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I’m Sasank Vemana and this is how I work March 9, 2016

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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The next profile in our ‘How I Work‘ series is Sasank Vemana. Sasank burst onto the PeopleSoft blogging scene in 2014 with his Sasank’s PeopleSoft Log site, and has been adding entries at a ferocious pace since. He is probably best known for his series of posts on altering the PeopleSoft branding to make it match a corporate palette, as well as configuration and code changes related to UI/UX.

I met Sasank at OOW15 and he’s a lovely chap. He has given some great responses to the questions. I’d love to know how he persuaded his employer to give him 4 monitors and about his use of dual mice!

Name: Sasank Vemana

Occupation: PeopleSoft/Enterprise Technology
Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Current computer:
Desktop: Dell Optiplex 9020 (Windows 7, Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM)
Laptop: Dell LATITUDE | E6530 (Windows 7, Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM)
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S4. Yes – That reminds me I need an upgrade!
I work: To solve problems.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Google is my friend and my portal to everything. I try not to overload myself with information, which I know I can find. Google search helps me find what I am looking for. On a side note, I use Whatsapp and FaceBook to keep in touch with my family and friends who are scattered in different parts of the world. I also use S Health app to keep track of my physical activities and monitor my health.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Not a big gadget fan! I can live without them as long as I have a good internet connection, which seems to be the most important thing for me these days. With that, I can do my reading, research and also remote to any of my computers (if needed) regardless of the device. Same goes with entertainment – Netflix, Spotify, etc.

What’s your workspace like?
Over the past year and a half, I have been using a standing desk at work, thanks to my current employers who were kind enough to allow me to rearrange my workspace. When I am at work and not in meetings, I try to stand as much as possible and use a bar stool when I tend to get tired. Occasionally, I also just sit down with my laptop wherever I find space. The four monitor desktop setup helps tremendously when I have multiple applications running. I also have two mice and try to switch between my left and right hand. I am ambidextrous so it works for me (I will not recommend this otherwise!).

Sasank Vemana - How I Work - Picture 1

Standing desk, 4 monitors and dual mice

Sasank Vemana - How I Work - Picture 2

What do you listen to while you work?
Usually, I am zoned into whatever I am doing and mostly oblivious to events around me. I don’t listen to music while I am at work these days. At times, I listen to live cricket or tennis commentary if anything I care about is going on. A set of Bose noise canceling headphones has long been on my wish list (in case Santa is reading!).

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
Oracle Virtual Box/PUM Images – My savior for evaluation, experimentation and proof of concept purposes.
Web Services: SoapUI, Postman (Chrome Add-On)
Web Development: Browser based Developer Tools (Chrome/Firefox/IE), DOM/StyleSheets/JavaScripts Explorers, Device Emulators, etc., Fiddler, Live HTTP Headers (Firefox Add-On)
Text Editors/Journals: Notepad++, Programmer’s File Editor (PFE), WinMerge, Evernote
DB Tools: Golden (for the most part since it is light weight and does not hog resources), SQL Developer (for some activities), OEM – Oracle Enterprise Manager
Screen Capture/Recording: SnagIt and Jing (short videos) are great for communication

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Tracing tip: Use PeopleCode – 2048 (Show Each), SQL – 3 (Statement, Bind). This gives us every line of code and SQL that executed in sequence without all the other clutter which is not always useful especially when we are just trying to understand the logic.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Generally speaking, queries on PeopleTools metadata tables. E.g.: PSAUTHITEM (security related queries), PSPRSMDEFN (portal navigation queries), etc.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
I would add/implement a log aggregation and mining utility. I have spent many hours combing through log files distributed across different servers. It would be great to see something that aggregates all server logs and provides mining capabilities (regex and/or free-form search). After attending Oracle OpenWorld 2015, I understand that PeopleTools 8.55 has some new features – as part of Health Center – that might assist with logs. I look forward to evaluating this functionality!

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Probably exploring! Although, I would be careful not to say that I am better at it than others. I just find myself doing that a lot without worrying about getting lost. It might seem like a wasteful effort at times but it is a natural way of learning for me.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
These are not really advice received from someone but some of my favorite quotes that I can think of right now:
– Learn to profit from your losses.
– Don’t make decisions during a storm.
– A manager gets work done through people whereas a leader inspires people to meet shared goals.
– And miles to go before I sleep.

I’m Dan Iverson and this is how I work January 26, 2016

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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Next up in our ‘How I Work‘ series is Dan Iverson. Dan – together with partner-in-crime Kyle – runs the PSAdmin.io blog. If you’re a PeopleSoft administrator and connected to the Internet then there’s no doubt that you’ll have heard of their blog as they’re really prolific and have posted some great content. Clearly blogging wasn’t enough however, and there is now the PeopleSoft Administrator PodCast which is ~45 minutes of topical awesomeness. I didn’t think it was possible to have an entertaining PodCast on PeopleSoft Administration, but Dan and Kyle manage it!

Dan_Profile

 

Name: Dan Iverson

Occupation: Independent PeopleSoft Consultant, co-host of The PeopleSoft Administrator Podcast, and Staff Sergeant/Team Leader with the 147th Army Band.
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Current computer: When I’m at home, my primary machine is a 27” iMac with a second 27” monitor attached. I recently upgraded to 32GB of RAM and can now run 3-4 VM’s at once. When I’m not at my desk, I use a MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM. Both machines have VMWare Fusion to run Windows (when I have to).
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6, iPad Mini, Apple Watch
I work: Because I enjoy challenges and enterprise software is full of them! I love to help people get through those challenges and want to leave a client better off than when I arrived.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I’m a Mac guy but PeopleTools doesn’t support Mac OS X so I have to live in the Windows world too. (There was an internal build of App Designer that ran on Mac OS 9, but it never shipped). These are my favorite apps for Windows, OS X and iOS.

For Windows:

  • Beyond Compare – it saves so much time when working with patches, finding file differences, moving configuration between files, etc. It’s easily the first software I install on a new machine.
  • Remote Desktop Connection Manager – working as an admin in a Windows shop means remoting into lots of servers that don’t support SSH. RDCM makes it easier to jump between sessions and save passwords and other settings. It’s a Microsoft product that’s a free download and I’m surprised it’s not included with the Admin tools.
  • Sublime Text – my go-to text editor for Windows and Mac. Sublime Text has a large plug-in community that makes the editor great for all languages. We use Markdown for our wiki at work, and for the blog, so I do most of my writing in Sublime Text because it has great Markdown plug-ins.
  • Password Safe – the only password I need to remember is our master password. There is no need to remember passwords anymore since we keep everything locked down in our safe.
  • SQL Developer – I started using SQL Developer because it was cheaper than Toad, but it has become my favorite Oracle SQL client.
  • Instiki – this is our wiki at work where we document anything PS Admin related. I keep my daily log in the wiki too, so I can reference articles as I document what I work on each day. Instiki is a simple Ruby on Rails-based wiki. It has very few features, but that’s what I like about it.
  • Synergy – a network KVM. It’s cross platform too, so I can use my iMac to control my Macbook Pro and any client laptops I might need all from the iMac’s keyboard and mouse.

For Mac OS X:

  • OmniFocus – I track all of my projects (work and home), tasks, to-do lists, and even passing thoughts in OmniFocus. I (kind of) follow the Getting Things Done methodology (GTD) for managing my daily work, and OmniFocus was built to support GTD. There is a great iPhone app for OmniFocus too. Anytime I have a thought I write it down and deal with it in OmniFocus.
  • iTerm – my default terminal on the Mac. I have a shortcut (Cntl-Optn-Space) mapped to the window so I can open a command line window anywhere I’m working.
  • VMWare Fusion – my main VM platform on my Macs. I use VMWare to run all my Windows VM’s and love it. I also use VirtualBox, but only when I run a PUM Image. With PeopleTools 8.55, Oracle will support other VM platforms for the Images so I plan on moving those to VMWare Fusion in the future.
  • Evernote – any non-client documentation, files, notes, etc are logged in Evernote. We use a shared Evernote notebook to plan the podcast episodes.
  • Dropbox – it just works. Any files that I want stored on more than 1 computer are put in Dropbox. Simple as that.
  • Slack – great for communicating with a team. For me, it has replaced Lync/Skype for IM but also has great team chat capabilities.
  • Sublime Text – same as the Windows app. It’s a great text editor.
  • Synergy – it’s worth mentioning twice.

For my iPhone:

  • OmniFocus and Evernote – synced with my Macs
  • TweetBot – a great Twitter client
  • Overcast – for listening to podcasts
  • Apple Music – made the switch from Spotify, but both services have a great selection of music
  • Instapaper – to read articles that I find but don’t have time to read during the day

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
A pair of headphones. I listen to music when I’m working and podcasts when I’m driving, mowing the yard or working out. When I’m at my desk, I have a set of Bose QC15’s. They are comfortable, have good sound and I like the noise cancellation. When I’m not at my desk, I use JayBird BlueBuds X wireless bluetooth headphones.

What’s your workspace like?
Currently, I am working from home (love it) and have a nice view of the yard from the office. I have an iMac and 2nd monitor on the desk. I run my Windows VM on the right monitor (an OS X workspace) and use the left monitor for Mac apps. I use the workspaces features on OS X to keep my apps logically organized. For example, Evernote and OmniFocus share a workspace, Mail and Slack in a workspace, and Safari or Chome in a 3rd.

Dan_Workspace

I had a treadmill desk and absolutely loved it, but we recently moved and haven’t set it up yet. It took about a day to get used to walking (about 1.2-1.5 miles per hour) and typing/mousing. Now that I’m working from home again it’s probably time to set it up. When I used the treadmill desk daily, I felt great and lost 20 pounds!

Working from home has so many advantages, but there are challenges. Staying in communication with coworkers is the biggest challenge; you have to work hard at communicating. The tech team adopted Slack during the last upgrade. Slack became our “water cooler” for everyone. All of our conversations happened on Slack. And since Slack saves past conversations, you could go back and catch up on the day’s discussions so you didn’t feel out of the loop. Even when people were in the office we’d still use Slack instead of popping into people’s cubes.

What do you listen to while you work?
I like most musical styles (except for country). I really enjoy the Interstellar, Dark Knight, and other Hans Zimmer soundtracks. Movie and video game soundtracks are great for helping me focus. I might listen to Emimen if I’m working late, and you can also catch me listening to Sonny Rollins or Maynard Ferguson too.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
These are my favorites:

  • TraceMagic – it helps you dig into trace files and is free from Oracle
  • Trace2SQL – it takes a trace file with SQL and creates a runnable .sql file with the parameters populated from the trace
  • SQL Developer
  • Password Safe

I keep a larger list updated on psadmin.io.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”. It’s okay to not have an answer, but use that opportunity to learn something new and come back with an answer.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Lately,
select * from PS_PTSF_DEPLOY_OBJ;
followed by
delete from PS_PTSF_DEPLOY_OBJ where …;
(That’s SQL to find and delete deployed objects in the Search Framework tables.)

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Puppet support is coming to 8.55, so that takes care of one wish list item. The next change I’d like to see is an easier way to share code and projects. Currently, you have to copy/paste code to sites like GitHub. It’s hard to share projects/code using the current project format without manual intervention.

I would also love to see an option to export PeopleCode to a text file and use a YAML-type file to define component, record, AE, et al, objects. That would still describe the structure of PeopleTools objects but support common version control tools like Git and Mercurial (and GitHub too). There are many opportunities to share common modifications or bolt-on’s and using sites like GitHub to share the code would only benefit the PeopleSoft development community.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I can solve a Rubik’s Cube under 2 minutes while holding a conversation. I also play the trombone in a US Army Band.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on doing good work and everything else will follow.

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.

FullSizeRender

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.

I’m Graham Smith and this is how I work August 31, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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I’m genuinely delighted that Graham Smith has added his profile to our ‘How I Work‘ series. Not just because he’s one of the World’s best known PeopleSoft experts, or just because he’s recently joined Cedar’s family of PeopleSoft consultants, but mainly because I was sure he’d give some really interesting answers.

For those who don’t know Graham, he led the PeopleSoft Technical Team at Oxfam for longer than he’d want me to reveal, before his recent move to Cedar where many more customers can now benefit from his talents. He’s also an Oracle ACE Director, Chair of the UKOUG PeopleSoft Tech Committee, multi-occasion OOW speaker (including this year), runs a well-known PeopleSoft blog and is a thoroughly nice chap.

Graham Smith

Name: Graham Smith

Occupation: I work for Cedar Consulting specialising in PeopleSoft.  I get involved in design, development, infrastructure, integration, project management and dreaming up new ideas and solutions.
Location: I live and work in the wonderful, university city of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Current computer: Dell E5550 but a lot of my work is done on cloud based machines.
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S6 running Android Lollipop (5.0.2) and a Moto G – Android (5.0.2)
I work: Enthusiastically

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
1) ClipCache – This is my number 1 application and I’ve come to rely heavily on it. This simple PC tool remembers EVERYTHING I copy into the Windows clipboard. I can search and organise every clip that’s ever hit my clipboard.

2) Beyond Compare – One of the best folder and file compare tools around. Since v3, Beyond Compare has supported 3 way compare. Great for comparing old-demo with new-patched-demo alongside your customised code. Also indispensable for keeping web, app and batch server file systems in synch.

3) UltraEdit – Simply the best text editor I know. Has a PeopleCode and SQR syntax highlighter and can be easily programmed to be aware of app and batch server cfg files. There are free editors (like Notepad++) but none of them come close to this superbly engineered editor.

4) SQL formatter – For those monster SQL statements.

5) soapUI – Superb web service testing tool.

6) Fiddler – http proxy to help discover what your browser is sending and receiving.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I don’t need gadgets… unless you include my glasses (can’t read without them).

What’s your workspace like?
When I’m working at home my office is an old converted shed at the bottom of my garden. This is my commute to work:

My desk is a £20 refurb from Emmaus and has on it the following items….. a toy train, a model of an ancient cedar tree from Lebanon, an old PeopleSoft clock, a ruler from the 1980’s that can measure dots-per-inch, a Hot-Wheels car, a copy of Jim Marion’s PeopleTools: Tips & Techniques, an OTN members badge, a signed copy of PeopleSoft for the Oracle DBA by Dave Kurtz, a photo of my wife and kids, 2 bags of Fair Trade coffee, a fan and a Netgear hub. I hear every train that passes by as the main line to London is only 20 metres away.

What do you listen to while you work?
Quite happy with silence…. but I often switch on Radio 2 or UCB Radio later in the day. When I worked at Oxfam I sat opposite my friend Steve who has an alarming 120db sneeze although the Class 43 diesels doing 125mph close to my home office are a good substitute.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
1) I write and debug a lot of SQL and find SQL Pretty Printer from Gudu Software very helpful. There’s a standalone version that works with SQL from most platforms and one that’s very nicely integrated into Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Essential for navigating long complex statements.

2) I also think the Google Chrome PS Utilities extension from Uffe Graakjae is a useful tool for developers and analysts.

3) The Application Designer Debugger is a very useful tool, often overlooked and underused. Don’t wait until you need this before you set up the infrastructure to support it.

4) TraceMagic from Oracle Support Team is very useful for navigating heavily nested code in trace files.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
My tip is more of an observation.  “All system failures are caused by the things that we put in place to protect us from system failures”.  Test this …. and you’ll find it’s true – most of the time.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I find myself querying PeopleTools meta-data most often.  This is at the heart of what makes PeopleSoft applications so successful, agile and extensible.  Genius software engineering!

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Code completion for PeopleCode in Application Designer.  It’s partially there in 8.54 it just needs to support Application Package Classes and Methods. Also, how about adding a visual object explorer into Application Designer for delivered and custom objects and app packages.  At a glance, you could see what methods, properties, functions, variables were defined in a code window.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Oh my. Hard question. I can balance on one leg on an empty coke can.  Does that count?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Love the Lord God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbour as yourself.

I’m Javier Delgado and this is how I work July 13, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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July’s entry in the ‘How I Work’ series is PeopleSoft Blogger Javier Delgado. Javier is a PeopleSoft consultant and manages the PeopleSoft Practice at BNB (Business Network Builders). Javier has been writing on his ‘Javier’s PeopleSoft blog‘ site since 2007, however it’s only in the last couple of years that he’s started posting really regularly. In fact his 24 posts in 2015 probably make him last year’s most prolific blogger. We often link to his posts from the PeopleSoft Weekly as he posts on great topics, including Cloud deployments, upgrading with zero downtime and doing cool things with Integration Broker. Javier can be followed on Twitter here: @javierdelgado

Javier_Delgado

Name: Javier Delgado

Occupation: PeopleSoft Practice Manager at BNB
Location: Madrid, Spain
Current computer: MacBook Pro 13” (8GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S5, Apple iPad 2, Amazon Kindle
I work: as a consultant, or practice leader, or project manager. Whatever is needed within the circumstances. Although my main responsibility is being the leader of the PeopleSoft and Cloud practices at BNB, I still prefer the hands on work.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I use PeopleBooks as a constant reference source, in particular the API and Language Reference books. I also refer to them when learning a new module or functionality (lately I’ve been playing a bit with REST services and P-Card features in Purchasing).

For issue resolution on non open parts of PeopleSoft, Google search and My Oracle Support are always of great information.

Lately, I’ve been using Feedly and Twitter lists as a source for research. I save any item that interests me in Pocket and future actions to be taken in Trello boards. Virtualization, and VirtualBox in particular is a great way to practice in a controlled sandbox environment.

Finally, I extensively use Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides and other plugin applications) to produce deliverables collaborating with the rest of the team. Earlier this year I uninstalled Microsoft Office from my machine. Will I survive?

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
It is not a gadget in all its forms, but I can’t live without books. When reading literature, I prefer printed books, while I normally read technical books using my Kindle. Don’t ask me why I make this distinction. It just happens.

What’s your workspace like?
Normally a mess. This has motivated me to get rid of paper as much as I can. In the last year or so, I always took notes using my Macbook Pro. This is the only way I can be sure of not losing my notes. On top of it, my workspace is much tidier.

20150223_151210

What do you listen to while you work?
I very rarely listen to music while working, mostly when there is too much environmental noise. In such cases, I normally use a classical music playlist I have in Spotify.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
My preferred tool is tracing. I’ve always found PeopleSoft traces very information and normally use it almost for every issue I need to diagnose. More importantly, it is very reliable: if it is not in the trace, it didn’t happen.

Lately I have been playing around with some custom Javascript within PeopleSoft pages. Google Chrome seems to have the best debugging console for web applications. I guess I will be using it more and more with the advent of the new Fluid user interface.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Inspecting the HTML pages is a great way to identify fields and then map them to record fields, but this was also shared by others in this same space.

One thing I found particularly useful lately are the Query Access Services than enable third party access to queries through web services. Once you got the integration done for one query, it is very easy to extend to further ones. The potential for quickly delivering web services to third party applications is great.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Definitely the Effective Date subquery. %EffDtCheck meta sql has helped a lot, but it still does not work as expected for the JOB table, as it would include EFFSEQ as a join in the subquery used to retrieve the maximum EFFDT.

On top of that, I use the database specific functionality to create working tables based on a query (CREATE TABLE AS in Oracle and SELECT INTO in SQL Server).

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Quite a few, mostly around Application Designer. From my point of view, this was a great IDE more than a decade ago, but it has not evolved as other IDEs used for Java and Javascript development. It is still a very productive tool, but there are a few features that would make it better.

One way would be to enable third party developers to produce plugins to complement Application Designer features. With thisability, it would not take too long before programming tools such as versioning, lint and refactoring were made available to the PeopleSoft community at no cost.

On the other hand, and although I think Fluid is a great step forward, it almost made the page design redundant. True, we still use pages with group boxes to set the responsive divs in our Fluid pages, but it seems to me a rather complex way of doing things. This is probably out of the bounds of this answer, but I see room for a new paradigm, pretty much a PeopleSoft 8 compared to previous versions. Unfortunately, I don’t think Oracle has the same plans in mind.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I have a quite broad knowledge of PeopleSoft architecture, development and functionality. This is purely based in that I always wanted to work with software. In other words, I love what I do, and I don’t think there is a better fuel than passion.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my literature teacher in my last year at high school. He was giving the grades of the previous exam to the final one. He first addressed the people who had passed the exam by inches, telling them to make a bigger effort for the final exam. Then, he told the ones having the best grades: “you should make an even bigger effort, as there is no shorter path for mediocrity than self complacency. Always believe in yourselves, but always doubt, as doubt will protect you from self complacency.” There is a bit lost in translation from Spanish, but I hope I made the idea clear.

I’m Iouri Chadour and this is how I work May 20, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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May’s entry in the ‘How I Work’ series is PeopleSoft Blogger Iouri “Yury” Chadour. Yury has been sharing his knowledge on his Working Scripts blog for 7 years, so is a valuable and consistent member of our community. Yury’s site is full of tips, particularly new tools to try and techniques ‘around the edges’ of PeopleSoft.  Thanks, and keep up the good work Yury!

profile_pic_blogger

Name: Iouri Chadour

Occupation: Vice President at Lazard Freres
Location: In the office in midtown NYC
Current computer: At work I use either standard Lenovo laptop or my VM client, my own machine is Lenovo X1 Carbon
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad Air 2, Kindle Fire (Original)
I work: best when I have a set goal in mind – I like being able to check off my achievements from the list (more on that below.) As many others fellow bloggers have mentioned – challenge and ability to learn new things on the job are very important as well.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I use all of these Software Development Tools:

Application Designer
Notepad++ with lots of plugins PeopleCode user Defined language, Compare, AutoSave, NppExport, Explorer to name a few
Firefox with Firebug, AdBlock and Hootsuite
Feedly – this my main tool for following all the blogs and keeping up to date on the news
LastPass – very convenient password management for desktop and phone
KeePass – open source password manager
Toad for Oracle 12
Oracle jDeveloper
Aptana Studio
PeopleSoft TraceMagic
Wunderlist – Android app and Desktop for Taks Management
Microsoft Project or Project Libre
MS Excel
Greenshot Screen Capture
SnagIT
Gimp – basic image editing

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I like my original Kindle Fire – I use it for reading more than any other device.

What’s your workspace like?
workspace

What do you listen to while you work?
Listening really depends on the mood at time of the day. I mostly use Slacker Radio to listen to everything from contemporary and classic jazz, Classical to Parisian Electro and House music.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?

App Designer
PeopleSoft Query Client for writing queries
Toad 12
Notepad++ to write and examine code and logs
TraceMagic for more advanced log review
Firefox with Firebug for HTML and JavaScript issues
On occasion Aptana Studio for JavaScript and HTML

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
If I am stuck with a very difficult problem and can’t seem to find a good solution – I usually leave it and do something else – at some point the solution or a correct directions usually comes to my mind on it’s own.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Since I work with a lot of Financials Modules so everything related to those modules. I do also write some tools related SQLs when I need to examine Process Scheduler tables.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Code completion and Code/Project navigator – I use Notepad++ for now.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I do not think I do something in particular better than anyone else, but I believe that I can be more efficient about some things than some of the people.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My family and my friends provided me with a lot of advice and support and I am greatly thankful for them being present in my life. But I do like the following quote:
“The more things that you read , the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

I’m Mark Heppell and this is how I work April 20, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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Next up in the 2015 ‘How I work‘ series is Mark Heppell. Mark is one of Cedar’s longest serving employees having been with us for 16 years. As a consequence he’s been on almost all our client sites, so he’s one of our better known and most beloved consultants.

Mark is one of Cedar’s key PeopleSoft developers and is one of the first people that we all turn to when there’s something beyond our abilities. He’s currently waist deep in some great looking Fluid work (I’ve had a sneak peak).

Profile

Name: Mark Heppell

Occupation: Lead Technical Consultant
Location: Home office, Marlow, UK
Current computer: Dell Latitude E5520 laptop and Acer Aspire X3400 desktop
Current mobile devices: iPhone 4, iPad Air

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I love any home automation gadgets.  I’ve got solar panels automatically turning on immersion heaters and everything in the lounge is controlled from my iPad.  It’s kind of an insurance policy, because without me, my wife can’t turn on the TV and would be sitting in darkness.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I’m not sure if it’s actually a gadget but if the broadband ever went down I think my teenage son’s world would end.

What’s your workspace like?
It’s good.  With Remote Desktop and Skype there’s very little need for me to leave my house.  If I get lonely I talk to the bonsai.

WorkPlace

What do you listen to while you work?
At the minute I’m listening to Imagine Dragons, Hozier and AWOLNATION, or I just put on the radio.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
The usual PeopleSoft stuff, App Designer and SQL Developer.  Paint.net if I have to do any graphics, Notepad++ for html and trace files, FileZilla for Unix and ExamDiff for file comparisons.  With the advent of Fluid I seem to be spending more and more time looking at browser developer tools, generally Firebug for day to day stuff and Chrome for mobile device emulation.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
When creating javascript use something along the lines of
javascript:%SubmitScriptName(%FormName,..
or your javascript won’t work when the user clicks the “New Window” link.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Working with HR,
Select * from PS_JOB J where J.EFFDT=(Select Max(J_ED.EFFDT) from ......,
will generally make an appearance a couple of times a week.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Better at than anyone else is a bit of a stretch, but I do seem to end up with the more complicated/abstract client requests.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’m sure my Dad gives me some wonderful advice, but he’s a Geordie and I can only understand 1 in 3 words he says.

I’m William Reynolds and this is How I Work March 3, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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William joined PeopleSoft in November of 1995 as a developer in the Inventory product. Since then he has worked in various roles within the FSCM pillar eventually landing in the Enterprise Architecture group where he straddles the world between PeopleTools and Applications. He currently works with other Architects in each of the pillars on various projects like security, accessibility and PUM.

William

Name: William Reynolds

Occupation: Senior Application Architect, Enterprise Architecture
Location: Home office, Chicago, IL
Current computer: ThinkPad W520 & T430
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Probably the two pieces of software I’d be lost without are LastPass and Xmarks. Keeping track of hundreds of bookmarks along with hundreds of passwords between work and home would be nearly impossible without them. Lately I’ve also been leaning heavily on Notepad++ for various projects.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
When I’m not on my laptop I usually have my iPad handy for email, calendar and web access.

What’s your workspace like?
I’d like to say it’s a clean, modern, calm fortress of solitude but I work from home and have three kids under the age of 12 so its state of clutter really depends on the week. I built a treadmill desk a couple years ago but these days it’s more of a standing desk. Every week you read a new article about sitting versus standing so I try to stand as much as I can during the dozen or so conference calls throughout the week. Walking while working takes some getting used to. Email is pretty easy to get through while in motion but for something like SQL or coding I find I have to be at least standing still if not sitting to really concentrate.

My workspace

What do you listen to while you work?
My tastes run the gambit and usually it depends on what task I’m doing. For things that require some heads down concentration it’s either Brubeck or Sinatra. If I’m cranking through email or pulling together a slide deck then it’s something more peppy like top 40.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
It really just depends on what project I’m working on at the moment.  I prefer Firefox as my browser at work, Notepad++ for text work, and SQL Developer.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Lately SELECT * FROM PSPROJECTITEM;

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
At the moment, my ideal change would be to get rid the Windows dependency in all our client tools.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I would say I have a knack for looking at the big picture and being able to put myself in a customer’s shoes.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Not sure where it came from but “don’t build a Cadillac when what you need is a Honda.”

I’m Alex Lightstone and this is how I work February 16, 2015

Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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First up in the ‘How I work‘ series for 2015 is Alex Lightstone. For those in the UK PeopleSoft marketplace Alex should need no introduction, for everyone else though here’s a brief bio:

Alex spent the 2000’s at Oracle, initially supporting, and then as Product Support Manager for PeopleSoft Global Payroll. When he left Oracle in 2010 there was a battle for his services and we’re very grateful that he selected Cedar where he forms part of our ‘trinity of UK-based GP gurus’ – alongside Bill and Gary. Alex can be frequently found sharing his knowledge at Cedar events, and UKOUG conferences and SIGS. His skills aren’t confined to GP however, and he’s already fixed a few bits of code that I’ve left half-completed (including the Field Watermarks).

Alex

Name: Alex Lightstone

Occupation: Lead Consultant at Cedar Consulting
Location: When not on client site, either home or the Cedar Office (Kings Cross, London)
Current computer: Dell Latitude E6430
Current mobile devices: HTC One (M7), Alcatel 4G USB Dongle
I work: best when I understand exactly what everyone else is doing so I can see the whole picture

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
As long as I have an internet connection I’m happy. I regularly change my browser but am reliant on Microsoft Office applications (yes, even Outlook). I’ve recently discovered Microsoft One Note and now wonder how I ever managed without it. Of course, App Designer, Data Mover and SQL Developer are a big part of my day to day work, as are Citrix, Remote Desktop and various flavours of VPN software when working remotely as needed to connect to client sites. Smartphones are useful but when space and battery power permit I’d rather be hooked up to my laptop with my 4G mobile broadband. Notepad and Paint are useful pieces of software in my opinion – I know there are alternatives but I like to keep it simple. And last but not least … Spotify.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Sat Nav is an absolute but is included with most smartphones these days. I’m happy with my phone and laptop. A smart-watch would be nice but I haven’t bought one yet.

What’s your workspace like?
They say “small is beautiful”, which is just as well in my case. Since the birth of my second child, my workspace has been relegated to a corner of my bedroom.

IMAG0260

What do you listen to while you work?
I have somewhat eclectic tastes when it comes to music. I often listen to music via Google Music or Spotify. Anything goes … rock, classical, dance – it’s all on my playlists.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
I use App Designer, SQL Developer and Notepad (for SQR and COBOL). I occasionally use Firebug or the Chrome Developer Tools to resolve HTML issues. PeopleBooks are useful for reference.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Global Payroll is just a programming language where you don’t write code. Approach it as a programmer and it will make a lot more sense.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Working in the world of payroll, I spend a lot of time querying the payroll results tables (GP_RSLT_XXXX).

SELECT PIN_NUM FROM PS_GP_PIN WHERE PIN_NM=<Element Name> is SQL that I use a lot.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Better error handling – there are too many generic error messages where your only option is to delve into the code to determine the reason for the error.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Teaching myself – it’s how I learnt most of what I know.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The PeopleSoft world is a small place, don’t upset people, you will have to work with them again” – Anonymous

I’m Jim Marion and this is how I work March 25, 2014

Posted by Duncan in How I work.
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Next up in the ‘How I work‘ series is Jim Marion. I suspect that for most reading this Jim will need no introduction, however as I’ve given everyone else a mini-biog I shall do the same for Jim.

Jim is Oracle’s most publicly-facing techie, and I suspect one of it’s most senior technical brains. Jim’s blog – Jim’s PeopleSoft Journal – is one of the (if not ‘the’) most useful and forward thinking PeopleSoft blog(s), and probably the one that gets the most traffic. Jim is a frequent speaker on the US conference circuit where his ‘PeopleTools Tips & Techniques’ sessions are the first ones in many peoples’ agenda planners. Jim is also a published author, with both PeopleTools Tips & Techniques and PeopleTools Data Management and Upgrade Handbook to his name. To top it off, Jim is also a wonderful mix of unfailingly helpful and pretty much always correct.

IMG_8183_150

Name: Jim Marion

Occupation: PeopleSoft Technology Consultant
Location: Home office, Washington State, USA
Current computer: Dell E6420 (OEL 6.4, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
Current mobile devices: HTC Incredible 2, iPad 2, Verizon Fivespot Wireless Hotspot
I work: even when I’m not working

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
My phone and some sort of internet connection are both very important. As a remote worker, if I have internet and a dial tone, I can work from just about anywhere. When traveling, I really enjoy having a few books in my Safari Books Online iPad book bag. As far as productivity apps, here is a list of what I use daily: vim, gedit, VirtualBox, KRDC (remote desktop), jEdit, SQLDeveloper, AppDesigner, JDeveloper, Eclipse, Fiddler, Wireshark, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Skype, Vonage, and most of all: Google search.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My phone and laptop are the two most important. My iPad really helps me keep up with book reading. My Verizon 4g hotspot keeps me connected when hotel or airport WIFI are not very good.

What’s your workspace like?
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time working from Marriott hotel desks that look very much like this:

IMAG0379

What do you listen to while you work?
Very occasionally I listen to a playlist on GrooveShark (Toby Mac, Matt Redman, Switchfoot), a message from Andy Stanley, or some instructional presentation by John Resig or another JavaScript icon. Most of the time, however, I find that attempting to listen to something while working is a waste of bandwidth because I am so focused on my work that I don’t seem to hear anything around me.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
For development, I use Application Designer, SQLDeveloper, jEdit, and JSLint. I also spend a lot of time in discovery and analysis. For this portion of my work, I use Fiddler, Firebug, and SoapUI.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
If you use the PeopleSoft database cache option instead of file system cache, you may already know that you can strategically clear segments of the cache. Unfortunately, with database cache, performing a full database cache purge with psadmin can take a very, very long time. Here is the tip: truncate psobjcache before clearing cache with psadmin.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I write a lot of SQL against the portal registry and security tables.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Code assistance in AppDesigner’s PeopleCode editor: auto fill, auto complete, auto… I spend a lot of time in the PeopleCode Language and API reference verifying syntax. It would be really, really beneficial if App Designer just displayed that information like other integrated suites.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Problem identity and resolution. I have an eye for things that are out of place.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A generous man will prosper. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25.

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