The Computer Whisperer? Meaning? First, I get the computers/software/networks under control/functioning/optimized, and then I help the “owners” understand how to keep them “behaving.” It’s all just living in harmony from there!
My goal? To turn your hardware, software, network and people (including yourself) into and integrated team. I want the systems working for you, not to just be sitting there using electricity to retrieve and send email and collect information or read jokes.
Why? Computers are good at handling the grind and boredom of the necessary functions of business, and people are good at relating to other people and sharing the story of their products or services. If I show a company or people how to properly “task allocate,” then the right functions will end up where they are done best, thereby increasing productivity. Note: Sometimes, these functions overlap, and the successful combination of the people and the computer assets is necessary to accomplish the goals of the individual, team or business entity. I teach people how to do this, too. My experience is many people have not even scraped the surface of the capability of the software, hardware or networking they are paying for. I’d like to see that corrected.
How? I sit and interview the prospective client to understand what “end game” is the vision. From that communications session, I formulate a plan to get there. What will yours look like? It depends: What are you wanting to achieve, how far along are you, how much energy have you invested in putting your resources to work for you already? Each plan will be different, because it is yours, not someone else’s.
Am I experienced? Yes. Besides working as a middle and senior level manager, with significant roles in leadership positions, I have received professional training in Total Quality Management/Continuous Improvement and the Carnegie-Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for software development.
Some history: I began working with computers in college, surprisingly, not of choice. In 1981, I purchased my first computer, an Apple ][+. for the first year, I played games on it. In the second year, I figured out how to make it do my mundane, repetitive tasks for me, and for the places I worked. My first program of my own was a database to set up mailing labels. Next was one to draw training aids for Navy combat systems courses, followed by another to track the tasks needed to prepare for large inspections. More followed, culminating in a large database product, distributed to 120 locations around the world to manage the qualifications of personnel to conduct operations. I conceived, designed, coded, tested, documented, managed the configurations, and provided customer support for this program written in Borland’s Paradox for DOS.
Along the path of those experiences, I learned the finer points of using spreadsheets, initially with Visicalc and other products before Microsoft fielded Excel on the MacIntosh. I worked with DOS and object oriented (visual) databases and presentation managers (Harvard Graphics before PowerPoint), many word processors, graphics and sound editing software on Apple ][ series, Macs and PC platforms.
Most all I have listed above was in addition to my assigned duties as a Naval Officer aboard forward deploying ships, and at shore stations on the east and West Coasts. In that career, I was in middle and senior level management, responsible for communications, physical and information security, logistics, training (formal, informal, in class rooms and one-on-one with the equipment), maintenance, safety, hazardous material handling, navigation, ship handling and a myriad of duties, besides being a personnel manager for up to 190 people aboard ships. Other training included telecommunications, software safety, systems safety, intelligence gathering and project planning and management. I conducted inspections aboard Navy ships for three years as the senior member of the team, certifying the readiness of those ships to continue their training with larger organizations.
I have subsequently been in the electronics recycling business as the inside sales manager, providing the expertise to select resellable items from the waste stream, test the equipment, find customers, sell and ship the items. This work included setting up and managing an eBay account, where I sold over 600 items in two years.
More recent work includes 8 months on contract at Verizon Communications, conducting sales force and marketing campaign performance, increasing the quality of the reports, while adding sophisticated trending tools for sales and marketing managers using Excel as a data management tool.
I began blogging in 2004, and have set up and managed several blogs, as well as posting over 1200 personally written pieces on my own main blog site. I have been working with streaming video tools, video and sound editing, website development with traditional pages and content management systems.
- If you don’t know where you’re going, any map will do. If you know where you want to go, then you need the right map to get you there.
- I like the focus on the “big picture.” Once that’s in view, then the steps along the way to get there are clearly understood as meaningful.
- Free resources are all around. Use them when they fit the need correctly, but pay for the service/software that is necessary.
- Phase the plan execution to allow the most effective use of resources over the project timeline.
- Point all effort and expenditures to meet the goal. If there is a necessary “throw away” task, do it wisely to fill gaps and only when the other options can’t handle the need of the plan.
- Use surplus/recycled assets when you can, and get the high quality items/software for the critical tasks.
- Bring the right expertise into play at the right time. I know I know some things, but I also know there are others who know more than I about many topics. I actively seek out a broad network of experts in niche areas to call upon when necessary.