From technical design to determining product growth in accordance to what our customer’s truly want, our Product Team is at the forefront of what makes MetroQuest a leading public engagement solution!
Today, I’m excited to introduce the leader of that team: Peter Millar. With over 20 years of software experience under his belt, Peter joined MetroQuest at the end of 2019, and lends industry expertise and thought leadership to some of MetroQuest’s most important product development decisions. Check out my conversation with Peter below to learn more about his role, the current tech trends he’s following, and where his passions for sustainability and software truly stem from!
Peter, can you give us the 10,000-foot view of your role at MetroQuest?
As VP of Product at MetroQuest, my role is pretty diverse. My focus starts and ends with our customers. MetroQuest needs to deeply understand our customers’ goals, challenges, and the outcomes they desire, so we can build products that enable them to succeed. I am responsible for our product strategy, roadmap development, and release management. I’m also very lucky to lead our amazing development team. They possess the magic that takes our customers’ needs and turns them into elegant technical solutions in online public engagement for planning.
Where does your passion for software and systems integration stem from?
That’s an interesting question because as a teenager, I swore never to have anything to do with software. It’s a long story, so let’s just say that my first attempt at programming was abysmal. But I’m a curious person and soon saw how technology – both hardware and software – can present amazing opportunities to solve problems and streamline processes. Applying technology to better enable people to do their jobs and live their lives – whatever that may be – became a major focus of my professional life.
What tech trends are you currently following?
There’s so much innovation going on today, it’s hard to follow it all. Most recently, I’ve been interested in renewable energy technologies, AI, and machine learning. One thing that I’m always interested in, however, is User Experience (UX). It isn’t really a trend, per se, but I see it as critical to making all technology easy to adopt and delightful to use.
What are your favorite aspects of MetroQuest’s software?
I really love the way MetroQuest provides micro-learning and gamification in survey design. This enables such a diverse range of people to learn about issues and the choices planners are asking them to make, and to have fun while doing it. From a planner’s point-of-view, being able to fully engage the public on projects and issues that affect people’s daily lives is amazing. Getting that kind of input really makes for smarter decisions that entire communities can support.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to play outside! I’m a keen cyclist, skier and boater. I guess that’s why I ended up in Vancouver – the mountains are at our back and our toes are in the water. I get to cycle to work for fun all year around. The ski terrain nearby just can’t be beat and when summer rolls around, there’s a whole new world out on the sea.
You are passionate about sustainability and the environment. How are you able to draw from these passions and utilize them in your role at MetroQuest?
Appreciating our environment and acting as a responsible steward of our land and waters runs deep in my world view. It starts with the notion that one cares for what one loves. That applies to the communities in which we live and how we get out and about in our travels. I can see that care in our customers who are planning for better communities, roadways, bike paths, public transit options, and more. They want to educate people on the issues we are facing and provide an opportunity for everyone to have their voice heard without undue influence or obstruction. So, appreciating those things is a guiding principle to make sure we craft the best possible capabilities into our product moving forward, in order to best support the work that planners are doing.