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I’m Duncan Davies and this is how I work October 23, 2012

Posted by Duncan in How I work.

In a shameless copy of the excellent LifeHacker feature aimed at productivity gurus, we thought it’d be interesting to do something similar for the PeopleSoft world. Every week or so we’ll post an interview with some of the rock-stars of the PeopleSoft ecosystem.

I’m going to go first – not because I rate myself in the same echelon as those who will follow – but just to give everyone an idea of what to expect.

Name: Duncan Davies

Occupation: PeopleSoft Technical Consultant / CTO
Location: The Succeed Office, Croxley Green (Outer London)
Current computer: Lenovo Thinkpad (Win7, 16GB RAM, SSD)
Current mobile devices: Android ICS on an HTC One S, iPad 2
I work: Hard

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I feel disconnected if I don’t have internet connectivity.  I don’t mind which device (laptop, iPad, mobile) but I like to be able to keep updated. I spend a lot of time in Google Reader (which provides 80% of the info I consume – the rest being from Twitter). I can tolerate some off-line time if my Pocket (ex-ReadItLater) queue is healthy – it’s great for the underground.

Within Succeed we collaborate heavily via HipChat and reluctantly use Sharepoint. We do have a collaboration platform that’s being built which will solve many of our Sharepoint woes, but it’s a little too nascent to detail yet.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I’m a devotee of the Evoluent Vertical mouse which has helped combat RSI, and I also switch to a cheap Bamboo tablet for a bit of variety.

What’s your workspace like?
It depends where I’m working (home, the Succeed office, client site). I’m experimenting with a makeshift standing desk at the moment, and quite enjoying it.

(I suspect Health & Safety will make me swap it for something more professional and less flammable soon.)

What do you listen to while you work?
I’m feeling nostalgic at the moment so a little Sunscreem and Manadalay. Of the more current artists, I probably find The XX and Hot Chip easiest to work to.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
Aside from snippets and auto-completion in SQL editors, a lot of time is saved using the Chrome Developer tools or the Firebug extension in Firefox. I use Paint Shop Pro as my graphics editor of choice for altering the UI. Succeed also makes use of Jenkins for automating some of the infrastructure tasks.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
App Designer shows who updated each object last, but doesn’t do the same for PeopleCode. If you want to know who has been messing with your carefully crafted code then query PSPCMPROG for the last Update OPRID and Date/Time.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Probably checking PSACCESSLOG to see who is using the system. I’m sure you can achieve a live version of this using WSLT but haven’t found the time to implement it yet.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
It would be nice if PeopleSoft style sheets were parameterised in the style of Sass or Less. Then the UI could be changed in a heartbeat.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I’d like to think I keep my finger on the pulse pretty well.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
There’s nothing you can’t achieve if you have a great team around you.



1. akismet-9e11c5321a3f69903a7b2192aeb5a065 - October 24, 2012

I’ve seen the standing desks as part of a treadmill unit but never though about just standing to work like that.

2. Leandro Baca - November 4, 2012

Note that starting from PT 8.50 or 8.51 (don’t recall which), App Designer shows you the last updated date/time and user for PeopleCode.

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