Performance Review: Part I

1. Work with OIP IT Manager to analyze, implement, and document system solutions including:  client/server database systems, web-based database systems, UofM-provided technology tools, and others (55%)

Last year I wrote:

Though I have no shining examples of a complete web initiative based on the new templates, I've been laying a solid foundation for rapid development in the near future.

Indeed. I hit my stride in my second year. I completed several projects that featured both a robust FileMaker client back-end and a slick web front end. To list a few:

  • Orientation Registration: This project both improved the user experience for our students and erased hours of busy-work performed by EA staff.
  • Support Tickets: A real game changer for how IT serves the units. While quality service had been there all along, this project brought a new level of accountability and transparency to the relationship.
  • Confucius Institute Online Catalog: This project provided an opportunity to build a solution for the public not just staff. We created a simple online shopping cart and integrated it with the existing database.
  • WIV Tracking: This tiny two-page website forced us to add Central Authentication, file uploads, and complex data validations to our skill set.

2. Updating of current solutions (15%)

A few victories, more to come. I recently completed LCTL for CARLA and Lib Ed for LAC. Both solutions existed before with the same functionality but relied on outdated technology (CDML in the case of LCTL and IWP in the case of Lib Ed). Updating old technologies will be a priority in the coming year.

3. Provide website consultation and complete project work relating to website management and/or development for OIP units (15%)

Competed, though perhaps not in the way we intended. I think we anticipated I would assist units in updating their websites. We were never asked and instead the units relied on their own expertise. One exception is LAC, which until recently wasn't on a sure footing with regard to ownership and direction.

As an achievement in this category I would point to the research and documentation I did for CARLA. I posted it online in order to serve the entire FileMaker community. There are nearly 30 articles with supporting sample files that document how to build a custom solution with FileMaker and PHP. It serves as a getting-started guide for CARLA and a reference for me. I continue to add, correct and expand the articles based on user feedback.

4. Work with OIP IT Manager to establish and maintain connectivity to existing University enterprise data warehouse system (10%)

Great developments and exciting potential for the coming year. For the sake of two projects — Orientation Registration and DW Connect — we struck a connection to the Data Warehouse. My inchoate queries succeed in pulling data but they're inelegant and inefficient. The challenge ahead is to expand the range of fields we pull and do it in a single pass.

5. Perform other duties as assigned (5%)

The mother of all "other duties as assigned" was stepping into the Peoplesoft project to collect and prep historical data for upload. All-consuming for a month or more, my contribution kept the project on track, ensured data was as accurate as possible and lightened the load on OIT.