July 1st starts the first official day of my new job. I’ll be taking on the role of IT Director for Wharton Research Data Services. WRDS (pronounced “words”), as we call it, is a suite of research applications that provide access to financial databases used around the business and business academic world. We resell it to other educational organizations, making it a very important part of the Wharton brand. I’ll be taking over direction of the web portion of the application.
My first concern will be the giving the website a direly-needed facelift. To facilitate that we hired Happy Cog to do a kick-ass redesign, that has been sitting unused for awhile. I’m going to get that new design up on the site, by October. As part of that plan, I’m going to be taking on automation and separation of content from design. Of course, I won’t be doing this alone. I’ve got a new staff of which I’m in charge
The technology that drives the site is Perl. There are no thoughts on getting rid of all of the Perl, as it’s needed to talk to the SAS databases on the backend. I’ll be adding ColdFusion where it makes sense – mostly in a community feature that we are building. Additionally I’m working on what amounts to a domain specific language (in ColdFusion) to automate page construction. Thanks Peter Bell for turning me on to that whole stuff.
It’s sort of a bittersweet sort of thing. It’s the first move for me in awhile that involves complete change, as opposed to just increasing responsibilities. I give up all my safe ColdFusion cache.
The job of running our ColdFusion environment and providing ColdFusion leadership will be falling to Dave Konopka. I’m extremely proud of him, since I hired him, and now he’s replacing me.
While today is my official start date, I have permission to sort of coast through this week and start next Monday. I’ll be wrapping up some lose ends from my old job today and tomorrow, and taking a 5 day weekend for Fourth of July holiday.
I still intend to post on ColdFusion, and I’ll still be maintaining Squidhead. However, I’m going to generalize the topics a bit. I’m going to talk a bit about my experience as a client to Happy Cog (awesome in short.) Also I’m going to talk about some developer soft skills (like influence), and how to practice them.