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I’m Colton Fischer and this is how I work December 12, 2016

Posted by Duncan in How I work.
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The next profile in our ‘How I Work‘ series is Colton Fischer. Colton is one of the crop of new PeopleSoft bloggers bursting on the scene during 2016. His PeopleSoft Mods blog is a treasure trove of great content and if you’ve not been there before it’s worth scrolling back through Colton’s historical posts – as he doesn’t just look at existing delivered functionality but extends PeopleSoft in ways that it’s clear to see the business benefit, frequently explaining how you can get the same results.

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Name: Colton Fischer

Occupation: Application Developer at the University of Houston
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Current computer: My desktop is a Dell Optiplex 9020 and my laptop is a Dell Precision 3510
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S5
I work: Eagerly

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Snipping Tool – Helpful tool for when I need a quick screenshot to document or demonstrate something
VPN Client and Remote Desktop – I don’t work from home too much, but this is a lifesaver when I forget some files on my machine at the office
YouTube Mobile App – I am more of a visual learner, so I enjoy watching educational YouTube videos on my phone when I have some down time
ESPN Mobile App – Allows me keep up with collegiate and professional sports

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I’d have to say my coffee maker. That thing gets me through each morning because I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my coffee.

What’s your workspace like?
I would say that my workspace is pretty basic. I will admit that it is not normally as clean as it is in this picture. Most of the work I do happens on my desktop computer. I use my laptop for running personal demo systems to do “experimental” development on. I also use the systems on my laptop when I do development that requires constant app and web server bounces so that I don’t bother anyone else.

desk

What do you listen to while you work?
I enjoy most all genres of music, but what I listen to while I work relies heavily on the type of work that I am doing. If I am doing something that requires me to think hard, I listen to soft acoustic guitar songs. If I don’t need to think too hard, then I mostly find myself listening to metal rock, punk rock, and occasionally dubstep.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
I have App Designer, SQL Developer, and Chrome windows open at all times. I like to use Chrome add-ons or other web-based productivity apps. I use Advanced REST client for Chrome when I need to work with web services. When I need to quickly view some unformatted XML, I use an online XML viewer to format it for me. I often work with base64 encoded values, so I use an online base64 decoder to obtain the decoded values. I also use the Chrome DevTools to view the source behind fields on PeopleSoft pages.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
I am not sure how well-known this is, but I recently discovered that meta-HTML can be used in the message catalog. Using meta-HTML (or even regular HTML) in messages can allow for some cool configuration-based functionality.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I usually write queries on the security tables that deal with roles and permission lists. However, here lately I have been writing some queries on the PSACCESSLOG and PSPTLOGINAUDIT tables. There is some really interesting information in these tables from a security perspective.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
I would like to see some built-in functionality to make it easier to identify sensitive data (bank account numbers, SSNs, etc.) fields in PeopleSoft.  It would be nice if the field definitions that are used to store\display sensitive data would have a setting to distinguish the level of sensitivity.  Having this information stored in the meta-data tables would allow for the ability to easily write queries to determine where in the application sensitive data is being exposed.  This would, in- turn allow for PeopleSoft security administrators to more effectively secure their PeopleSoft applications.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I am not sure if I am better than anyone at this, but I am good at time management and not procrastinating.

How do you keep yourself healthy and happy?
I enjoy playing golf and tennis when I have someone available to play with. When I am solo and I want to do something physical, I usually go skateboarding. Something else that keeps me happy (but not so healthy) is playing Xbox.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I’ve received is to start each day fresh and with a clean slate regardless of how the previous day went.  It’s easy to carry struggles and frustrations with us from day to day, but it only hinders your productivity and outlook.

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