through sewell's eyes

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Help Desk Ticket System

I've been spending the last couple of days looking for a free and simple ticket/help desk system to use at the my company. Don't really need anything fancy, just a nice clean UI to take the customer information and track the issue.

Surprisingly I can't find anything that matches my criteria. I initally found a a RoR based system called SimpleTicket. Unforunately I found it a bit buggy to use and actually had to go in the db backend to get it working correctly(it assumes id =1 is your company and I had to add the record in there -- otherwise it just crashes). The code base is a bit dated as well and the company behind it seems hesitant about putting out a new release (per their blog).

I also looked at some other solutions, including PHP and Java based system but all the interfaces on them look pretty ugly and alot of dated projects. I'm starting to think I might just have to roll my own. I think that is what most companies end up doing so they can tailor it to their internal processes and system. The basic concept is pretty easy - name, contact info, product and description of the problem. I really don't want to go that way but might be a better overall solution as I could integrate it so that bugs can be directly added into the bug tracking/project management system. Maybe I can even convince my boss to let me open source as it.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Latest Update from Work

Last week we launched the latest version of our core product, E-Board. We added some new features to the product as well as migrated it to a new platform (RoR). The new platform will make it easier for us to roll out updates/new features to the product on a regular basis. The new release took about 3 months and near the end there was a few long nights to get things completed on time. (What project doesn't have a crunch period?) It was well worth it since we were able to announce the product launch at a convention and got some great feedback on the launch.

Also, we finally revamped the company website and created a Monetary System blog as part of the launch of E-Board v3.0.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Workspace 2.0

I upgraded my workspace at work yesterday. I got two 20"-wide monitors and running them in dual view mode. It is really great. I know, I know, people have been doing to quite a while. Well now, I'm finally one of them! And for those on 2+ monitors are not using UltraMon, then you aren't taking advantage of your setup.

It has taken a little bit of time to get use to, but I love it. It will make development a lot easier now that I don't have to Alt-Tab all the time. These are a couple of things I see that will be helpful right away.
Examples:
  • Reading the API guide on one monitor while having my IDE on the monitor.
  • Viewing the same website using IE and Firefox side by side.
  • Debugging windows on one side and the program on the other.
  • IDE on one, Outlook/Trillian on the other.
  • Pretend I'm at the beach.. =)


There are probably other ways that will help be in being efficient while working. Now, the question is if I should get another one? Hmmm....


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Friday, March 09, 2007

New Position

In Jan, I took a senior new position after finishing grad school. I have been quite busy at work. The company is planning on rolling out a couple new services and upgrade existing product lines in the coming months. Since most of it falls on me, I guess I have been focused on that making sure we are hitting our deadlines for beta testing to our customers and final releases. It has been rough couple of months and will be for foreseeable future. But I have found it enjoyable. Actually one of the major reasons (getting a grad degree was just the kicker to the whole thing) I left my previous company was that I was doing things that I found enjoyable like coding. I like building things and seeing them run. I get to do that in my new job. I get to define, refine and implement IT strategies and services for the company. It is a great job. Now only if I could figure out how to avoid doing the administrative tasks, then I would be all set. Hated doing that stuff at Sybase as well.. =)

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