I’m Praj Basnet and this is how I work January 30, 2013Posted by Tipster in How I work.
Next up in the How I Work series is Praj Basnet, the talent behind the excellent PeopleSoft Wiki. I don’t know for sure – but judging by the traffic coming in to this blog from elsewhere – I suspect Praj’s site is amongst the most visited PeopleSoft related websites. The traffic he gets is no doubt due to the breadth and depth of the content he’s posted on there.
Name: Praj Basnet
Occupation: Software Engineer and PeopleSoft Consultant
Location: Rockhampton, Australia
Current computer: Mac Book Pro 15″ (16GB RAM, SSD)
Current mobile devices: iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
I work: largely remotely, and have never been more productive or happy.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
The Google suite (gmail, calendar, reader, drive). Evernote and Wunderlist to manage information. Software that is multi-platform and works/syncs across devices (phone, tablet, laptop etc).
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Turns out with a laptop, and a smartphone that has Internet access, I can pretty much work from anywhere and focus on getting things done. It’s always nice to also have a good cup of coffee and some peace and quiet. So a decent coffee machine and noise cancelling headphones are always a help.
What’s your workspace like?
I recently switched to a make-shift standing desk. The first two weeks were hard work! I found I could only stand for 30 minutes or so at a time. Slowly I’ve built up to standing about 4-5 hours a day with breaks in between. I undock and use my laptop and sit somewhere comfortable when I do need to sit down. If you are thinking about switching to a standing desk, take it easy, and keep at it. It can be hard work in the beginning, but the benefits and increased energy are worth it.
Other than that, when on the move, I just clear out a workspace and start working. The main thing for me is that it has to be clutter-free. Nothing worse than paper, devices, wires and stuff everywhere.
What do you listen to while you work?
My diverse music collection. Usually it works a treat, but it can be too distracting. Sometimes having the noise cancelling headphones on and nothing else is enough (i.e. white noise). Other times, I get sick of having headphones on and just like silence. It depends.
What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
On Windows when connecting to Oracle databases, SQLTools++ is a must. Text editors like Sublime Text and NotePad++ are essential. I love the command line and use it as much as I can. One thing I find myself doing a lot is grepping through multiple files/folders to search for a text string (e.g. a PeopleCode export or bunch of configuration files).
There’s a comprehensive list of the tools I’ve used over at the PeopleSoft Wiki, although at the moment it is mainly Windows focused. I need to update it with Mac, iOS and Android apps.
Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
If you are ever stuck without PIA access to a PeopleSoft site, and need to manage or create users, use the User Profile component interfaces and the Application Designer CI tester to get the job done. See the wiki for details.
Bonus tip, you can restart the PUB/SUB processes on the app server without restarting everything else through the tuxedo tmadmin console using shutdown -g PUBSUB and boot -g PUBSUB. See the wiki for details.
What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Effective date logic, it just seems to come up all the time. I cheat sometimes and use app designer and the %EffdtCheck meta-sql to generate some of the SQL for me. But it generally needs tweaking.
What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Simple, effective version control and change management out of the box. Having all the code in app designer go straight to a git repository or something similar would be great.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I’m not better than anyone else at them, but there are two things I would consider my strengths:
Consistency. When I started the PeopleSoft Wiki, my one and only goal was to be consistent about getting a few articles up there every week. Some weeks would be great, others, not so good, but I think success all came down to putting in an effort every day/week/month and not making excuses.
Willingness to share information. If I learn something interesting, I like to tell others about it. I don’t like keeping things to myself in the hopes of being “smarter than everyone else”. If anything by sharing information you tend to get more respect because people genuinely value your input.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Ideas without execution have very little value. Everyone has great ideas, but few people ever actually get to the stage of “doing” something with them. Even fewer people keep at it when things get tough. The people that do, are the successful ones.