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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

JIMM 084 -Emotional Couple of Weeks

The latest episode of the Journey Inside My Mind is now live! You might want to keep some tissue handy because it's an emotional one.


Talk about the emotional couple of weeks right after the last episode, how to help me get some gas money, with music from Laura Clapp, Matthew Ebel, The Reverse Engineers, Black Lab, along with Rob Costlow providing piano accompaniment. Be sure to check out the full shownotes at http://jimmpodcast.com. Direct link to file (mp3, 44:28, 40.7 MB)

Related tags:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Migrating Existing Access Applications to Access 2007

This post is one of the more esoteric ones where I delve into the geeky details of some of my programming work. I know - it's really sexy, isn't it?

I have mentioned the bridge application I developed that helps make payrolls run faster, helping client employees get paid faster, and so forth, using Microsoft Access 2003 with VBA, ADO, Excel, Office, etc.

Some members of the company are starting to migrate to Office 2007, and we can see the entire organization moving there soon. A few weeks ago, I tried opening and running one of the bridge applications in Access 2007, and it bombed horribly, specifically in how I've written it to use the Office 11 FileSearch object.

I just found a couple of few documents on MSDN and TechNet that I hope will help understand what is involved in the migration:

Okay, to be honest, I picked that last item because it sounds interesting.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

I'm quite proud of what I just wrote at the Journey Inside My Mind Blog that I feel it's necessary to also share with you over here, a bit of cross-pollination, perhaps.

Join the conversation and let me know where you get your ideas!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Benefits Auditing and Follow me on Twitter

I'm going to put up a Twitter badge in the sidebar so you can know about other stuff I'm doing. For now, feel free to follow me on Twitter, and let me know you found me via this website.


Quick Turnaround on a Benefits Audit

I can tell I've become branded as the "go-to" guy for certain types of projects. Last week the HR manager came to me and said that she didn't know who else to talk with about a benefits audit the company is doing for one of its clients.

The company and the client are trying to resolve a $20,000 discrepancy that appears to have arisen from November 2003 through November 2006, when the client stopped using the company's health and dental plan. Oh, and since this all needed to be finalized by the end of this month, which was about two weeks away, she needed whatever I could do in a day or so.

The HR manager sent me an email that contained about six Excel workbooks. Each workbook contained several worksheets. These worksheets were benefit summaries for each payroll that had been run during that three-year period, from the client's perspective.

The company needed to compare this information with what existed in the system, but the HR manager recognized that it was very cumbersome to go through the information in its existing format.

With the task at hand, I imported each worksheet into an Access database and compiled the information into a single table that I exported and sent back to the HR manager.

It sounds like I'm making it simpler than it was at the time. I had to write a couple of Excel macros to get the data in the proper format for importing into Access. That and a VBA function to import each worksheet from each workbook did the trick, for the most part.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

In the UML Playground

A fellow developer and I are learning UML and VB.NET. We've decided to look at some of the existing applications the company is using from a UML perspective. We found a free version of Objecteering/UML Modeler and it looks like it will meet our needs so far.

I know there are lots of room for learning and lots of room for improving our existing applications. This stuff excites me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The output is only as good as the input

Part of what I do in my current work is produce ad hoc reports. I often am asked about the information in them because it doesn't appear to match what decision makers had assumed.

The information on the reports is only as good as the raw data that exists in the system, I tell them. If the company no longer do business with a client, for example, and yet the client is still marked active in the system, then the client still gets counted as an active client. The same goes for employees. Active employee count may appear high, but when it comes down to the actual numbers of employees getting paid, the number is much smaller in some cases.

Helping managers and other decision makers understand these truths is one thing that I appreciate doing in my work.