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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Problem Solving

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Let's face it, you don't know me and I don't know you. So how do you know what I'm capable of or what my character is like in difficult situations if you want to work with me? Well, I can give you some examples or stories that may help you decide if you might want to work with me.

  1. When I was being interviewed for a position I was asked if I knew the ColdFusion (CFML) web-application development platform by Adobe. If you don't know what that is that's OK. Here is a link. I didn't lie. I said I didn't know it but could learn it. To my surprise they hired me. I learned the language in a week. Fast forward a year and I find that the marketing department had hired an outside company to build a new website for us. I designed the site in Photoshop and handed the designs off to them after approval. Three quarters of the way through the project we had run out of money due to the bid being underestimated. What to do? Well, I finished the site on my own, no easy task since the code was all original. I finished building the forms and other features and we went live with the site. I then copied that site and created another for our events department.

  2. One month after I started at the same job I was trying to find documentation and also trying to learn who the IT people were so that I could get a better understanding of what we had available to us. Our websites were hosted externally. I contacted the hosting company for information. They informed me that our sites would be deleted in less than a week. I found out that the person I had replaced had planned on moving the website to an internal server but never finished the process. The sites were too large back in 2009 to just move the data like we can now. I found out that small 500MB portable drives had just come out and so I bought one and we shipped it over night to the hosting company. They sent the files back and we setup the server in-house. We switched over to the new servers with one day to spare.

  3. Two months into the Cable Center job I found that I was in charge of what they called the "Learning Stations" that were spread throughout the building. These were kiosks built into the walls. The problem: The kiosks were controlled by a back end system built in Adobe Flash but it was broken and no longer worked. I could login to it but nothing I did on the back end made the front end work. I called the programmer that wrote the code. He had written the code over five years earlier and the drive that the working file was on was damaged. He wanted a large sum of money from me to get it working again and even then it might not be possible. Here is a good reason to always get the working files from the contracted company. I had an idea. I realized I couldn't be the only one who has had this problem. I searched and found a program that converted player files (SWF) back to working (FLA) files. I converted the player file and found that the links were no longer working because the programmer had hard coded the network location to the files and the files had since been moved to a different network drive. I updated the code to use a local address relative to the main file and the kiosks or learning stations once again worked.

  4. When I had my own freelance business in 2007 I was called by a company because I knew Adobe Flash and Action Scripting. Dean Smith worked at CTA Integrated Communications and had designed a website with a top page banner in Flash. The problem? He needed the Flash file to remember where it was on the timeline when the user clicked through to another page. Typically the file would reload on each page load and start over from the beginning. It took me two days to figure out how to solve the problem and implement it.

  5. I had been laid off from a company named when they fell on hard times. Searching through want ads I saw a posting for someone wanted to do animation for a children's book. A short term freelance job. I met a person named Tom Cross for coffee and we hit it off. He told me that he had a company that trained employees about technology they use in their business using PowerPoint presentations. I said to him that I had been programming in Flash for a while and that I could make him a website that had a menu, search and it would show his PowerPoint animations as flash files. Basically I could create an online program for him. He hired me full time. I spent four weeks building the site out and writing all of the code from scratch. I had finished writing the search and adding the menus. Problem: I played one animation and then a second one and saw that the first animation was still loaded and the second played over the first animation. The data wouldn't overwrite or go away. I found out later that Action-scripting had no way to do what programmers call a data dump. I solved the problem by using the timeline. I found that adding a key-frame that was empty and forcing the animation to play over it the data would clear as it played over the key-frame. Later the flush data code was added to Flash but problem solved.

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