Job Title: Systems Integration Project Manager
Type of Company: I work for a small private University in the greater Boston area.
Education: University Twente (The Netherlands): Engineering Degree in Computer Science
Previous Experience: I started out as a COBOL Programmer in the Netherlands, doing consultant work for a big IT consulting company. There I got involved in implementations of an ERP-system called PeopleSoft that does Human Resource / Payroll and Financials functionality. This job brought me to the US 11 years ago. In the US I have worked as a consultant and directly for universities as programmer, project-manager, and manager.
Job Tasks: I am responsible for the support and further development of the Human Resource Management and Student Administration Systems. In order to do this, I manage a staff of five people (including myself).
The support part of my job means that when users have a problem somewhere in the system, they log a ticket in our help-desk system. I review these tickets and assign them to somebody on my team to get them resolved. If my team-members can not resolve the problem, I will help them in doing this. Examples of these issues are user can not log on, they get a system-error, or the data on their screen doesn't look right.
The software that we use for these systems is provided by a vendor. That means that the problem can be a bug caused by the vendor. Also, the vendor comes out with a new release of the software every 3-4 years. My team has to make sure we upgrade safely to the new version. This is a project that takes about a year to complete.
The further development part of my job means that users quite often want these systems to work better for them, or they want the system to do something new. Examples are new reports, a way for students to apply for graduation, etc. I review all these requests and determine how much work they will be. If we decide to take on the work, I assign it to somebody on my team.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the development part. It is great to design something new that will really help the users do their job in a better way. It also allows me to explore new features and new tools that come with these systems. The worst part of my job is the constant interruption of support. If there is a production issue, that requires immediate attention, I need to drop everything I'm doing and focus on that issue. And then it's hard to get back to what you were doing afterwards.
Job Tips: These systems are database-driven. So knowledge of data-structures and is essential. You need to have good analytical skills to quickly analyze problems and to design new features. To be a good programmer, you need to focus on logical structures so that your programs can be maintained on a on-going basis.
Last but not least, you need to be able to listen and keep an open mind. Users will call with problems or with requests that seem nonsensical. It's your job to make sense of them, not to dismiss them.
Additional Thoughts: Looking back at how I got where I am today, I think having started as a programmer has been the right place. If you can understand how the code and data works underneath the hood, it makes supporting and driving the direction of your system a lot easier.
And therefore, even though I do less programming than I used to (being more of a manager now) I think I am still successful because I still do programming. In order to stay on top of the technology that you're in charge of, it is essential that you keep your hands on it.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.
Grantham University's 100% accredited online degrees are convenient, portable and designed so you can fit education into your life instead of arranging life around your education.
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
Earn your Master's in Computer Science online from Syracuse University without relocating or leaving your job. GRE waivers are available for those who qualify.
ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.
See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online
Our objective is to prepare you for a life-long, successful career in Media Arts, Business or Information Technology. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible foundation that will serve you in your first job as well as throughout your career.
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Computer Systems Managers, including: