LSMConsulting Goes The Extra MileMay 14, 2012 3:59 pm ·
If you need someone to develop an application for your business using Microsoft Access or VB.NET, Scott McDaniel is your man. And if you’ve got a problem with the heating and air conditioning system in your house, Scott can lend a hand with that too. The North Augusta, South Carolina native not only owns his own business, Infotrakker Software, but also plays a large role in his family’s HVAC business, Wrenn Heating and Air Conditioning. As if two jobs aren’t enough, Scott and his wife are also among the top 10 best barbeque cooks in the nation, but more about that later…
“My programming job is one that I came about from a love of problem solving, and the HVAC business actually was a catalyst for that as well,” Scott says. “As I took on a more managerial role in the HVAC business (in the mid-to-late 80’s), I began to look for programs that would help us run the business more efficiently, but I couldn’t find a good one. I decided to look into how these programs were built, and that’s when I discovered Q-Basic. From there it was a short hop to Microsoft Access – with a VERY brief stop in Assembly and C – and I never looked back. Eventually I wrote the software that is still used today to manage service appointments and such.”
Today, Infotrakker Software is a one-man development firm specializing in business-centric applications, and his family’s HVAC business is booming. Of the family business, Scott says:
“My HVAC job was something to do when I couldn’t really find what I wanted, and it evolved into a lifelong career. It’s a rewarding job – you fix someone’s problem, right there on the spot– although I find writing code to be far less dirty than crawling under houses!”
From career to family man
Holding down two successful careers is hardly the most important part of Scott’s life, though. His wife (Cindy), two daughters (Kris and Jen) and his grandson (Trey)—who he says is one of his best friends—are his first priority. In his spare time, Scott coaches Trey’s tee ball team, and as previously mentioned he and his wife participate in national barbecue cooking competitions. The couple, known as Smoke Shack Barbecue, participate in 14-18 competitions each year and have been a top 10 team in the nation for the past five years. Of his family and personal passions, Scott says:
“Watching my four year old grandson grow, coaching his tee ball team, hanging out with my wife and hoping the South Carolina Gamecocks football team whips up on their opponents this year (especially a certain Red and Black team from Georgia) are what get me out of bed in the morning.”
In fact, if he was able to go back in time and do things over again, Scott would spend more time with his family, particularly when his kids were young.
“The time I’ve been able to spend with my grandson makes me realize that, like many young fathers, I was far too busy and too involved in things that turned out to be not so important. If I had it to do over again, I’d spend more time with my kids when they were growing up,” Scott says.
Up for the challenge
According to Scott, the challenge of solving problems is what attracts him to both of his jobs:
“For me, the most interesting problem is the one I’m working on right now. Each problem is different, and each brings new and different pieces to the puzzle. That’s the best part of the technology world, at least to me – just when you think you’ve got it figured out, something new happens.”
Solving complex problems is also what attracts him to Experts Exchange. Like many others in the early days of the Internet, Scott was using forums like Compuserve and Yahoo to find answers to his technology questions and help others with theirs. One day he stumbled upon Experts Exchange and before he knew it, he was hooked!
For the past three years, Scott has been selected as a Microsoft Access MVP—an honor that he directly attributes to his participation at Experts Exchange.
“I like being part of the Experts Exchange community. I’m not nearly as worried about the points, or my position on the leader board these days – I’d much rather take my time and help someone work out a difficult problem.”
It’s his willingness to go the extra mile and help others work through a difficult problem that keeps Scott at the top of the leaderboard. Speaking of extra miles, for Scott’s next challenge, we think we’ll ask if he can ship some of his famous barbeque across the country.