zen quaker

A self quanitified zen quaker statistical programmer stumbles through a blog

Tag: efficiency

Application OO

The other day I read a discussion about Blackboard buying out two different companies. I’ve never dealt with Blackboard, but they are apparently a software company making programs for tracking students in educational institutions: entering grades for different courses and that sort of thing. What struck me was one of the comments by a user. The system was apparently a horrible pain in the butt. But two professors at the university were able to make an alternate system that performed all of the functions of the Blackboard system and was easier to use. Deja vu.

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Efficiency I

Today I had to clean up the automated tasks generated by the new system. Some of them were generated incorrectly, and had actually already been done in the old system. So I had to gather all of the unique identifiers from both systems, see which ones matched, and remove the matches from the new system. Finding the matches was somewhat interesting, as I had to figure out how to make SAS read a folder full of Excel spreadsheets into one data set. That gave me 65 matches, each of which took 12 mouse actions to clear. At first I was doing it with the mouse and the keyboard, but then I realized I could do the entire action with the mouse. Clearing the tasks manually was incredibly inefficient, so I figured I could gain back some efficiency by doing it with the mouse, which I could manipulate only with my fingers and thumb. The rest of my body I kept motionless while performing this task.

I was so efficient, I started to fall asleep. Lesson one in the downside of efficiency.