Developers working

Tech is at the heart of everything we do.

We build campaigns, internal tools, and entire products for large tech companies, startups and forward-thinking organisations.

Over a series of four posts, I will outline Potato's tech ethos, and how it has influenced the key areas of physical infrastructure, and software and services.

First up, what is Potato's tech ethos? Well, in a nutshell:

Security first:

We're only as valuable as the intellectual property we produce, so keeping our clients’ confidential information secure is absolutely paramount. This applies to our tech infrastructure as much as our project work.

Everything must be accessible remotely:

We operate from three permanent locations - London, Bristol and San Francisco - but we also appreciate the need for a healthy work/life balance. The modern tech industry make it impossible for everyone to be in one of these locations all of the time.

A developer working from home
Picture credit: Bonnie Kittle/Unsplash

People may be working from a client’s office, from home, a conference, or when travelling. More days than not, we have staff working from trains, airports or planes. This means no IP address-based restrictions or private network resources.

Potato owns no servers and will probably never buy a physical server:

Potato was founded in 2010, which was an evolutionary point for Platforms as a Service (PaaS). Serious viable business solutions were springing up, and we built our business on them from the outset:

An animated gif from Jurassic Park
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures

Not having any servers in our offices means that we don’t need to punch holes in our firewalls, or maintain a VPN - both of which are security concerns that require frequent testing and maintenance.

Instead, security is maintained by our PaaS providers, where specialists maintain the service for us and all of their other clients, bound to an SLA. While there is still a risk of outage, usually this affects all customers at once, and so tends to be resolved very quickly. It's our guarantee that our providers will act swiftly to apply patches on our behalf if any web server vulnerabilities pop up.

An animated gif
Credit: Cartoon Network

Infrastructure and software shouldn’t stop us from getting stuff done:

From the outset, Potato has been platform agnostic. We have staff using Mac, Linux and Windows OSs, and we’ve had people work on desktops, laptops, Chromebooks, even netbooks and tablets. Staff may work on any operating system, with whatever software fits their purpose.

In part two of this series next week, we'll look at how this ethos influenced our choices for the physical infrastructure that supports our London and Bristol offices.