly for our customers.
When rolling out Qu to hundreds of stores, your data has to be set up for each store.
Instead of having actual people typing everything into our Enterprise Management Hub, we write scripts. Then, we’re able to do large database imports across hundreds (sometimes thousands) of stores, which leads to smoother implementations for everyone involved.
Part of my work also includes managing terminal disk imaging. This means that we build a model terminal that we want every terminal to look like and then we copy the hard drive. Through this process, we can clone the model terminal into hundreds or thousands of terminals throughout the field.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love a lot about what I do. But if I have to summarize it, these are the three big things I love most:
- Problem solving: A big reason why I came to Qu was to be a part of building something new to solve big old problems. I enjoy getting in every day and solving problems that operators face, using the technology I'm good at.
- Agile team mentality, with big impact: I love that we were a small and agile team at first, and since we have grown, we continue to still think and act like an agile, scrappy team, which is what gives us an edge in the market. We used to have three of us working in a small room, figuring out everything from taxes, to print routing. Until this day, every receipt and kitchen ticket that prints out of our system is still coming out of code that I originally wrote. I enjoy stepping back and appreciating the impact I’ve been able to make in that way.
- Growing globally: A portion of our customer service team is located in the Philippines. I enjoy traveling there and training the team, watching them grow and our company grow globally, while helping build their skills.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to work at Qu?
Despite our rapid growth, we still operate as a fairly small team. Everyone's voice is heard, which means you should come in with a solution-oriented mindset and willingness to share your ideas.
At Qu, you're rarely ever limited to one little small project, everybody gets to work on a little bit of everything. So being versatile, and getting rid of the attitude that ‘it’s not my job’ is key. We all do what we can to make it work. Even if that means staying an extra 3 days in Vegas to do an install (we work hard, and we play hard!)
That’s why we look for people who are flexible enough to work across different types of products and think big while being on a small team. Collaboration and openness are other key traits we look for.
What do you do outside of work that keeps you motivated?
I ski a lot and I love the winter. I’m one of those rare people who can't wait for snow to fall.
What's your favorite place to ski?
That's always a hard question. I have a lot of favorites.
Aspen has always been one of my favorites, I love exploring the Maroon Bells. If you ever get a book about Colorado it probably has a picture of the Maroon Bells on the cover, it's always those mountains, because they’re amazing.
I also enjoy going to Telluride. And we'll throw one out there for our neighbors to the North - Revelstoke.
I particularly love to heli-ski and Revelstoke is great for that.