In our ongoing series of face-to-faces with our team at FOD, this month meet Mike Harlow, Senior Software Developer.
Q: Mike with the explosion in on-demand virtual fitness and digital content everywhere, your job must have just got a whole lot harder? Tell us about what’s on your plate.
Well, in a word, yes. But my plate has been very full for a long time. I work on four different apps for our on-site and on-the-go products throughout the country and around the world. Two Android and two iOS systems that drive all of the more than 1,000 pieces of fitness and wellness content gym members and other users access every day. But I also work on a lot of other projects too, including helping to develop apps that are yet to come down the pipeline. I’m busy with all of these things as well as general product maintenance. Consumer expectations and technology standards move so fast today, that if you design an app and don’t provide constant updates for it, in six months, the app just wouldn’t work anymore. Google and Apple are changing the playing field continually with updated requirements, so it’s a truly dynamic, fast paced world.
Q: How did you first get into the Fitness Industry and land at FitnessOnDemand?
I never knew I wanted to be in the Fitness industry, but it’s a lot of fun and super rewarding. I studied software development at the University of Michigan and right after college landed a development job in Minnesota at a large software company. In such a large organization with 5,000 employees in technology alone, you can imagine how specialized my day to day role was. What I love now at FitnessOnDemand is that I get to explore the latest developments and take the best concepts from both the Android and iOS worlds and make our apps the best they can possibly be.
Q: Where’s your role at FitnessOnDemand headed next?
My day to day oversight of all of our app development programs isn’t going away anytime soon. As a company, we’ve invested heavily in customer experience, technical support and the quality of our product development. What I do touches all of those areas, so I’ll be spending time with all of our teams to ensure the quality, usability and functionality of our apps delivers the best experience for our customers. It’s hard to say beyond that – but in the fitness industry we’re going to see the convergence of wearables, content and smart devices, so all of our apps and other programming will need to stay ahead of the pace. With the chaos of 2020, you can bet that we will be heavily innovating to truly make fitness possible virtually anywhere.
Mike Harlow is Lead Mobile Developer at FitnessOnDemand. He can be reached at [email protected].