July 10, 2023
Meet Mapcon Mondays - Featuring John Appel
Welcome to another edition of Meet Mapcon Mondays, a monthly interview series starring one of Mapcon's illustrious employees. This time we're sitting down with John Appel to hear about his tenure here at Mapcon Technologies, Inc.
Q: Introduce yourself.
A: Hello, my name is John Appel, I am an employee and an owner of the company, my specialty is Implementation but I also perform training and handle support calls. I am one of the travelers for MAPCON, so many customers know me or have met me, as I have been traveling for over 25 years and have been to 46 of the 50 states (not Hawaii, even though we have many customers there, they always want online training, go figure). I have also been to 10 countries around the world, so thank you MAPCON customers for making it possible for me to see the world.
Q: Without revealing a deep, dark secret (unless you want to), tell us something about yourself most people don't know.
A: Most people don’t know that I have a background in programming, but I don’t use those skills anymore. When I first came to work here, they needed a traveler and trainer more than a programmer, but because of that background, I understand the programmers, and the IT people when they use their fancy acronyms. Someone once called me an interpreter, because he couldn’t understand what the IT guy was telling him what to do and I explained it very clearly, and he said Why didn’t he say that? and my only answer was He can’t help himself, he’s IT, he has to use acronyms and words nobody else knows.
Q: Tell us about your Mapcon experience.
A: Over the course of 25 years the software has really changed. In the early years, I had to teach the MS operating system, people didn’t know the difference between a right or left click of the mouse, or how to Alt+Tab between programs. The monitor was all green text, then amber came out and everyone thought that was special, and look at us now with our 40-inch wide screen flat panels, usually more than one as well. I sure don’t miss the squawk of the modems, connecting remotely is so quick and easy now, we pretty much do it by default all the time even if it may not be necessary, because it is so convenient.
The software was all keyboard driven in those very early years, so those keyboard commands are still there in the software. F6 is Lookup, Ctrl S is Save, Esc key is to exit, and so on and so forth. It is still faster to keep your hands on the keyboard than to reach for the mouse, that has not changed, so I always learn the keyboard commands for programs. I can type incredibly fast and accurately. In fact, I am often used to spell check other people’s work, I catch all sorts of grammatical and punctuation errors.
Q: Outside of work, tell us what you enjoy.
A: I like to ride a bike, my wife and I also enjoy playing pickleball and table tennis in our spare time. We play a lot more when we are living in our other home in Arizona during the winter months, my wife Nancy is already retired and enjoys being a snowbird, we are much more active when we are down there than in Iowa. I have an HO scale model train set I inherited from my dad, and I love to be on or near the water whenever possible. Boating is fun!
What is one aspect about Mapcon you would like customers and future customers to know?
A: Customers should understand that we take the best ideas from all of our programming projects to continue to improve the software, add new features, and overall, make it easier to use. Two examples include the drag and drop for file attachments and the menu editor.
We are always listening to our users and following their suggestions to enhance the software, so customers have an impact on the future development of the software.
John is a valued member of the Mapcon team, and we can't wait to enjoy his training and support in the future! Join us again next month to get to know another member of the Mapcon family.