On this episode of the NTP podcast we interview Aaron and Witold CTO & Project Manager at Cordel, an organisation that helps generate high detail point cloud maps of large scale infrastructure.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
Here you can source all the things we have talked about in the podcast whether that be books, events, meet-up groups and what’s new in the newcastle tech scene.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and your background in technology?
What are your roles within the Cordel?
What is Cordel technology and what are you currently working on with railway tech?
Who would be the perfect hire for Cordel?
Anything in particular that is publicly facing that you’re super proud of?
What are your thoughts on education and university as a pathway into tech?
How close does your team work with their customers?
What are your recommendations for self paced learning?
How do you manage to keep track of tasks?
How do people find you online if they would like to get in touch?
Thank you both for coming on i guess the easiest point to start give me a little bit of an intro on yourselves what you do all that good stuff uh we’ll start with aaron excellent so uh thanks i’ve been around in newcastle for uh longer than i probably care to say so been involved in technology well i finished uni kind of early 2000s and pretty much been doing startups ever since so first thing that i kind of started doing was mobile gaming so pretty much straight out of uni um won a kind of vodafone google games challenge in 2003 um and thought hey this is a hell of a thing to start doing so got a group of friends together kind of started doing that and then have really tried to avoid going to sydney over the course of the last 20 years so yeah the trick has always been trying to earn a sydney wage in newcastle which is uh a life goal shall we say um but yeah i’ve seen lots of people go down that path and just really keen to stay here and local so so yeah i’ve been working through you know then evolved into kind of mobile mapping because after phones got connectivity all of a sudden games weren’t really the best thing you could be doing with them uh then kind of a brief bit into social networking with makoki and then some local search with one three find and then around kind of yeah 2015 really uh met nick smith from airside and we started we’ve basically said hey let’s get a lidar sensor and how hard could it be to put a scanner together and that’s kind of where the kind of current iteration of cordell was really evolved from awesome but uh yeah i have much more colorful career and all over the place i’m a wood scientist from poland that somehow ended up in newcastle just pre-pandemic i’ve worked in construction i run my own business at some point i made a switch to i.t and i ended up working for a medical journaling company in sweden but the dark and the cold drove me out and i came to visit newcastle where i have some family and i absolutely fell in love decided to move and a few months later i ended up here i love that you still use the term wood scientists what’s the australian term for wood scientists probably a chippy
um but it’s worked really well having that slightly different stack for you know kind of everything and then the ai is really kind of its own beast um especially uh there are many challenges in making a production system using python i’ll say but uh but it is also the best language to be doing a lot of ai and machine learning in because anytime a new paper comes out they’re not using c sharp they’re not using.net it’s python is the example and if you want any hope of even replicating what they’ve done then it it really needs to be we’re looking to slowly migrate into julia but that’s a long-term project so yeah yeah yeah and that’s worked you know reasonably well for us this far so and it is nice having the two systems fairly loosely coupled with you know just a restful api between them yeah it’s worked worked very well excellent um anything in particular that i guess is publicly facing that you’re you’re super proud of anything that people can look at to get a better understanding as to what i guess the the end product is yeah that’s a bit of a challenging one because a lot of the time we’re working with uh with railways who don’t like to share a lot of their actual raw data um but on our website we have you know some examples that we can share and we go through a bit of it also on the next core side of things with the drone-based lidar scanner that’s got a like a lot more marketing feel around it and because that’s been out there for three years now there’s a lot of people using it for weird and wonderful things as well so it is interesting creating this and you know because it’s so applicable to a lot of different areas you know you are seeing a lot of uh surveyors use it which you can kind of expect it’s like you know you are shooting lasers from drones but at the end of the day it’s just like a more advanced measuring tape so um so you kind of expect that use case but there’s a lot of people in like environmental monitoring um we have uh spoken to like new south wales fire they’re interested in fuel loads and uh that’s cool we work with environmental monitoring with the um darwin the vital project yeah um and they they’re very interested in they have a few supersites where they’re like basically trying to determine how much carbon’s being sunk into those areas sure and it’s very interesting up there because it’s tropical it burns out you know roughly every year they’re trying to figure out how much actually stays there and a very dynamic environment too because everything just grows so quickly so they’re interested in seeing you know how big a tree trunks um you know what other information they can get from it too so um so yeah that’s that’s great and we’ve actually seen you know some people doing their phds on the back of the kind of data that they’re capturing awesome so but on the chord l side yeah i mean the automated analytics that we’re doing is fairly class leading so and it can be as simple as just you know measuring what’s around the train so um obviously trees are a big one artc have a very big network a lot of areas is fairly low value network so you know obviously vegetation management costs a lot trees grow all the time so being able to make accurate measurements and not just knowing you know that there’s something that’s a problem now but there’s something that could be a problem in you know three to six months and you know doing a lot of that triage um so that they can effectively send the you know teams out there to do it more effectively so excellent but yeah we’re currently doing you know in about a month’s time we’ll have hardware in the uk as well as the us doing you know scanning and cool um that’s kind of great to you know go to bed and you’re watching you know someone out in the us doing scanning and then you wake up and you know there’s someone in the uk uh about to go it’s it’s very interesting seeing uh seeing all that happen and it must really sort of validate the you know the what you’ve built essentially that it has i guess taken root outside of just australia yeah and it’s one of these things that you know you just need to get off the island kind of thing yes yeah i mean we you know post-pandemic world it’s a pretty big bubble now but it’s um but yeah it’s it’s very interesting working with you know someone like a rtc and going well that’s a good chunk of australia’s railway network but and we have looked at even things like roads in the past um with the ai and we’ve got some very good results from them but there’s just enough differences in roads because you know they’re not all federally kind of wrong and you then fall down to new south wales has like its chunk and then it just large roads and then you’ve got councils picking out their little bits and they all do their signage differently and there’s enough differences that it’s it’s hard to scale but railways i mean the industrial revolution happened a little while ago now so yes some of the processes probably date back back that far so it’s you know probably right for bringing some technology in yeah but a railway there the construction techniques are pretty much the same the world around so it’s it’s been really good for us to to see that well you know in the uk and japan and the us it’s effectively the same thing like they look and especially when you’re using the lidar and looking at point clouds it’s very hard to tell the difference between oh this is in the uk or this is in the us or this is in australia they all look fairly similar in that once you start looking at the video footage of course everyone will have a different stance we like our signs to be this size and have reflectors around here and you know there’s some differences there but um but yeah so basically funnily enough iron since i started a lot of those images from point clouds you can tell by vegetation most easily which railways you’re looking at yeah vegetation the uk looks very different than vegetation australia absolutely and even across the continent it looks different here and looks different up north yeah that’s an easier telltale directional technology yeah we’ll become botanists yet let’s let’s take a pretty a pretty hard pivot yeah those are always fun uh cordell you know you’ve got you’ve got presences globally really now but uh from what i can tell the bulk of your engineering talent the bulk of that expertise exists within newcastle obviously you’ve been in newcastle since day dot essentially why newcastle and i guess the sub question why haven’t you moved elsewhere yeah oh well i think you don’t really need to explain to people from newcastle why to stay in newcastle and um it is funny i was mentioning that i didn’t want to go to sydney but have had lots of you know colleagues and friends who’ve all made the migration to sydney or even globally but it is interesting because once they start having kids they’re like you know what newcastle’s a pretty good place to be like always being 10 minutes ish from the beach and you know we do complain about our traffic but like then you take a trip to sydney you’re like nah we don’t have traffic it’s it’s fine newcastle is great if you don’t have kids as well you don’t have to have kids to appreciate newcastle but it is a key driver for bringing a lot of people back as well so there’s a lot of people who you know like to go out and you know i’m of an age where a lot of friends have actually come back because and sydney real estate prices uh are a thing very real thing that will direct people back to newcastle yeah but look we just we love the location it is actually really good for us because you know the hunter valley is actually um you know being in the rail industry as well there’s actually a pretty big operation here because obviously it’s fairly profitable for them to hold coal up and down the hunter valley so you know we’ve got a big presence here but we’re also kind of rural enough that it’s easier for us to work with you know someone like the rtc um you know we’ve got access to broad meadow to actually you know work on trains and things like that so yeah newcastle just ticks a lot of boxes for us and you know since we started here it makes a lot of sense to to keep going here as well in terms of global operations i mean we’ve started with mostly kind of sales and account managers overseas but we still drive all the engineering here locally that will probably change as we need to put on more technical people in the right time zones because it’s not always fun getting up in the morning and then late at night and then dealing with all those uh bits and pieces but but we envisage um you know basically doing a lot of the development work here in newcastle awesome because we’ve got a good team um we found that it’s actually been a reasonably good talent pool and it’s yeah we haven’t had a huge amount of trouble growing although arguably we’ll probably grow our current premises which is always a good problem to have but a problem nonetheless so yes yeah look we’re just reasonably happy with uh with running everything here and uh you know probably a little bit biased because we’ve been here so long but there’s absolutely no reason no no no i’m new to newcastle i’m absolutely agreeing with you here so uh you’ve just handed on about how good newcastle is uh what about newcastle isn’t good for cordell is there anything that you know theoretically being in sydney would make things easier is there anything that theoretically being not in australia even would make things easier yeah and it’s a challenging thing because like you know time zones are an issue so no matter where you are there’s going to be you know a good chunk of the world that’s not in your time zone so i mean this is a little bit problematic for us and especially because we decided to go us and uk they’re very uh not ideal choices moving to sydney’s not really going to fix that but um but it will mean that you know obviously japan a lot of asia um you know all that is in our time zone so we’ve got that in our favor so that’s not really a healer nor there type thing um i mean probably 15 years ago would have said there’s just more technology stuff happening in sydney there’s you know better ecosystems more people to talk to but that’s coming to newcastle and that’s been really encouraging to see you know that the whole sector kind of blossom a lot more there’s more events there’s more kind of cross-pollination between um the tech companies and just the fact there’s more tech companies too so there’s you know more things to talk about um i think i relayed her a story previously of you know 15 years ago we were talking to all’s industry or one of the kind of government things that were basically like okay you’re in the hunter valley what can you do to like you know make more wine production or rip more coal out of the ground i’m like yes it’s not really what we do we can’t really help you on that but you know we’re exporting games to you know 25 different countries and you know all that’s export dollars oh yeah that’s cute don’t want to know about it kind of thing yeah but there’s just there’s a lot more going on and there’s a lot more understanding of you know technology and the benefits that it can bring so yeah look i don’t think that that’s really a big driver to go to sydney these days but there is also just you know a lot more people in sydney so there is arguably you know more talent more people more diversity that’s something i would add here since you’re talking about more people that’s like when hiring i really struggle to find uh candidates that are not like us here or three white guys sitting on the table two of us bearded so yeah and as we mentioned like you know we have problem with diversity of names at our company let alone yeah a lot of the other things so yeah it would be you know nice to just have you know more people but you know that’s a double-edged sword as well so and i think that reasons i mentioned earlier newcastle’s dragging a lot of people back here as well so um um you know i went to university of newcastle there’s a lot of people who have and then pretty much jet straight back yeah and there’s a lot of people like actually you know it wasn’t so bad there so um so we found it’s uh it’s worked pretty well um in terms of you know other countries you know the uk um you know setting up an office in london so um you did mention kind of uh maestrono so like because who technically got acquired in late 2019 by them um they used to be a fintech company so they had they were founded here initially in sydney and that’s where head office was but they did also have an office in the uk and uh in the us as well so we know you know what it takes to run an office in you know multiple places and you know some of those places are very expensive to be to be running an office and having you know teams locally and things like that so you know the costs that are associated with that make newcastle look fairly attractive as well i think i’ve just turned your like you know wine or newcastle into more new castle
you’re very biased you’ve really thrown a judo move on me there
well i mean the answer essentially boils down to newcastle’s the best there’s no bad reason so we’ll we’ll run with that yeah i mean it is a smaller place and everything that happens with that um if we were selling a lot locally you know we’d be missing out on a lot of the economies of scale and things like that that just being in sydney you know you just there’s more people there’s more of a local market because we’re dealing with you know railways there’s only so many railways and especially in any given area you know you can’t really have 10 railways competing for uh for your dollar so you know they are just geographically spread out so servicing them from newcastle is not that bigger but that said you know access to capital and a lot of other things you know i would argue that sydney’s probably not even that good for those but you know unless you want to pick up and go to silicon valley which there’s even a lot of people like shifting out of that kind of area now um you know that’s one thing that australia in general doesn’t have is that kind of venture capital going around that um that a lot of other areas do so that’s probably a fairly big drawback in staying in newcastle but um is what it is yeah absolutely yeah um another hard pivot let’s go again as far as education is concerned uh did you do the tertiary education route did you did you do self-guided self-paced stuff yeah where did you build the skill set well i’m very much not a wood scientist so better or worse um but i actually went to newcastle uni so i did uh joint comp science math so i have enough of a background to be dangerous in the field that we’re in so yeah look and that’s you know a nice thing about newcastle is we’ve got the union right here it actually draws in you know a lot of people from um from the region um and yeah look i think that about when i finished my uni degree i probably didn’t have a very high opinion of it and i started working for myself straight after it so i’ve actually never had to show my degree or results to any potential employers yep but i think it gives you a good theoretical grounding like a lot of the again i might be biased here but a lot of the math kind of features you know languages come and go um techniques packages all that comes and goes but a lot of the theory has you know it had already been around for 40 years when when i did uni and it hasn’t changed in the 20 years since so that kind of grounding and as the computers and frameworks are doing a lot more for you it actually becomes more important because you know you can have one line of code and it’s like you realize this is iterating over a list with a million things in it like three different times in order to give you one value at the end and um and uh an appreciation for that um kind of comes with that degree so so on our tech team i think at least on the program side pretty much everyone has you know a comp sci or software engineering or actually we have a few who’ve actually done uh electrical engineering and then you’ve got a few bit hard pivot guys in as well right yeah absolutely so on the hardware team and um on our filter team as well um you know mechatronics um as well as actually mechanical engineering as well we love the mechatronics because it’s a good combination of hardware and software and it’s it’s great to have those kind of people on the team as well because they bring in like a different perspective they’ve done a lot more of the robotics side of things and especially on the hardware side it’s good to have that depth there but it is always interesting because then you get them starting to do software for one piece and then we assimilate it into the software team pretty quickly and go so you see we did this maybe we should do it this way and but it’s good because there’s a lot of kind of cross-pollination there between those um those ones so yeah yeah do you add anything on the uni no like i don’t think i have much to add on the newcastle uni side i have very little experience with it my degree is highly relevant to anything pretty much but like i’ve gained a lot of life experience through running my own construction business working production and managing workflows things like that so we you you started at cordell or airsight as a uh as a junior dev so how did you pick up that skill set uh well being roughly this same age as aaron here like this kind of grew up around me or i became interested as internet became a thing i remember like looking at the first websites in notepad and trying to build things like that and i this kind of stayed with me like i did a bit of freelancing here and there and at some point i realized hey this construction thing is super stressful and there’s a lot to running your own business other than doing the actual work so and there was a shortage of front-end developers in stockholm where i live at the tesla hmm maybe i should do something where i will work a bit less and i will earn a bit more and i’d be a bit less stressed so yeah i did a bit of a bit of study on my own time and how’s that less stress thing working out very well
and you know further to uh vitor’s story there is you know um the formal education is one thing but it’s also and you know what we look for in a lot of candidates too is just you know their passion for the craft and like you know someone comes in got a degree it’s like okay you know in all they’ve got his work experience you know it’s like okay that’s kind of a thing but if someone’s like oh i’ve done this i’ve been in the industry but i’m wanted to make a game or i wanted to make a website or i kind of doing this thing on the side like that kind of interest in it um really goes a long way and well on bittor’s side that’s actually he did come in kind of as a junior but turns out that we had a lot of technology especially on the ai front that no one had a lot of time to kind of play with so we were very nuts and bolts trying to get everything working um and a lot of what vitold’s done is actually just playing around with it and you know effectively running experiments on it because it’s such a new field especially on the ai side of things it’s um we’re always taking guesses and this is a known problem in the ai field how is it coming up with that answer and then if you change you know the inputs you send it or the way you train it how does that affect the kind of results that it gives you and it’s um i mean it’s interesting because it’s not always intuitive so yes yeah my thing is really problem solving that’s what really drives me what i really enjoy so looking into the nuts and bolts and maybe not always understanding why but how and what can we do with it rather than focusing on that oh this is really fancy algorithm or this is really nice looking piece of code but like what can we do with it they’re having a bit of hands-on approach is my forte and having having an understanding of oh this is a cool thing here’s a potential path to commercialization yeah absolutely and it’s one of those things to you know as a company we have a we score very well in the uh buzzword bingo ai lidar drones like you know it’s it’s actually works kind of both ways for us in that um you know there are a lot of ai companies out there that are we do everything for everyone and they have no kind of domain knowledge of any particular application whereas we’re using ai to solve um you know effectively rail industry problems at the moment um and that kind of focus whenever we talk to potential customers they kind of have a they breathe a sigh of relief it’s like able to speak their language and talk about switches loops whatever line codes whatever it is we actually know what we’re talking about yeah because they’re used to getting you know generic ai companies of hey we can do abc xyz um you know let us do it for you and they’re like okay do you know like about you know the rail corridor or these things that you’re going to need to find or why it’s important that we find um and you know you can’t be everything to everyone so yeah there’s a lot of ai companies that are they can get things working in like uh a jupiter notepad say and like sure hey i got really good results on that thing you gave me to get good results on yeah but it’s a whole different ball game you know deploying that at scale and uh and crunching things through it so just just winding back a bit you mentioned that the people that you’re most interested in in are people with side projects and there’s you know they just have a genuine passion for the field uh does someone need a degree to come and work at cordell i mean it depends on the position so yeah evidence exists the answer is no yeah in the room but for the most part i have a degree just not in the relevant field yeah and i think that’s a good point too is like you know having a uni degree a relevant one is obviously better because you can have that theoretical background but just even knowing someone has been through that process and stuck with it to the end because it’s you know no small feat doing that and even if it is slightly irrelevant at the end of the day um you know five or ten years after university you know it’s it’s not a narrow path that people go down after university so even if it’s uh if it’s wandered quite a bit it’s not necessarily a deal breaker and the other point is you know there’s all types of jobs so would i hire someone with no formal qualifications to work on the core of our lidar fusion algorithms no that’s like you need to know um you know enough theoretical background to work on that kind of thing then again we also have a lot of you know ui based things and they’re relatively straightforward and you know they’re um it’s almost like a lot of the what you see is what you get type jobs so you can do a lot of front-end things and um you know you can tell very quickly if it’s if it’s good or um if it’s causing problems so for those kind of things it becomes a lot less clear um and yeah we have in the past although i think aside from vital i think almost all of our developers have uh at least a degree so vital has a degree yes not relevant well as i said too uh you know positive verge it’s no not a straight line thing so um so yeah it’s it’s worked out well for us but um it’s definitely useful that said if um you know someone came to me without a degree but said hey i’ve been spinning a lighter and i’ve been making point clouds and i’ve been you know figuring these things out from it or something like that i’d be well that’s very interesting to me you know come on in and have a look at what we’re doing kind of thing um that would be that would be very interesting to us but um but yeah i mean just as important as the formal training is you know if you do your degree and then i don’t want to touch a computer after that then yeah that’s um doesn’t speak highly that you’ll keep evolving with the time because you know i think this is very much a mark of everybody on our team that’s or maybe even a better indicator than a degree that everybody’s really into what we’re doing it’s everest passionate if not particularly about software development and about some aspects of the tech or like we really enjoy what we’re doing at cordell i think it’s fair to say yeah i think that’s what i’m gonna say yeah i’d hope so but the that hasn’t happened by a mistake either we try and make it you know we’re working on some very tough problems um so it’s hard sometimes to keep working on hard problems and uh and not make it more stressful than it is but i think we try and achieve that balance fairly well is there anything that you would recommend external to just a traditional university degree to upskill bid in you know traditional software development mlai or whatever whatever sort of password you want to throw in basically anything that makes someone a i guess a relevant prospect for cordell any sort of self-paced learning anything like that yeah it’s a bit of a tough question because you know these things all vary so widely between you know um you know fairly self-taught things to you know more structured things to be honest i’ve never seen you know i haven’t delved into it too much but a lot of those things i wouldn’t put a lot of weight on um just because you know you’re following someone else’s path kind of thing and it’s may or may not be interesting for me it’s more interesting that someone’s gone out by themselves and just kind of forged yeah erode even if it’s completely wrong or they you know they got there in the end and like i don’t want to do that and that happens quite a bit with technology you kind of go oh it’ll be cool to do this and then you start down the path and it’s either okay i found there’s like several big problems that you need to overcome to but i think that it’s it’s more interesting to me if someone has you know kind of um done some exploration really um seeing what they can do with it and go from there yeah the risk of sounding cliche is like follow what interests you or do what interests you and dig deeper it’s much more or you learn much more at the end than if you follow somebody else’s videos or things like that in my opinion and my experience at least yeah and you know in my experience you want to do your own thing you want to make a game or you want to um you know make something pretty or a demo or something you’ll end up watching videos and you know there’s a whole internet of resources out there so no one locks themselves in a room these days and uh and disconnects so you know that’s definitely part of it is you know utilizing a lot of the resources out there and um yeah well you might be following your own kind of path that something that interests you definitely there’s a whole internet of resources out there and um and i haven’t found anyone to be better than the others like um for everything yeah although i stack overflow pretty much
easy go to yeah yeah you’re all doing a fair bit uh i think that’s the understatement of the century how do you how do you manage it from a time perspective from just physically uh keeping track of tasks i know if you’re told eddie’s house has a kanban board in his room which is unreal why do you say that i find that agile is extremely daily life i’m not a i’m not i’m not discrediting it or very negative in any way i think it’s excellent yeah i find it like personally i find it more useful in my personal life than at work i kind of tend to go with their flow more at work and jump into things that need done most at the moment and kind of deal with gyre backlog afterwards so to speak but in like in my personal life i really appreciate using kanban board and having tasks clearly delineated between me and my wife that sort of thing yeah yeah but work-wise we use gyra and i’m sorry just on the topic of using agile at home i have two small kids and i would love to see what they would do with the post-it notes for a campaign it would not be a key board for very long but uh maybe a work of art or something like that but um but yeah look at work we use you know pretty much the atlassian um stack so we’re using confluence to document a lot of things and you know that’s great for uh jira for a lot of task management and bitbucket for our source control because they just tie in nicely to each other and it’s you can see why the atlassian guy’s a billionaires they do charge you the pound of flesh for the privilege but and i can also see that they’re they’re almost overkill for so many things as well because it’s got a learning curve that’s it’s very steep but um but once you get over that like you know that will do all your time tracking um you know so we can tag things with different projects and get an idea of you know how much time we’ve been spending on each of those so and that’s one thing that you know has happened after the acquisition is we have to have a lot more rigor around you know we’ve probably tripled the development team in the last 18 months so it’s um you know some fairly spectacular growth but a lot more than in terms of um you know managing people and making sure that we’re directing our effort in the right direction uh as opposed to actually doing work which is uh which is a bit of a shock to the system yeah but uh yeah slowly coming to terms with it but we found that to be you know a very good approach we do fortnightly sprints with um jirar we do different sprints for you know our core development team the ai team will do uh their own sprint planning and the hardware team effectively does their own sprint planning as well cool which has been interesting kind of making because as programmers we always get the best tools right because programmers write tools so you just previous companies we’ve even just written tools because we wanted them but um thankfully we’ve avoided that um this time around but the hardware team has effectively made a lot of the processes work very well for for them as well despite being you know off what you’d normally consider jira and you know the software tools to be used for so uh any sort of podcast books anything like that that you think are particularly good particularly relevant oh well apparently new tech people have a pretty decent uh podcast that uh it exists
it’s very meta we’re here um i personally don’t listen to a lot of podcasts um you know especially about the actual industry or bits and pieces i feel like i get enough exposure to it during work hours so whenever i’m listening to them it’s normally on a different topic but uh i don’t really have any specific recommendations for that kind of thing i’m the same outside of work my time is spent mostly off-screen so like for me pod castle and escape pod would be the podcast to go short fiction science fiction yeah yeah um is there anything you would tell a younger version of yourself or or any sort of advice you would give to maybe put yourself in a better position than you are now not saying that you’re not in good positions solves for like self-development workshop vibe yeah it is funny because when you hear people like i do everything the same again i just kind of want to yell and it’s like no no change things like do it differently so yeah there’s there’s a lot that that i would do differently um sure uh in the early days when we were doing mobile phone stuff um you know that was very good to be run out of you know newcastle we actually started in gilliston heights so yeah yeah more maitland way the newcastle but we’ll take it in it’s um and that was actually quite good but then as we started doing more moving into trying to make some consumer products like once we started doing the mapping and we kind of started doing some of the social networking side of things you just can’t do that kind of thing here from australia like a lot of the consumer facing things they need to be done at such a scale and you need so much investment you know because it’s such a winner takes all type thing and obviously facebook has mostly won that um but unless you’re in silicon valley where you’ve got pcs throwing you know lots of cash of people to just experiment with ideas um that kind of thing is best you know not done here and not just newcastle probably australia yeah just australia in general if you want to do that kind of thing um and then so 135 the local search days um we actually got a pretty good product up and you know one of the key things we didn’t do was uh ceo at the time was a bit like was worried about getting it out there and he’s like what if it doesn’t go right um looking back i would always are on the side of you know get it out there see what people think you know um you can always iterate on later and this is what a lot of tech companies are doing um so yeah you don’t want to get egg on your face obviously so you do your homework to make sure that it’s but once something’s ready definitely get it out there in front of customers and and get that feedback you know as soon as you can on the cordell side of things you know this is what six years into our journey there um yeah i mean it was a very challenging thing to start here in newcastle because it is fairly capital intensive um you know you have to buy lidar scanners you need to buy drones it’s very hardware rich in the early days so um probably wouldn’t recommend that although it’s uh it’s worked out quite well um now that we’ve we’re kind of reaching the scale where we’re getting it out there we’ve kind of crested the hill yeah and i think that you know if you’re uh and for a lot of people if you’re going down the startup path is just being mindful of what scale do you need to hit for it to be you know fairly self-sustaining and workable because there’s a lot of things where that’s very hard to do here in newcastle or indeed in australia but this is also something that informed you know our choice of going into rail as well because you know ai companies and lidar companies you know there’s a lot of buzz around those spaces a lot of things happening but tying it all together and you know directing it at one vertical is something that no one else was really doing so we kind of saw an opportunity there and um and that that helps you stand out from a crowd as well so anything to add what was your original question
you suggesting my answer was meandering enough uh anything you would tell a younger version of yourself to maybe uh to i guess advantage yeah i think i would agree with like first part of what aaron said like get yourself out there or don’t be afraid of doing things and yeah like fail fake quickly fail better learn from it i guess wrapping up uh where do people find out more information about yourselves about cordell um are you hiring anyone at the moment yeah any questions any sort of cool plugs that you can throw in cordell.ai is our kind of main site and talks about what we do that’s what we’re always looking for talented developers regardless of whether we’re hiring at the moment or not that’s important to say it does seem to be a pattern yes um yeah look the cadell ai site is probably um probably a good place to start to learn a bit more about what we do the next core dot co site is the drone based lidar scanner and it’s got a bunch of use cases and bits and pieces so i think there is also a cordell youtube channel with a few videos and bits and pieces that are quite short to uh um to see just some applications of the technology that we’re doing for sure we have our presence on linkedin yes we’re actually got a pretty good linkedin presence these days so there’s always interesting stuff there make sure you get on that and follow it um that’s really kind of you know ahead of all the social networking linkedin is really where we post the most stuff because it’s it’s the most relevant for what we’re doing but yeah we’re definitely looking for developers at the moment um you know we’re expanding it uh it’s still in kind of an exponential phase at the moment so it’s uh it’s very wearing but um but yeah we’re getting more people in there and as we grow and uh and get more data and that’s the key thing for us the more hardware scanners we get out there we’re already drowning in data but we hope to uh hope to make the right floaties to swim in that so absolutely absolutely excellent um well thank you so much for both coming on i really appreciate it excellent thank you for having us okay thanks for having us on
Tell us a bit about yourselves?
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What is Cordel?
Who would be the perfect hire for Cordel?
Anything in particular that is publicly facing that you're super proud of?
What are your thoughts on education?
What are your recommendations for self paced learning?
How do you manage to keep track of tasks?
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