In information technology, it seems that the projects pile on faster than one could ever hope to complete. That's the nature of the beast and, truthfully, one of the reasons I love my job so much. There is always something to learn, something to do, someone to help, some technology to implement.
This week, it was important to me and to my colleagues that I complete two projects. One was finding a solution to a long-term frustration with our VPN (virtual private network) tunnel with one of our major customers. After trying two different vendor products which combine a VPN device and a firewall, we finally settled on a SonicWall device. Our system integrator prepared the device (a TZ 170) before installation so that it only took 30 minutes for us to install, test, and get the tunnel working. Since then the VPN has worked flawlessly.
In addition, as we approach the end of our fiscal year, we need a project-based way of analyzing our expenditures. After consultation with our ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor, IQMS, I was able to complete a report design which does a good job of showing project tasks, vendors and line items for "raw materials" expenditures of our projects.
One of the simplest weekly objectives was to get our online staff training modules working. As with so much else in IT, it is often the simple things that turn out to be the most recalcitrant. Nothing seemed to work the way we wanted it to work. Finally, by noon Friday, we found a way to get the self-teaching modules working sufficiently well to warrant rolling it out to other staff.
All this was a self-imposed requirement before I go on medical leave. As of today, I am off work (and will not be blogging for a while) to undergo surgery and then chemotherapy. My surgical oncologist anticipates that I will be off work for 5-10 weeks! I'm hoping he is underestimating my recuperative powers. Even after I am back, though, the chemotherapy will continue for up to 6 months.
But I will be back! Look for me.