Im a firm believer that most people should know just enough about programming to be dangerous

As young engineer straight out of grad school I was surprised (and slightly disappointed to realize) that going forward It seemed that I wouldn't be using Matlab or C or anything of the sort going forward. It would all be Excel forever.

This to me seemed dumb, why had I spent the last 6 years learning to do all this stuff to never use it again. Furthermore why was everyone in my company doing the same tasks over and over to run the same reports with just different numbers.

There was a lot of things I could improve, but I was going to have to learn and practice.

  • For example these are all projects that I have had to figure out how to deal with:
  • I realized how important it was to be able to access and control our maintenance records easily so I started learning Qlikview.
  • We needed to project our capital expenses for the company, and excel was starting to get into problems with all the Vlookups I was performing. So to Python I went.
  • The old software that ran our automatic scales starting freaking out, so I reworked everything in Labview.
  • Our OEM's each expected us to log into a different website with no per employeed data security to access telematics so I wrote a program to combine all their API's and standardize their data into our own database that we control.
  • Nobody would actually used all the qlikview reports I created so I wrote a weasyprint python script to generate pdf reports and send them to everyone with their bosses cc'd.

Those are just a few examples of what I have had to learn in order to keep improving and stay relevant at my company.

So overall that is what I mean by staying dangerous. I may not be a guru of stackoverflow or set the world on fire with my code. But I damn sure will be better at doing my work than they next to me wondering why his charts look awful and his spreadsheet keeps crashing.

So this blog is just a record of the things I have found out, all in one place and without having to go thru 800 stackoverflow posts, cursing why that guy that responded in 2015 with "nvm I figured it out" didn't actually post his answer.