What’s your name?
Erik van Gilder
What do you do at TimeForge?
I’m a jack-of-all-trades with a programming background so I tend to focus a little bit everywhere. I do spend time with both customers and potential customers so I’m always learning more.
How long have you been working with TimeForge?
I have been working with TimeForge since its inception several years ago.
What’s your favorite part of working at TimeForge?
My favorite aspect of TimeForge is the constant surprise of how our customers use TimeForge and the challenge of figuring out how to satisfy our customers’ needs. Never did I imagine that TimeForge would grow to include so many features for so many different customers.
How do you make the lives of TimeForge customers better?
Listening to our customers. Our customers tell us what we need to do so I’m always asking if we are listening to our customers and implementing solutions that they want and can use.
What was your first hourly job?
My first hourly job was as part-time computer operator for a payroll provider. I remember once printing out several millions dollars of checks to be mailed out, only to watch in horror as the very high-speed printer mangled and shredded the checks. The comptroller was none too happy to void a few thousand checks. I printed the second batch of checks at slow speed.
What was your first restaurant or retail job?
I worked a brief stint at McDonalds and a few years part-time at Pizza Hut where I learned several lessons. At McDonald’s, the manager shared with me the financial statistics of one of the French Fry machine operators whose care to detail resulted in hundreds of dollars of profit every month. I was surprised how such seemingly small numbers quickly multiplied into meaningful sums, and I have never forgotten that lesson. At Pizza Hut, I was involved in the first roll-out of a POS system. The POS system lasted less than two months before it was thrown out as an impediment to speed and efficiency. Sure, the accountant loved it, but us folk on the floor hated its cumbersome keyboard sequences. Ever since then, I’ve always remembered that ease-of-use and acceptance from the people on the floor is as important as buy-in from management and the accountants.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Military History. If it were not for my greater fascination with Information Technology, I’d probably be an historian. While in college, I once convinced a military software vendor to lend me some expensive simulation software so that I could simulate the logistic movements of a famous World War I battle. Programming the simulation was feasible, but the research would have taken me a decade. Maybe I’ll try again in retirement!
What’s your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team was, in the far past, the Washington Redskins. But after having my hopes dashed so many times, I’ve been in recovery ever since. I’m sure that fans of other teams (and sports) will offer me some great alternatives when this answer is posted to the website.
Do you have any pets?
We’re owned by three dogs. Freddy, a Walker Hound, Sophie a Border Collie mix and, finally, Oliver, a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Freddy doesn’t bark. He howls at everything and at any time of day or night. To our great surprise, our neighbors think Freddy’s howling is charming. We occasionally foster baby Box Turtles until they are old enough to survive in the wild on their own.
The customer is always right is a maxim you’ve probably heard a number of times. If you’ve been working in