Posted by: Charles Maitland | Thursday 1 December, 2005

A perfect job

As part of my job at Touchstone I develop for a product called Vision. For this product I write a meta layer between the database and the user so that the user can easily extract data into Excel or a stand alone equivalent.
This used to be a major pain in the butt as the developer tools were so poor that a 10 year old doing a UI for Windows 3.1 would have been ashamed but now they have smartened up their act and now have a 3/4 decent development studio.
Anyway back to the perfect job.
When ever I do a proposal for one of these development jobs I always state that a prerequisite is that there must be documentation and a schema of the underlying database that clearly sets out where the data is to come from and what the business rules are for that data. I also specify that there needs to be someone available to consult with about the data and someone who can validate the resulting reports against the source system.
In almost every case this does not happen.
I get bits of it, like an automated dump of every table in the database and access to the junior under clerk in the accounts department.
But not on this job.
This client had a documented table list that explained the tables and fields and their relationships. They had simplified it to the relevant ones. I was working along side the head of finance who straight away introduced me to my designated contact in the IT department who could and did provide me with every assistance.
In short I have a perfect job.
The result is that I am ahead of schedule (at the moment) I will be able to produce a better product and also some reports to get them going.
I hope that the rest of the time there is as satisfactory but even so it has been a real pleasure.
I would post a link to the client and developer but I have not yet clarified the confidentiality issues yet.

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