Tuesday, May 1, 2007

n00bster's First Day at a Software Company

Thrown into MADNESS:

Day 1:
I was being briefed by a departing co-op student about the work I'll be doing with Adobe Tomcat v5.5, Oracle 9i (later, switch to 10g), and my company's order management software. And...*shudders* Microsoft Excel.

First Thoughts:
What the hell is Tomcat?
What is metadata?
Databases? Oh god, unknown territory.
Hey, this Excel stuff looks easy...

What I Learned
What an Excel Macro is
How to navigate the Company's Software

Day 2:
Took me 4 hours+ to compile a list of all work done on the software, and arrange it in Excel. Should take me a little over 30 minutes. 'Nuff said.

Afterwards, I attempted to run the Company's Software (now called ComSoft, with parts called C, D, E, and M), but realized it wasn't installed. Lovely. I couldn't figure out why my computer was exploding in my face anytime I tried anything until the last moment, when we finally realized that... wait, what?

Library files are missing from Tomcat? Whoa, what? How does that even happen?!
Fair enough, problem solved.

Second Thoughts:
Yeah... second thoughts.... hahaha;)

What I Learned
Navigating and compiling data from databases can take some time...
I learned that I didn't learn enough about any kind of testing from my training.

Day 3:
I felt a lot more confident with the work, solely because I thought I knew what I was doing. Turns out my Excel work was crap. Lovely, so I restarted from scratch. Took me the same amount of time, but I believe that I will be faster tomorrow.

I tried to do some automatic testing. That worked out. But I need to do more.

I started doing exercises the company's training manual. Simple enough until there were some problems with mapped data, and I could not create an SQL file. I had to bother the real Software Testers to help me fix the problem. Thank god that they're all so nice at work.

Later on, more problems with data being called from wrong metadata occurred. Magically, with my thought and cunning, I was actually able to properly diagnose the problem (w00t!), except it still wasn't working right! Turns out that I just had to close and restart the ComSoft D.

Whoops. Something is still wrong. Oh well, its 5:20pm, and no supervisors are here to help me. Off to dinner!

Third Thoughts
ComSoft is actually...really cool. Not like Ubisoft cool, duh, but the work they do, and the abilities of this software is amazing.
Excel is really annoying when you're being stupid with it.
Testing is still baffling me...

What I Learned

Excel doesn't like you merging and then Paste Special-ing values into them. It gets angry.

I know what metadata is.
I know a little of what Oracle can do.
SQL is readable (somewhat).

Let's see what tomorrow brings!