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Sunday, September 27, 2020

What is the most amazing application that you have built?

As part of the registration process on TopTal (Top Talent), one is asked "What is the most amazing application that you have built?" and one is requested to refer to someone with similar experience to what one has. This someone is Taras Mykhailovych, and you can find out about him here.

Pondering the question about the most amazing application, I immediately thought back to an incredible textile system that I developed from scratch in the 1990s and an accounting system that I developed and integrated for a client in the 2000s. I been involved with so many other amazing developments over the past 30 years of my software development career.

But the project that stands out for me is the project I'm currently working on. It is called PiMan, and it is a planning and monitoring system for the Western Cape Government (WCG). PIMAN stands for Performance and Monitoring and Management.

I am so lucky to be part of the incredible Sinjani team who were nominated to develop this software, and we are developing it in Oracle PL/SQL, Oracle APEX, and using JavaScript and NodeJS libraries. The software integrates with the Sinjani Statistics Management System, written in Oracle PL/SQL "full stack", htp.p, with HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, NodeJS, and other libraries.

I am involved in a cross-functional team that straddles IT, Planning, Health Management, Corporate Services and other departments of the WCG.

As part of the team, I have been allowed to design the ERD's and data structures, and after three months development there are already 39 tables, 25 APEX Pages, and the beginnings of a Power BI Dashboard. I have not only been enhancing my 30+ years of Oracle and Relational Database knowledge but also been doing Udemy courses to improve my APEX, and PowerBI and learn Python. All this learning time is in my own time, as I am a contractor, and my clients expect me to know these things and not to have to learn on the job. Sometimes clients ask me specifically to learn a new technology on the job, as they realise that I contribute massively to all the projects on which I work. I am always interested in the entire project, and not only the piece I am doing.

Lockdown has meant that over 2,500 WCG staff and contractors are working from home. Statistics show that 63% of staff are (were) office-based, and 80% of these staff, working from home in 2020, feel that they are more productive working from home, which is positive news for health, for traffic reduction, for getting out of buildings and a huge positive for our environment.

Note that PiMan is enormous and it is an 18-month project, which I'm hoping to complete in 9 months. We are 3 full-time months in, although we started six months ago. This because of my other workload for WCG. I also still have other clients, one on a retainer and others ad-hoc. So if you need me, contact me, and I can help you with urgent needs, just as a doctor or healer quickly identifies and diagnoses a problem, and sets you on a course to heal it. My multipotentiality nature and comprehensive learning and intuition help me to intuitively and rapidly identify patterns and processes and paths through the information maze in which we find ourselves and where the modern problems are mysteries rather than puzzles. With a puzzle, you know which piece is missing. With a mystery, you have all the pieces (data and information), but you don't know where to look, or maybe you don't even know where to start.

Note also that I have registered on TopTal as I learn so much when I register on these AI-driven web sites. Being acknowledged as a Top Talent Developer will be a feather in my cap and an acknowledgement of my capabilities and knowledge, and it will help potential clients learn about me so that I have work once PiMan is completed.