Industry Talk: Farmax – Moving from 1990s to 2020s

27 Sep 2019 2:10 PM - 3:00 PM
Presenter/Speaker: Andrew Dean, Head of IT, Farmax
Location: G.1.15

FARMAX, built by Farmax Limited, is an application that uses science-based system modelling to help farmers see the likely outcomes of various farm planning decisions. It was built to maximise profits in a simpler time, but it has found fresh relevance in a world where farmers must stay profitable while managing a slew of environmental responsibilities. FARMAX has enormous potential to contribute to kaitiakitanga – the responsible stewardship of land and other resources. But in its present form it will struggle to respond to all the new opportunities and challenges. FARMAX was built as a single user Win32 application in the mid 1990s. A team of just 3 is charged with taking this aging and brittle value and transforming it into a scalable cloud service with modern integration points and user experience.

Andrew Dean has a BCMS in Software Engineering and a BA in French, both from the University of Waikato. He began his IT career as a developer before transitioning into systems architecture, all the while nurturing an interest in usability. Now UX certified by Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g), Andrew has designed a number of successful software products for the Agriculture sector, such as LIC's MINDA suite, as well as designing for the likes of The Warehouse and Mainfreight. At Farmax, Andrew performs a dual role – modernising the technology platform as head of IT, while designing the user experience for a new generation of products.

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