Work Experience

Student IT Assistant at the University of California Department of Epidemiology
April 2008 - May 2009
So my junior year of college was coming to a close and I had never had a job before. I really wanted to get a job where I could get some programming experience but I knew it would be difficult since the only experience I had was what I learned in school and the stuff I did in my free time. I learned all this web stuff on my own so that it could maybe get me a web or database job and it ended up working.

Well anyways, they started me off slowly by just having me do some data entry so I could get familiar with their in-house software. They mainly use Oracle Forms to make all the data entry screens. After a month or two I eventually got the chance to try making my own form. Learning how to do it was tough since I didn't have any experience with their form builder software. It took me months to get competent (since I was only there about 10 hours a week). It was especially frustrating at times since I couldn't just go home and practice the stuff in my free time like I would've if we were using something that I could actually acquire on my home computer, but since we were using Oracle software I could only work with it when I was in the office. After a few months of messing around with it and trying to make basic forms I eventually got the hang of it. By the start of the next school year in Fall is when I felt confident enough to tackle on any type of new project. It's tough though since they're always a trade off between how good I want the final product to be and how fast I need to finish it.

Some of my responsibilites and experiences are as follows:
  • data entry whenever necessary (and I didn't have more important projects to work on)
  • general database maintenance
  • creation of new tables for new incoming medical data
  • creation of Oracle forms that the data entry people can use to enter data
  • testing of new software
  • data cleaning
  • writing stored database procedures
  • writing and updating documentation
  • hardware assistance (installing hardware)
  • updating the Sharepoint website

I've learned a lot about working with databases with this job (especially since I've never gotten to use an Oracle database before). I've also gotten a lot of experience with user interfaces and what it takes to meet the demands of the people who are going to be using the software I make.