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willeg's user avatar
willeg's user avatar
willeg's user avatar
  • Member for 3 years, 4 months
  • Last seen more than 2 years ago
  • Switzerland

I started my career in software development at the beginning of the 'eighties on a DEC PDP-11 running RSTS/E.

In the mid 'eighties I changed to a company that was in the process of switching away from CBM-II machines to IBM PCs. One of my first tasks there involved x86 (16-bit) assembler programming that allowed us to present to the user individual (character-drawn) windows on the 80 x 25 character screen. I am not sure whether my memory overly glorifies that thing, but I think in later versions one could even move these windows around on the screen using the mouse...

While much of the company's DOS software lasted until after the turn of the millennium (at the end running on top of Windows NT 5), we started using Windows 3.x in the 'nineties. Soon Visual Basic (VB4 at first) and then COM components came into the picture, bringing exciting possibilities and new ways of doing things.

From 2005 until I was pensioned off in 2020 I worked for an important Swiss-based international pharma company. I worked mainly on the backend of a system that provided laboratories all over the world with data that the analyzers (machines that run tests for specific medical conditions on blood and other patient samples) could download from our servers. On the other hand the laboratories uploaded data that were used primarily for quality control purposes.

The system was a complex, entirely Microsoft and Windows based, universe of NT services and web services that gathered data (xml, pdf) from the respective producers located at various sites within the company, stored the metadata in a SQL Server database to make them available for download, and received and forwarded to their consumers the data uploaded from the laboratories.

A big challenge was keeping up with the constantly increasing load on the system. I became familiar with SQL Server, with Windows Server management, with deployment techniques that helped in moving to newer, more powerful servers, with web services and asynchronous programming for greater throughput. Also I tried hard to keep up with the evolving .Net environment(s) and C# language features.

Since retirement, I have started to do work in the Salesforce ecosystem. It all started with my daughter who is in charge of the sales back office of an employer who uses Salesforce. She was looking for an affordable way of having custom fields synced between Opportunity and Quote; the result was an unlocked package, ninety percent of which is a set of trigger handlers in Apex code. Two more packages that address company specific workflow needs soon followed. I realize that as of now I am just scraping the surface of a huge continent.

I have four grown-up children, a son and three daughters, and five grandchildren. In my spare time I like to read a good book, often science and history non-fiction; sometimes I also go back to my high-school preferred subject of Greek and Latin classics by Herodotus or Cicero.

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