jump to navigation

I’m Brad Carlson and this is how I work July 4, 2018

Posted by Duncan in How I work.

This week we’re featuring another of the mainstays from the PSAdmin.io slack community  – Brad Carlson. He is a regular in the community and another member of the seemingly endless ‘PeopleSoft Minnesota Mafia’. Brad is a frequent guest on their PodCast talking about his IB Monitor tool and discussing the highly efficient application of CPU patches. I’m thrilled that he has added his profile to our ‘How I Work‘ series.



Name: Brad Carlson

Occupation: Oracle DBA/PeopleSoft Admin
Location: Lino Lakes, MN
Current computer:
At work:
Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD with 24” and 17” Dell Monitors

At home:
Macbook Air 13”, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and
AMD Ryzen 1600x, 8GB RAM, 256GB/4TB (Media PC)

Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy s5. Yes, it’s old, but it still works.
I work: Intently

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

  • TOAD and SQLDeveloper for sure.  Each has their strengths.
  • UltraEdit/UltraCompare
  • Visio
  • PowerPoint

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Probably our Keurig.

What’s your workspace like?
It’s nothing fancy, but it works for me. I’ve got a space for my Surface, a 24” Dell monitor as my primary screen, and a 10+ year old 17” Dell monitor to the side which hasn’t been turned on in a very long time. My cube walls are plastered with pictures of my wife and son, along with various artwork my son has produced over the years (DD: plus a picture of Bill Murray, it seems!). It’s a bit cluttered at times, but I try not to let it get too out of hand before I straighten things up.



What do you listen to while you work?
Almost anything, except Country. I have playlists that range from Bach to Fleetwood Mac to Slayer, sometimes even in that order. You’ll find lots of Metal (Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Linkin Park, etc) and Industrial (Ministry, NIN, etc) bands in my music collection, and I find those keep me energized at work.

I’m also a big fan of Rob Scallon’s unique covers, and will stream some of those from YouTube periodically.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
Honestly, I am not in App Designer much anymore. I still use Change Assistant and Data Mover occasionally.

Most of my admin work would be more on the server side, so psadmin is a frequent tool. When I wear my DBA hat, I spend most of my time in TOAD, SQLDeveloper, and OEM.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?

Do not ignore Set ID
Or Business Unit.

Sorry… I guess a Haiku is 3 lines.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
It might sound crazy, but I love tuning SQL. If we have performance issues with code, I’m usually game for taking a look.

I enjoy writing SQL/scripts to automate common tasks. We’re really into automation here at the University of Minnesota. A personal favorite was building a process to refresh a full PeopleSoft environment by issuing a single command.

I also try to find time to build tools, like the IB Monitor, to help the teams here. I tend to gravitate to Java for those.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Even though I don’t use the tools much anymore, I’ve been wondering why PeopleSoft hasn’t moved the Application Designer functions into the online application.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Being me. Hands down. It’s not as easy as it might look.

How do you keep yourself healthy and happy?
I still play hockey twice a week (all year) as a goalie.

I also enjoy bowhunting and going to the archery range with my son. In fact, it’s that passion which led to my writing an application for hunters (GameTracker: The Hunting App on Android and iOS). Developing that was a fun learning experience.

Travel with my wife and son also keeps me pretty happy. We typically do a vacation each year, and it usually involves the outdoors/hiking.

At home, we have a koi pond in our back yard. The sound of the waterfall, and the tranquillity of the pond are very relaxing.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My dad always told me, “Work with your brain, not your back”.

%d bloggers like this: