About

PontisTech provides a bridge between student-driven organizations (or small businesses) and technical expertise.

What We Bring

Two of the biggest challenges with student organizations and small businesses are a) higher rates of turnover and b) limited in-house technical expertise. We, your technical service provider, need to be a long-term repository of technical information relevant to our service and our relationship.  After a decade of working with student organizations, we know that technical information is rarely communicated to new staff and leaders, even in structured transitions.  Long-term service-driven relationships provide access to that information with low up-front costs. The usual ‘solution’ of dropping $10,000-$20,000 on a new from-scratch website every 3 years is replaced by low annual cost that translates to accessible support, agile incremental changes, and consistent quality.

Documentation isn’t enough: modern employees and student leaders are query-ers: they ask questions instead of reading reports.  Help should be accessible and fast.  Services should be provided on an as-needed basis at flexible price points: if you have access to in-house technical expertise, you should have the freedom to use that.  At times when you don’t, you should be able to fallback to a technical service provider who understands your core business.

The answer to “Argh, the website can’t do X” shouldn’t be “It will be so much better when we get a new website next year”; rather, it should be “I’ll email PontisTech and see if they can add X for next week.”

About the Founder

Mike Smit started technical consulting in 2001.  His contracts have included hardware and software, development and support, open-source and closed-source, web applications and desktop applications, small business and big business, non-profits and for-profits, and more.  The voting software he authored has been used to conduct elections online for nine student organizations at five different universities.

He has both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Computer Science from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a PhD in Science (Computing Science) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.  He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at York University in Toronto, ON.  His research interests include cloud computing and software engineering, especially software configuration, deployment, and management.  He operates PontisTech because it gives him a way to get his hands dirty solving real, immediate problems using software.