Andrew_Webster
  • United States
Member Since: 2003/02/27
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Full Biography

I've worked with Access since the mid-Nineties.  

Working for a London council, just messing around, I made a little database to help with the accounts for our section.  At the end of the month, the budget reconciliation, that used to take four man-days, took fifteen seconds.

Hmmm....

I moved Australia, got an MCSD (VB6, SQL Server 7) but became the Access guy.  I worked for dozens of clients on hundreds of databases, most of them in Access, some in SQL Server and MySQL.

Most work came about due to the "Access Effect".  The boss's nephew writes a nifty gadget.  First year computer science then, he's a barman in Thailand now.  The gadget is now mission critical!  And things have changed!  Oh noes!  Who can fix it?

Taa-daa!  That's ME!

Technically my strength is data modeling - understanding how to turn "business speak" into normalized tables.

But my greatest strength is Techno-Therapy.  Business people don't get I.T.  It takes something to find out what they mean and turn that into what they want.  "Business Analyst"? Think 'couch' not 'briefcase'!

No website nor business name, semi-retired and I've never needed to advertise.  Now moved to Alabama to get married to a beautiful woman. .

I'm working on writing a book about Small Team and Individual Developer Database Change Control (snappy, huh?) and that may well end up going onto a blog for feedback.

If I had to give you one bit of advice about building databases, I'd say "Get the data model right".  For entering data, get to 3-NF and make sure you have no nullable Foreign Keys (use a default, much safer).  For reporting, on small data, use views that denormalize.  For large data, denormalize into pre-built cubes and populate them on a schedule.  Do all that, and you'll end up going home on time.

I'm available for development contracts, both local and remote.  My only request is that you make time available to work with me, as that's the secret.  None of this is magic!

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