Software Development

Developing software solutions was my first role in the world of employment. I worked for Telxon, a hand-held computer company, and developed software in their own version of COBOL.

They were interesting times; memory was restricted and it was necessary to become very creative to squeeze data into the devices. One such project required 1MB of data to be compressed into a 500KB device. The solution was to break the data down and transfer it to the device and then remove the “padding”. So the data was a supplier code 3 characters and a product code up to 12 characters.So “STASK1………00999”
STA for Stanley Tools and SK1 + 9 spaces and price £9.99 Became a hexadecimal code e.g. A5 put into a file containing all 3 character code plus a price, which being numeric was stored in “packed” format nibbles – half bytes

So what started as 20 bytes of data became 1 byte (Supplier Reference) + 3 bytes (Product Code) + 3 Bytes (Price)

All in the days before Windows and Zip and data was transmitted a 1200 Baud over phone lines not Broadband.

It is challenges like that that make the software projects interesting.

Microsoft Visual Basic

After Telxon I taught myself Visual Basic and built an Invoice Management System, with an Access Database back end, to replace a system built in DataEase. I modified that to be a complete company solution for Sales Entry, Warehouse Picking and Invoice Control.

Microsoft Access

I’ve developed numerous systems in Access always with the objective of utilising the whole Office Suite. I rebuilt a District Nurses Excel Performance survey that took 6 months to compile into an Access Application where the data took 2 weeks to input and the reports we generated and printed in 30 minutes.

I developed an Access system to take Keywords and build a “Best Practice” Google Adwords campaign with 30,000 keyword combinations with 12,000 Ads, highly focussed and ready to import. Something that could not have been completed manually.

I’ve developed systems to pull data from a SQL database, sitting behind a website, into in-house Access systems eliminating manual processing, in one instance reducing something that took 3 man-days down to 30 minutes.