How I See Myself Professionally

My present job title is Analyst Programmer.

I am passionate about providing the highest possible quality of service to my customers.

I believe that effective deployment of technology can enable liberate users from mundane tasks so enabling them focus on the areas of their business that are less amenable to automation, areas that require the ‘human factor’. A good technical solution liberates users to focus on the kinds of interactions, judgement and higher-order thinking that are uniquely human. As a result, my customers should be better situated to provide a higher quality service to their clients, whilst at the same time enjoying a less tedious, more efficient working environment. Of paramount importance to me is that the solutions that I provide will actually meet the client’s real business needs.

In order to meet a customers needs, it is essential that I am able to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical personnel. (I am pleased to say that my ability to do so has been commented upon on numerous occasions.) It helps that I take an active interest in my customer’s business, focusing on the areas into which I am asked to develop solutions. I find it beneficial to understand the customer’s frame of reference, their preferred terminology, and their intentions and expectations for the product I am to deliver.

I believe that business problems are best solved by enabling stake-holders – particular, the end-users – to contribute as much as possible to the development effort. To caricature somewhat: Traditional development methodologies have gathered a set of requirements at the start of the project, and the team of developers have then produced a solution in isolation. As a result, traditional programmers solve the problem that clients thought that they had when the specification was written, rather than the problem that they actually have at the time of delivery. In contrast, involving clients at all stages of development ensures that solutions will meet the user’s real-world problems; that they will be highly useable; and will prioritise the things that my client views as important. At the same time, it also encourages a high level of customer ‘buy-in’, which in turn facilitates a smooth transition from legacy information management systems to new applications.

I do not see myself as ‘just’ an Analyst Programmer, but as a talented problem solver who works has a particular set of skills and responsibilities to bring to the table. As such, I have a flexible approach to solutions provision. Whilst I enjoy exploring new technologies, I am quite prepared to encourage clients to deploy tried and trusted solutions if I believe that they are better suited to my client’s needs. On occasion, I have suggested pen and paper where this was more appropriate than a complex technical solution.

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