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About STEARsoft


     

About STEARsoft

STEARsoft is a one-person company. Technically, a Sole-trader (Marcus Butler) 'trading as' STEARsoft.

Who is Marcus? (a brief CV)

Marcus gained a Maths degree from Oxford University and then worked for 8 years as a senior software engineer developing mission critical software to manage network infrastructure in critical environments, such as stock exchanges and banks.
Marcus then became a secondary-school Maths teacher and has been teaching for 17 years.
He now has a family and still teaches part time, so STEARsoft fits around that.

Why choose STEARsoft

STEARsoft has been written by a teacher to give a tool to help and support the teacher's classroom job. At its core it is designed and optimised to support the teacher, meaning speed, efficiency and important information at your finger-tips when in the classroom has been the priority. So, 15 years of teacher-driven development has made STEARsoft a teacher's choice. If your priorities are on simplifying the IT administrators job and coping with all the data protection issues with minimum fuss, then an all in one package that includes attendance software may suit you better, but if supporting your teachers with the most professional and efficient classroom tool available is your priority please do consider STEARsoft. You'll probably also find you actually collect more reliable, more complete data too.

Not being a big company, you don't get instant support with people waiting to talk to you in a call centre, but most of the time you will get a response within 24 hours and when you do get in touch you will be communicating with:

  • A current, experienced teacher who understands your needs and environment.
  • An expert who knows the software inside-out (because he wrote it).
  • The top person of STEARsoft who cares about the business and having happy customers, so your communication is important to him.
  • A software engineer who is keen to fix and improve things.

It's probably impossible to find anyone in the world who is a current teacher AND available 24-7 to answer your call at any time of day. So sorry - not instant support, but quality support.

On the down-side, a one-man-band is more fragile than a multi-million big business, but the STEARsoft cloud-based servers are hosted by the same big companies (in STEARsoft's case, Digital Ocean) and there are plenty of backup features to add resilience and peace of mind. When you make a purchase, you also have consumer rights regardless of the size of company you purchase from.

On the plus side a one-man-band can be much more competitive on cost without all the overheads of larger businesses, give a more personal service and be more flexible in some instances in responding to customer needs.

STEARsoft can run along-side other MIS software, and being separate gives one or two advantages. The biggest advantage is that of data security; The attendance system is the most used part by teachers with it often being open all day. Being separate, if an 'open' attendance screen is accessed by the wrong person without permission, although not good, at least the only data available is student attendance data. They haven't suddenly got access to all the other typical MIS data too that can be much more sensitive. Another advantage is greater flexibility to change. All-in-one systems can make you feel trapped with such an investment in 'everything'. A modular approach helps mittigate this and allows more gradual changes that can focus on your individual needs and priorities.

Finally, STEARsoft is feature-rich and up-to-date with secure cloud options. Whilst the Administration side admittedly has a bit of a learning curve, there are tutorial videos to help and the teacher interface, particularly when using the iPhone/iPad App, is very slick and hard to beat.

Contact details

Due to the sporadic way in which Marcus is able to work and the home-based nature of the business, please make contact using the support or request forms within the customer area. The address below is not the address of STEARsoft, but Marcus teaches at this school, so if you need to write to him, you can do so via:
Marcus Butler
Dr. Challoner's Grammar School
Chesham Road
Amersham
BUCKS.
HP6 5HA
U.K.

Other links

An Altimeter for Aviators App for Apple Watch written by Marcus.

Loan Graph is an iPhone/iPad iOS App written by Marcus.

Marcus has also written a few electronic teaching resources for Mathematics found at www.mrbutler.org.uk

Another small project is SDcorrect which is a Windows utility Marcus wrote for copying and adjusting MPEG video clips.