Coffee and Computers

Computer Programmer

“What exactly do you do?”

I have been working here for over 7 years (I’ve lost count) and I still get asked by some of my closest friends and family ‘What exactly do you do?’ I’m not sure if they’re referring to my day to day duties or our software but if they don’t know the answer to this question, I’m sure all of you reading this don’t either. Hopefully, I can clear up some people’s minds and give an idea of what exactly I do.

First things first, coffee! My computer doesn’t even get turned on till the coffee is brewing!

For those who are new to Insightworks blogs and what we’re all about, here is my technical version of what we do! Insightworks offers a training platform, Viewpoint, that aims at onboarding and orientating staff (new and existing) by providing interactive eMaps, learning courses, and a host of utilities geared towards the client’s operations. Viewpoint houses the learning content such as videos, forms, PowerPoints, interactive quizzes and delivers it in a uniform way to track compliance and monitor activity. As for the utility section we provide Certificate tracking, downtime reporting, apprenticeship logging and HMI screen training just to skim the surface. These utilities are ever-changing and we’re always adding to them as we work with new clients. It is my job, along with the other programmers, to keep Viewpoint up-to-date and running smoothly as well as creating new features and generating reports to give to key stakeholders. Viewpoint is a web-based SaaS application, which means it is accessed via a web browser, by our clients with an active license. 

As for my day-to-day, it changes depending on what is going on so no two days are alike which I love. We use Azure DevOps to track all of our tasks and keep informed on what everyone is working on and stay organized. I will spend quite a bit of time on there making sure tasks are updated and progressing as planned. The likelihood of working on a single task the whole day is very unrealistic. I can always guarantee that I will get a request from someone, internal or a client, to run some kind of report or check up on the usage of a certain area in Viewpoint. I am also the main point of contact for end-user support or bug reporting. So if anyone runs into trouble while using our app I am the one to help diagnose and fix. Some days are spent gathering and assessing requirements to create documentation for new utilities and features in Viewpoint. I will go back and forth with the end-user to make sure that we are creating a perfect solution for them. Other days are spent testing and packaging updates that involve release notes, user guides and planning communication with our users. I also have to pleasure of travelling some days to meet our clients and tour facilities. It helps me to design and build useful software when I have a first-hand understanding of our client’s operations. It also helps when our key users can put a face to my name, it makes them feel much more comfortable and willing to reach out to me. In the end, a successful implementation is a greater likelihood of a successful project. The feedback and value I get when I see end-users directly interacting with Viewpoint are huge.

What I do is so much more than staring at a screen and typing a bunch of code, I’m pretty sure that is what most people assume I do all day. This field is forever changing and along with that, I do spend some time reading articles researching new ways of doing old things. Just when I think I have a handle on things and all tasks are progressing nicely Mark walks in throws a curveball and it’s back to the drawing board!

Coffee and Computers

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