A competent computer professional needs to understand three different things
So here is the first principle of successful computer work:
(Principle 0): It is not about the computer.
This course is about how hardware, software, data, procedures, and people work together. The last type of component -- people -- is most important. Often you will need to think about the non-computer parts of systems.... or even systems that have no computers.
On field trips -- ask questions about all of the above 5 component types...
This part of the course is about the kinds of organizations you are likely to be working with.
(Principle 1): One Size Does Not Fit All.
You must learn enough skills and knowledge so you can fit them to the kind of organization and the kind of work that is needed. You must also learn to look at the organization your are working for and figure out what computers and software are best for it. You need to learn how to find out how the organization works, and how your work can best improve the way it works. Even if your initial job does not let you make these choices, promotion will depend on learning to do this Systems Analysis and Design well.
This part of the course reviews the many kinds of organization and provides a kind of map of the possibilities.
You will find that in many real cases there are two distinct organizations involved: the client or customer system and the development system. You need to understand both because the kind of organization that is good at producing software is not the kind of organization that is good at producing and selling lead pencils. In a large enterprise you will have to learn how the part that develops software works, how the organization invests in new hardware, and how the rest of the organization operates. Then you have a chance of making changes that make you rich and famous -- or at least -- an unsackable employee.
If you are creating a new organization then you will need to know the different types of organizations so as to pick the best way for it to work. For example: a small enterprise is often very loose and relies on face-to-face communication. But a big enterprise will rely on paperwork and rules. So you need to find a way to move from your initial small company to a larger one.
If they had analyzed the existing system better the electronic system might be more useful than it's manual predecessor.
Before they could be sure that they could change the procedure and so reduce the manpower involved they had to find out why the soldier had to stand there. So they worked their way through earlier manuals. In the 1914-18 version they found out what the soldier was supposed to do: he held the officer's horse!
Moral: Analyze the activities to find redundant ones.
This meta-data (data about the data) should be analyzed and organized for future use. We will return to the best ways to analyse and design data later in this course.
. . . . . . . . . ( end of section Stories about analyzing organizations) <<Contents | End>>
I keep a website for the projects done by students at CSUSB: BA, BS, and MS. They were presented in the CSCI Department Seminar [ ../seminar/ ] series. Here some of the abstracts from a few presentations --
This site has many features. It has a password authenticated administrator login feature that enables easy to edit and save member profiles, easy to download word documents, awards and scholarships component, archives component, on-line member nomination capability for faculty, details of the events held by the honor society, executive committee information and access to bulletin board.
The application is built on a MYSQL database for data storage and uses Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technologies. Java Server Pages (JSP) (version 2.0) technology is used to implement the graphical user interface (GUI) and Servlets (version 2.4) handle the controller layer of the core functionalities. The Apache Tomcat application server (version 5.0) is used to host the website. These tools used to implement the Project are Open Source software tools which are free of cost and easy to download and install.
The goal of the internship was to redesign Public Works website. This presentation discusses some of the steps taken to redesign the website including the development of a database that displays employment opportunities and the development of online forms for making requests. The website and the online forms were created using HTML, VB, CSS,java_script, Adobe Photoshop CS, and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2006. This presentation also discusses the development of the website using ASP technology to interface an MS Access database.
The new website will incorporate all needed information for all six airports. This will include technical and weather information for the airports, services for each airport, administration contacts, and any current events that may be occurring at the airports. The website will be more user friendly and more interactive.
Building and implementing a Network Diagnostic Tool server can solve this problem. The NDT is designed to quickly and easily identify a specific set of conditions that are known to impact network performance. An NDT server can determine: duplex mismatch conditions on Ethernet/FastEthernet links, incorrectly set TCP buffers in the user's computer, or problems with the local network infrastructure. Lastly, the test results may be easily emailed to the appropriate administrator to assist in the problem resolution phase. Implementing this server will allow the department to continuously monitor the computers on the network and diagnose the problems easily.
Plotting the flow of materials is an excellent way to get an idea of what a business is about. Money flows come next. Information/data flows tend to run parallel to material flow and money flows either in the same direction or the opposite direction. Information can be electronic, paper, speech, post it notes, memos, gestures, phone calls, email, .... Here is a rough diagram of how the parts are connected in a typical manufacturing company.
The above model can be fitted to some non-manufacturing enterprises. A shop for example doesn't have the "Production" operation. Purchased goods go straight into Inventory. Enterprises in the "Primary Sector" -- farming, mining, fishing, ... don't have Suppliers or Purchasing. The material flow starts with production. There are enterprises that survive by getting rid of things... and so they don't have any Sales or Market.
You are likely to be working in IT. IT supports the needs of the other five functions.
. . . . . . . . . ( end of section Manufacturing sector) <<Contents | End>>
So the service sector is largely about contracts: I pay and you do something for me. But there is no reason why the service has to be given or done for the person who pays. You can pay someone to look after your elderly mother. The city government will pay police to "keep the peace" for the citizens. Indeed public education can be seen as a complex service where payment is given by alumni, government, and parents so that others are taught useful skills and knowledge. Private education the served clients pay directly for their own education. Typical colleges and universities are a mix of these two models.
Note. The "Contract" in the above diagram is shown as a piece of paper. It can be a verbal understanding, or it can be an electronic record.
Your major task when you work in or with an organization is not to classify them as "Manufacturing" or "Service". Your first task is to understand how the enterprise actually works. Then you can propose and implement changes that make it work better.
In a small enterprise you find that you have to fulfill all the above roles. In a large enterprise a team of people are dedicated to each of the above areas.
[ the-team-it-and-how-assemble-one-701 ] (Regular)
Read this to get a feel for IT.... It won't be on the final... but it is fun.
At the start of the project, Management and Infrastructure play a large part. Management involves motivation, leadership, planning, and negotiating for resources among other things. Infrastructure includes setting up and maintaining the hardware and software that the team uses. Shortly however other disciplines start to be needed. Analysis and Business modelling are concerned with understanding the current system with a view to proposing changes. Notice: Management does not stop.... User Liason is also important and is a part of HCI (Human Computer Interface) and Usability disciplines. A useful discipline at this time is Data Analysis aand Data Design that work with existing and desirable forms of data. These shade into, or are part of Data Base Administration. Requirements and Architecture are two inter-related and important disciplines concerned with expressing the client's and stakeholder's needs, and the components (people. hardware, software,...) that will meet the needs. By now the discipline of Security should be making itself felt and having a powerful effect on the architecture. Software Design , Coding , and Testing should start as soon as there is hardware to do the testing, to validate the assumptions made in the Requirements discipline. As the projet processeds effort has to put into Training and Support to make sure that the people in the system can put the system to good use. Finally, in any but the smallest projects, the discipline of CM or Configuration Management has to track every change in every artifact and how the various components in the system fit together, Part of this is keeping backup copies of everything -- or having a system to track changes and allow them to be undone.
Recently there is a proposal, DevOps by name, to closely integrate Development and Operations. See [ DevOp ] (Wikipedia) for more details. It looks like an interesting new buzz-phrase but might indicate an important trend.
While technical skills remain the bedrock of any IT position, an increasing number of employers are now expecting their new hires to have a broad range of skills in areas ranging from communication to accounting to leadership. In their continual attempt to align IT with business, executives and managers say they are increasingly looking for staffers who have solid business acumen and so-called soft skills. The article provides an overview of nine skills employers are looking for, with additional advice on how to acquire them.
Writing and communication skills remain an important prerequisite for nearly any mid- to high-level IT position. Also important is the skill of being able to understand how to map different business processes and create visual depictions of how business processes flow across functional areas. Thirdly, IT workers must be comfortable with public speaking. For each of these skills, there are clubs, educational programs and courses that can address any shortcomings.
Other important skills include a familiarity with accounting and the ability to work well with a team. A person who is able to gain consensus and sell an idea not only gets the job done, but makes the group stronger. Hiring managers highly value people who can seize the initiative without the need for constant oversight. They place a premium on an inquisitive mind, the ability to get a point across, and a willingness to take risks. The modern IT person needs to be more of an IT entrepreneur, since he or she is constantly looking to improve upon existing ways of doing things or identify other business and operational opportunities
. . . . . . . . . ( end of section Computer Professionals in Organizations) <<Contents | End>>
Charles Handy (Op. Cit.) also distinguishes three kinds of work that
are needed in an enterprise:
|Flow||Face to Face||Paper||Electronic|
|one-to-one||Interviews, Informal||memo, letter||Phone, EMail, IM, SMS,...|
|one-to-many||Lectures/talks||memo, letter||mailing list, blog, Twitter...|
|many-to-many||Meetings||-||Wikis,Google Docs, Dropbox, Facebook ...|
When you set up a meeting follow these guidelines (distilled from
half-a-dozen books on management):
When you attend meetings
. . . . . . . . . ( end of section Organization) <<Contents | End>>
. . . . . . . . . ( end of section Review Questions) <<Contents | End>>
. . . . . . . . . ( end of section Organizational Context of Systems Work) <<Contents | End>>
Notes -- Analysis [ a1.html ] [ a2.html ] [ a3.html ] [ a4.html ] [ a5.html ] -- Choices [ c1.html ] [ c2.html ] [ c3.html ] -- Data [ d1.html ] [ d2.html ] [ d3.html ] [ d4.html ] -- Rules [ r1.html ] [ r2.html ] [ r3.html ]
Projects [ project0.html ] [ project1.html ] [ project2.html ] [ project3.html ] [ project4.html ] [ project5.html ] [ projects.html ]
Field Trips [ F1.html ] [ F2.html ] [ F3.html ]
Metadata [ about.html ] [ index.html ] [ schedule.html ] [ syllabus.html ] [ readings.html ] [ review.html ] [ glossary.html ] [ contact.html ] [ grading/ ]