Projects from My Past

Hi, I’m Chris. You probably got here from my website chriscombs.me and were curious on why my “Active Projects” list is so short. Well…

I’ve created and maintained plenty of projects but most I’ve deleted a long time ago before the days of GitHub and version control. Or lost in hard drive crashes. Or respectively they belong to my employer.

Some samples are, a network of chat bots on Battle.net back in the days of StarCraft, and Diablo I in Visual Basic. Moved on to IRC network bots coded in TCL, Python and PHP. (Once banned for a month because 30+ bots joining a network at one time caused IRCop network notifications they didn’t like.)

Couple of years later, at my current employer. I demonstrated the use of Microsoft Excel and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) to screen scrape a pharmacy system. Due to my role I wasn’t allowed the use of “big boy tools” (i.e., Visual Studio). This allowed me to mimic the actions of five technicians with better accuracy and quality saving us $$.

Soon after I was asked to fix a MS Access database system used for lead management (again under the radar from IT department with only the tools I had at my disposal). I decided to split the system and allow MS SQL Server (never left Dev environment, Prod required IT approval) to be the database and MS Access to be the front-end (with automatic upgrades from a SharePoint site.) This system soon became more complex with additions of Autodialers, SSRS/SSIS and other pipelines for pharmacy data. It was used by 30 employees in two different regions and manage by one person (me).

After that stint I applied for an engineering role (in a we don’t follow IT practices to a “T” department) and was given the opportunity to overhaul a Nursing Care Management web user interface. I decided to use the latest web technology at the time (i.e., Bootstrap, jQuery, and Vanilla JavaScript.) Nurses hated and loved it, for one it wasn’t the old system they were used to. Loved it because it allowed them to do their job efficiently with the prioritization of clients to attend to and the ability to get the information they needed quickly.

I could write forever about all of these different experiences but this is just a short summarization of what I’ve done.

(I’m sure I’m missing things but let this be a placeholder for more.)

Note: My current role (at the same employer, 8 years and running) doesn’t allow me the opportunities of programming. So everything now is side-projects, tinkering and scratching itches.