As I am finding out, a job search can be a 24/7/365 endeavor. That doesn’t mean you’ll be calling on recruiters or answering ads every day and every moment. Networking is extremely important. This weekend, I was fortunate to meet two colleagues for coffee and lunch. One of them is an expert in “cloud computing” and the other is a Project Manager.
Cloud computing is a fascinating topic. Imagine looking up in the sky at a cloud and wondering what is inside it. Everything that happens in today’s internet world is in the cloud. You don’t need to know that it’s there…it’s just there and its inner mechanisms take care of everything for you. My fascination lies with how does everything that I have done fit in the concept. In other words, I am a data manager; I work with data. Where and how does all of this work in the cloud?
Well guess what, it works! The architectural of the cloud includes data. Its the same old data that I have been extracting from databases and making it usable for the user. Everything that I have done with that data still needs to be done. It needs to be filtered, cleaned, audited, formatted so that the user understands it and can make decisions based on it. The only difference is I am working inside the cloud, not outside it! The programming language is still the same except it’s treaked a little so that it works within the cloud concept. That is where web apps and web services come into play and something that I am taking the initiative to become an expert in.
The second colleague was more of a pain (not literally!). He described the growing pains of his organization and the desire to spend less time building data and more time making decisions based on it. All he has to work with is excel spreadsheets. And he has to convert those spreadsheets to understandable data with meaningful visuals. And that is just a tip of the responsibility iceberg. And he also has a colleague who is busy converting reports from one format to another.
So what do we do to solve the pain? I suggested, lets start small and simple. Let’s get the spreadsheets into a database. Then, lets build a nice little web front end for the users to enter the data instead of emailing updates. And let’s throw in some validation so that the output is more ready to be used than it ever was. Then, lets take a look at the output requirements and decide what to use to build them. We can use SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services, Crystal Reports, Excel, Access, Cognos or a whole other array of products. And lets just do it! And do it…and do it…until all you have to do is push a button and voila!
So this is another short of how I work. Questions?
If you are interested in knowing more about my skills and how your organization or client can benefit, please check out my resume.