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The Pittsburgh Steagles

By Amy Oldham
July 20, 2015

Derek is ready for another User Group Meeting

No, that’s not a typo. Back in the day (1943 to be exact), the football team that began life as the Pittsburgh Pirates was known as the Pittsburgh Steagles for one year. That happened because the team was merged with the Philadelphia Eagles due to the depleted football rosters during World War II. The year after that, they were merged with the Cardinals, which lead to their short-lived name as the Card-Pitt team. Today, of course, you know this team as the Pittsburgh Steelers—a team which, as we at Equinox are acutely aware, has some of the most loyal and avid fans in the NFL. I say that because the team’s number 1 fan works right here at Equinox! Originally hailing from Pittsburgh, Derek Drake is a diehard fan of the iconic black and gold team. When he’s not following his team or reminding the rest of us just how many Super Bowls the Steelers have won in years past, you can find Derek designing and creating the frontend interfaces for both our Protector and TeleLink products.

And he’s got a wealth of knowledge when it comes to our interfaces...after graduating from Union University in 1995, Derek joined Equinox as a junior developer. Over the years, he has developed an expertise in user interfaces, ultimately leading to his current position as the senior developer in charge of all interface efforts for both Protector and TeleLink. Derek understands the importance of the work he does as it relates to our customers. While the work of an application happens behind the scenes, the user’s experience and overall satisfaction with the application is heavily, if not totally, dictated by the user interface. That’s exactly why Derek actively participates in our annual Protector User Group meeting so that he can engage customers directly in the discussion about system features and future enhancements. Having this firsthand knowledge of what the customers want and need helps Derek create an interface perfectly balanced to support both the backend power of the system and supply a great frontend user experience.

This month marks Derek’s 20th anniversary with Equinox. When I asked Derek to reflect on the thousands of interface elements, screens, and web pages he’s created during his tenure with Equinox, he said his favorite part of the process is watching an interface go from inception to maturity, with all its various iterations and customer additions along the way. He also noted that he has been looking for a way to sneakily incorporate the Steelers logo somewhere in TeleLink and Protector, so keep your eye out for that in future releases!

All kidding aside, Derek loves working at Equinox because of the philosophy that work comes second to family. Derek has two children and spends his free time following his team, lifting weights, and playing basketball. Equinox is grateful for the contributions Derek’s made to the company’s products these past 20 years and hope he sticks around for another 20 years or the next Steelers Super Bowl win, whichever comes first.

About the Author: Amy Oldham is in Corporate Communications at Equinox Information Systems, where she creates and maintains the company’s technical documentation as well as all other customer-facing publications. Amy is also responsible for the company’s newsletter, email campaigns, press releases, and social media presence. When not writing, Amy enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, and swimming.

To learn more about Equinox, its products, and the people who power them, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200.