A guy who was born in Canada, grew up in Indonesia, went to high school in Australia, spent half a year in Hawaii, and ended up back in Canada.
This is my story...
DR's Corner
Friday, June 25, 2004

Update on work

It's been awhile since I last posted, mainly due to the fact that I've still not gotten used to working :). When I get home everyday, I try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and kid, and after that, there's not really much energy left to do anything else.

I've been at work for 2 weeks now (minus 2 days of orientation to my program), and I've mostly completed one small project. It's basically a Windows Service in C# that takes backup log files from the server and parses them. It then stores the data in a small Access database, to then be analyzed by Cognos. Why not use SQL Server you ask? Well, my mentor doesn't want any extra overhead on our Business Intelligence servers, so he doesn't want to install SQL Server there, plus the data won't be really that big anyway. This little exercise was intended to get me started on my coding tasks, as well as Cognos, since we didn't have any data that could be used from the beginning.

The program is not completely done yet, I haven't figured out what's wrong when it tries to read files from a network share. I keep getting these access denied errors, when I have full permission on the files and directory, as well as access to the servers. If anybody can shed some light on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

But the main functions of the program are fine, and I've managed to get some initial data in the database. My mentor then proceeded to show me how to use Cognos Impromptu to produce reports. I must say that it's really easy, because everything's drag and drop based. Hardly any typing involved. Of course, I haven't delved into the complex reporting etc., but I did find it quite simple at the time. Next week, we'll start getting into Cognos Cubes, which should be more fun and challenging.

There's just this one thing that's bothering me about my placement. It seems that the job I'll be doing and learning doesn't really match the proposal that was sent to me. From what I understood, I'd be doing .NET development, Database development, as well as Business Intelligence. But from what my mentor has told me, it seems like .NET will only be a small part of this rotation, and database development doesn't appear at all in anything he's mentioned.

So, I'm gonna go to talk to my manager sometime next week to clarify things. I was hoping to ask her if I could be involved in team projects, especially dealing with web and database development, and also projects that will directly impact the public. I don't mind just shadowing other developers or people, but I think that will broaden my experience even more. Not that learning BI is bad mind you, but I'd also like to develop my existing skills and team working skills.

The last 2 days, I've been in an orientation program into the OPS (Ontario Public Service). It was quite interesting getting an inside view of the government of Ontario. I really liked what was presented to the interns and left the whole thing excited about my future, since they have emphasized that we are the ones who will take over the reigns from the current regime. They have glaring gaps in the structures, and we are the ones who will be trained and expected to fill these roles in the not too far future.

It's a great opportunity, and I really expect to seize the moment and do a great job at my placement. I'll also keep pushing for more challenges and expect to grow in leaps and bounds within the next few years. So wish me luck.

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