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I’m Wade ‘Smart Panda’ Coombs and this is how I work October 20, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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Next up in our ‘How I Work‘ series is Wade ‘Smart Panda’ Coombs. Wade is one of the most prolific bloggers currently sharing their PeopleSoft knowledge. He writes at his thesmartpanda.com website and has a lot of great content – particularly focusing on SSL certs, Change Assistant, server admin, SES and Weblogic. Wade also has a ‘Smart Thinking’ newsletter (this is the current issue, including a sign-up link).

Wade

Name: Wade Coombs (a.k.a The Smart Panda)

Occupation: Owner at The Smart Panda
Location: St Thomas, Ontario, Canada.
Current computer: HP Envy & Eurocom X3
Current mobile devices: iPhone 5 & iPad Air 2
I work: To help clients make their systems work for them, there should be no pain when operating an Enterprise system. Seriously it shouldn’t be painful – no really!

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

  • Software: UltraEdit, Beyond Compare, Bitvise SSH Client, Notepad (I know)
  • SQL, VPN & Mobile Hotspots
  • My Private Cloud Servers

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I do love my iPhone’s GPS system, but one of my favourite tools I have is my WebEx account.

What’s your workspace like?
I tend to get stuck on my computer for long periods of time so I typically change every day where I am working from, some days I don’t even get out of bed and some days I don’t get to bed, but any place that can hold my coffee and computer – I am good to go.

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What do you listen to while you work?
I have a huge musical collection that covers 60’s country to Opera to the soundtracks of Disney (yes I have a daughter) to all the latest music trends. However most days all I hear are my daughter singing and/or my son playing Minecraft.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?

  • PeopleTools: Change Assistant, App Designer, Data Mover
  • SQL Tools: SQL Developer & SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio)
  • Browsers: Firefox & Chrome
  • Microsoft Office: Excel, Word & Visio
  • SSL tools: Portecle, openSSL, keytool

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
When it comes to PeopleSoft – experience is worth its weight in gold. There is a lot of assumed knowledge and unless you have worked with it, you will go down some dark roads.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I have an entire script for refreshing a database, but I often find myself doing updates to PSOPRDEFN & PSACCESSPRFL and:

  • grant select on PSOPRDEFN to people;
  • grant select on PSACCESSPRFL to people;
  • grant select on PSTATUS to people;

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
If anything, I would remove some of the crazy unnecessary stuff like: COBOL, nVision, Crystal (actually finally going away). The PeopleTools are extremely well written and work very well, so having all these crazy 3rd party programs makes it hard to be knowledgeable in all the areas. I believe in the KISS methodology.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
In 20 years of PeopleSoft and 30 years of database work, I have seen just about everything. I have a unique ability in taking that knowledge and applying it to the next latest and greatest thing and achieving amazing results for my clients.  Today, we focus on hosting environments for clients with SmartHosting or with client hardware either way we have found the complexity of PeopleSoft has increased to such a level that it is more cost and time effective to outsource to experts that can deliver the results clients demand.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be Authentic. People have an amazing ability to smell bulls*$t, so do what you say you are going to do and do it to the best of your ability.

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