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I’m Rob Swailes and this is how I work February 16, 2021

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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It’s long overdue to run a fresh batch of profiles in the ‘how I work‘ series and I’m delighted one of Version 1’s newest PeopleSoft Techs – Rob Swailes – has agreed to be profiled. This is especially good timing as Rob is speaking at the PeopleSoft Innovation Summit that’s running Weds and Thurs this week. Here’s a link to his session and to register if you’ve not already signed up.

Name: Rob Swailes

Occupation: PeopleSoft Lead Technical Consultant at Version 1
Location: York, UK
Current computer: HP EliteBook 840 G5 (Work, underpowered laptop), MSi GS63VR 7RG with 32GB (For the real work!)
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S9+
I work: Because I need to, although I enjoy what I do and work can even be fun sometimes. I am a creative person at heart and therefore I am under no illusion that if life allowed it, I would be exploring new ideas and innovations rather than building new pages and App Engines. I wouldn’t leave the PeopleSoft arena as I have loads of cool ideas that I just can’t find the time to build.

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

  • Beyond Compare – What else is there when you are finding those old SQR customisations.
  • Oracle Virtualbox – Such a great way to get your own PS environment on my laptop ( I know I should be using cloud!).
  • Postman – Brilliant tool for those who wish to experiment in the world of APIs.
  • Notepad++ – Because I still code my Java old school.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Last year I bought a Snapmaker V2.0 all in one 3D printer, laser engraver and CNC. I have to say it is amazing. As a Yorkshireman, (who are known for being tight with their money), I love being able to say, “We don’t need to buy that, I’ll just print one!”. My brain conveniently forgets the initial cost of the printer.

What’s your workspace like?
For 19 years it was mostly at client sites, away from home, but after joining Version 1 the emphasis was a lot more on working remotely from home. Then Covid 19 hit and now I spend most of my life in my office. I tend to have any number of laptops on the desk at one time, with my own, work and usually a client all in use. Add to that the kids’ gadgets constantly being charged and I would say my office gets a little cluttered.

I do have an alternative as just before the pandemic broke out, I built a shed and I spent many weekends fully insulating, carpeting and installing a full off-grid solar generation and heating. So, like all men of a certain age, when life seem a little hectic I can retire to the sanctuary of my shed.

What do you listen to while you work?
I’ve always been a huge fan of R.E.M, growing up with amazing albums such as Out of Time and Automatic for the People. But I am fairly fluid with my listening habits, finding something to suit the way I am feeling each day.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
I am fairly standard when it comes to PeopleSoft development, but I do think that the browser debuggers are vastly overlooked. I do a lot of coding in Javascript and CSS so the debuggers are really useful, but if you want to just find what that field is on a PeopleSoft page, it’s quicker to use the browser element selection than opening the page in App Designer. I like building out PeopleSoft with APIs so Postman is invaluable. I spent a lot of time connecting PeopleSoft to the OCI APIs and Postman was indispensable there as that is a particularly complex authentication requirement.

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

For those that like me use Javascript with their PeopleCode, a great way to communicate from Javascript to PeopleSoft is to use IScripts like a function. Call the IScript from Javascript, then get the IScript to send back the information from PeopleSoft in the Response object. Also the Javascript Fetch function should be your mainstay for calling APIs, it’s an elegant implementation.

fetch(logoutIscriptUrl)
    .then(response =>.text())
    .then(data => { window.top.location = data});

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I’m a developer, so let’s be honest, the most often written code is:

Messagebox(0,””,0,0,”Where is my mistake “| &Here);

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
It’s a little bit strange but I wanted to talk to PeopleSoft, so I have actually implemented this. Hopefully I can show it one day.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I am a keen gardener (but no Alan Titchmarsh) and in the summer months we grow a lot of our own produce. It’s a great way to get your mind off work and you get to appreciate the results of your hard work. I’m a firm believer that there is nothing that we cannot do if we set our minds to it and so I always try to do everything myself, be it felling trees or building raised beds.

How do you keep yourself healthy and happy?
My kids keep me fairly active, certainly my son has me playing football on a regular basis. Since the lockdown here in the UK, our garden is more mud than lawn due to the constant pounding of football boots. I mentioned gardening already and building my shed, so anything practical where you get an actual physical result is always satisfying for a coder who builds intangible things all week long.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I was a keen sprinter at Secondary school and my chemistry teacher, Mr Adams told me, “When things get too much, get out and run. It’s the best way to clear your head”. Who would have known that years later Forrest Gump would get the same advice! I still use the advice today, although I’m a little slower.

Comments»

1. John Stratman - February 19, 2021

I attended Rob’s Innovation Summit webinar and it was absolutely OUTSTANDING! I plan to implement everything he presented and more. Thank you for the introduction to Push Notification Framework.


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