At TARGIT, we credit our continued success to the people behind our products, those operating behind the scenes to develop innovative solutions and live out our company culture in their day-to-day work.
Team TARGIT has evolved significantly over the years as we've grown in size, expanded to new markets, and added many initiatives to our strategic roadmap.
Even so, several familiar faces have been fixtures here at TARGIT for years and have significantly contributed to the company's growth and development in various departments.
One such employee is Back-End Architect Jan Krogsgård, who celebrated his 30-year anniversary with TARGIT in December 2022. The team gathered in our Aalborg office to celebrate this momentous accomplishment with Jan and reminisce about his journey with TARGIT over the past three decades.
In this post, we'll take a closer look at Jan's TARGIT journey, including how he found himself at TARGIT so many years ago and what continues to motivate and excite him in his current role.
Before he came to TARGIT, Jan attended business school in Hjørring, Denmark, where he and his classmates gained a reputation for their academic performance and inventiveness. Most notably, teachers in the IT department were impressed when Jan and his classmates learned how to write to each other's computer terminals during class.
After completing his studies, Jan was drafted into a ten-month contract with the Danish military. While he was away from home, Søren Leifsgård, a teacher from Jan’s business school and co-founder of the software company Sandlykke & Leifsgård, called Jan's mother to set up a meeting with Jan the next time he was in town.
Jan met with Søren, who remembered Jan from business school and offered him a position at Sandlykke & Leifsgård. Unfortunately, Jan had to decline the job so he could fulfill his military obligations.
When Jan's military contract ended, he resumed his IT-related studies at a business school in Aalborg, Denmark, as he wanted to pursue a career in that field. One day, he saw an ad in the newspaper for a position at Sandlykke & Leifsgård, to which he responded almost immediately.
Right around the Christmas holiday, he received an excited call from Søren Leifsgård, who said, "I was hoping you would respond to our ad!" and offered Jan the job at Sandlykke & Leifsgård — the company that would eventually become TARGIT.
When Jan joined the programming department at TARGIT, known at the time as Sandlykke & Leifsgård, the company developed and sold accounting software that supplied point-of-sale capabilities to small-scale retailers in Denmark. Jan's work during this time involved hand-coding printouts for various reports related to sales, inventory, and even equipment rental.
Eventually, the executive team at Sandlykke & Leifsgård shifted its focus 100% toward business intelligence (BI). The original bookkeeping software was split out into a separate company, and TARGIT, the BI and analytics company, was born.
Since the start, Jan has played an integral role on TARGIT's development team, supporting various projects and stages of the company's growth. He recalls the extra effort and hours put in by himself and his team in the earlier days when they needed to prepare a pitch for a major brand like IBM or stay at the office late to hit a release deadline.
While Jan officially gained the title of Architect relatively recently, his tenure and experience at TARGIT have made him the official go-to resource for TARGIT's backend for many years. When the company began exploring ideas for a cloud-based version of the Decision Suite product, Jan stepped in as the company's one-person cloud team in the early stages.
"For a time, I was the cloud team until we realized it was bigger than a one-person task. Now, three of us manage TARGIT's cloud initiatives as so many individual components need to work together. We're building a new server, recreating functionality, reconfiguring how we store our code, and rewriting our software using a more modern programming language."
Today, Jan primarily focuses on recreating TARGIT's on-premises functionality in the new cloud server while also stepping in to support various smaller initiatives across the development department. Jan and his team also help decide how to implement updates and new features while still monitoring and resolving bugs in the on-premises version of TARGIT.
Jan shares that while he has always been a programmer, his work at TARGIT is far from repetitive. "The days are never the same. It's always code, but there are always new features and new technology to explore, which keeps my job very interesting and exciting."
Jan explains that changes in leadership and a focus on continuous improvement have kept his department moving forward, even when team members often participate in long-term projects.
"In the past, we released two or three major product updates each year. Now, we're moving toward continuous delivery and providing customers with new features and functionality more frequently." Jan shares that this approach results in higher quality software with each new feature released while reducing stress on the team and giving customers more consistent releases throughout the year.
The team has also introduced an automated testing process to support these frequent releases and increase overall software quality. "It's relatively easy to inadvertently introduce an old bug when trying to fix a certain functionality. With auto-testing, we can immediately spot when these breaks happen, so we can retrace our steps or take the necessary actions to resolve the bug right away."
We’re so grateful for all that Jan has brought to TARGIT over the last three decades, and we can’t wait to see what new adventures await us in the years to come!