Welcome to my online portfolio, the complement/substitute for my resume. The opinions included herein are my own and do not reflect those of any client or employer, past or present. Please check out the new site: http://danieljohnsonjr.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One hour of unexpected work saves another several hours of work!

Two hours ago... I got an instant message from our HR Manager. She's trying to balance out the 401(k) plans for 2005 and was missing information from a client who was put in a database with other clients who only opt to use us to do their payroll. The desktop application I had developed for her was not set up to get this information readily.

She wanted to know if putting together a spreadsheet manually with the information was her only option. I asked her to give me 30 minutes while I investigated what I could do. She told me that, yes, of course, the information was needed "yesterday".

I made a backup copy of the application and began to see if it was as simple as changing some of the queries. It looked as though that would be the case, so I contacted her and told her I'd be able to get her the information.

When I tried to tweak the queries, I wasn't able to get them to run appropriately. I decided to scrap the copy I was working on and start over, this time looking at the VBA code that generates the queries at runtime. A couple months ago, I had set the program up so that she could select a single client for which to obtain information. It turned out to be much simpler to revise that one section of code and then run the application as usual.

She said she needed the reports run for all 12 months in 2005, so after generating the files, I zipped them up and e-mailed the zip file - except that MS Outlook doesn't allow zip files to be sent as attachments. I "masked" the file name by changing the extension to "txt", and in the body of the message gave instructions to change the extension back after saving it.

I just received an instant message from her, "thank you DAN!!! You are the best".

What I was able to do in an hour saved her HOURS of time if she'd tried to do it herself. Being a superhero is great.

No comments: