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My Top 7 apps: Francis Miers of Automation Consultants

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I’m back with another Top 7 apps post. Today we have Francis Miers who is the director of Automation Consultants.

Automation Consultants is a UK-based company specialising in software testing and lifecycle automation. Its mission is to increase the speed and reduce the cost of IT projects.

Let’s have a look at his list.

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Waze – Quite a lot of my time is spent on the road, between the office and various clients. It is near impossible to judge how long it will take to get to a client without using Waze. Its ability to automatically change the route for me based on live traffic updates is invaluable. If I do get stuck in traffic, it also provides me with information on how long it will take for me to get out of it. I also like the way that it’s run by a community of people and relies of the power of crowds to provide valuable information.

Live Train Times – There are so many different train apps out there, however, I haven’t found one that provides a better service than Live Train Times. The app pulls data directly from the National Rail servers to make sure I know where my train is, what platform it’s going to be at, and what time I’m going to arrive at my destination. I like to avoid driving whenever I can, so this app is great for when I’m heading into London from the office.

Workflow – A lot of what I do in my work life revolves around software lifecycle automation, and I like to transfer that across to my own devices as well. Workflow is essential for this as there’s no other way to do it using my iPhone – it allows me to create a simple workflow to automate tasks that would normally take several clicks.

WhatsApp – This app has multiple applications for me. It’s very popular for a reason – not only can I have confidential conversations with clients over WhatsApp, but I can also share documents, contacts, voice clips and memos. This is useful in a business where I have staff working at different locations all over the UK – there is no better way of communicating with them than through this app. I also use it for contacting my friends from my MBA course who are spread across Europe and the rest of the world.

Santander Cycle Hire – While the London underground system is great on a stormy day, there is nothing better than cycling, especially in the summer. Not only do you get to enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin, but you also have the opportunity to cycle past some famous sites and stunning architecture. The app is essential if you want to take advantage of this, because it means you can bypass the ticket machine, which can be painfully slow at times, and usually surrounded by tourists. The app also allows me to see whether or not there are bikes where I’m going and/or spaces for me to return the bike when I’ve reached my destination.

JIRA Connect – Over the last few years, there has been a massive increase in the number of people using Atlassian products. A lot of my customers have moved off big brand names to Atlassian (often described as the Apple of the software lifecycle world!), and we use them in-house as well for many of the projects we are working on. This makes the JIRA Connect app essential for me, as I am not always at a computer, so it allows me to connect to JIRA and track my tasks.

Kindle – This app is another one with two uses: business and personal. I can download and store PDFs offline with this app and take notes while I read through them – very handy for when I’m on the train. I also enjoy reading books on history for pleasure, however, carrying around a book can be a bit cumbersome. Using the Kindle app allows me to read while on the go, and I find I’m able to read a lot more than I used to.

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Thanks to Francis for his list. My most used app is the Live Train Times app, I love knowing in advance what platform my train will be and whether it’s on time.

You can find out more about Automation Consultants on their website.

If you’d like to contribute your Top 7 Apps or if you are the PR representing someone you’d like to see featured, everything you need to know about participating is right here.



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