What Do I Do Exactly?

What is it I do, exactly? I write instructions anyone can follow for how to use software or follow an in house procedure. I can make software do things it might not have been originally intended to do as well via macros or other programming scripts. And more specifically, what can I do to make or save money for a client? I save you time on training and wasted time not knowing exactly how to do something. What is it that’s special or unique about me? In other words, what combination of skills and experience do I have that would make you as an employer want to work with me?

SUPER POWERS

Writing

Short writing pieces like this article or very long items that give detailed, illustrated instructions like my book on Pattern Making for Dolls. I’ve done several dozen sewing patterns, I’ve also written many times on using software. My passion is in writing instructions and procedures. Clear, precise instructions that everyone can understand.

Spreadsheets

Excel & Google Sheets are two of my best applications. I can enter the data and setup the formulas to display it in many ways. I can create entire systems to track data and report on the status of a project. I can integrate the systems with Access and SharePoint, Word and even Adobe Acrobat.

Coordination & Organization

I keep entire teams humming with information and systems to track that information. I track who has what, where an item is in the process and how that process can be streamlined. If there is a way to make someone’s life easier I suggest and implement it.

Reverse Job Description

Everyone has to read a job description to see if you meet the qualifications of the company but what if we, as job seekers were to publish our own job descriptions? Something that defines the job we’re looking for, the company culture, boss, tasks and location we’re after. It could be something that we can add to a resume or cover letter pointing out what our criteria is and how well the company matches us for a change. It could also be an “Other Document” that can highlight how well we’ve researched our target company finding tidbits and trivia that may just be public information but still require research that is attached to an application.

I built a reverse job description several months ago based on what I dislike most about my current job and what I wanted to avoid and wanted to be doing soon. Interestingly enough, I was able to define what I want in a boss, company and job tasks that would make me happy etc. Even better a potential job is in the process of opening up that just about meets everything including location and compensation requirements, the only thing I have to do is be patient.

Here’s part of my list and even if you build a list and never publish it, it can be a very useful tool for identifying if an opportunity and company meet your criteria!

The company

  • Forward thinking
  • Profitable or high benefit to helping society or the environment with enough in funding to function well
  • Has an active future plan that includes revenue growth
  • Functions within budget
  • Includes staff in plans while forming not after choices are made
  • Actively seeks ideas and feedback from staff
  • Seeks to build not just small teams for certain functions but to bring whole group of teams into one large team demonstrating that each team has a purpose in the big picture
  • Explains the big picture and how everyone from the clerk and janitor contribute

The Boss

  • Fair but firm
  • Timely decision making – “later” is not an option nor is crossing the bridge when we get there… PROACTIVE PLANNING
  • Clear expectations and goal setting
  • Proactive work projects
  • Open door policy
  • Gets to know individuals on team including moods, likes and dislikes
  • Knows enough to do anyone’s job for a few days

The Job

  • Short, medium and long term project based
  • Variety of assignments
  • Set goals for each project with clear expectations of deliverables and timelines
  • Variety of new software to learn
  • Opportunity to teach and learn
  • Primarily computer based in software or programming or writing

Compensation

  • $35+/hr ($60k+/yr)
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Team getaways specifically to get to know other teams
  • Continuing education or conferences

Location

  • Remote
  • If remote then flexible work hours based on timezones
  • Mat-Su Valley of Alaska

What I want

  • Computer based tracking systems that are up to date
  • Research and learning are highly encouraged
  • Support with projects when needed
  • Any down time can be used for classes and learning
  • Freedom to prioritize work within reason
  • Variety of tasks that make a difference
  • Ability to see where my work fits in
  • Short productive meetings
  • Tools to keep in touch such as chat and message boards in addition to email
  • Cross training in other teams and other jobs with or without the background for the job
  • Mobile tools for use when needed
  • Helps others mutually supportive
  • Power to do experiment and mess up within reason
  • Computer that has the power to keep up with multitasking

What do you think?

History of Websites

With all this as my experience I am ready to jump into a career in front end web development.

2019

I have spent 2019 updating, maintaining and adding to the sites. I also took on the professional upkeep of the AKCTT Website as part of my duties as the Secretary of the Board.

I also added a few small projects to Lady Code Monkey and became more active on Git Hub thanks to my Harvard CS50  EdX course.

2020

In 2020 I plan to continue to add mini projects to Lady Code Monkey, expanding my repository on Git Hub. In addition I plan to complete my A+, Net+ and Security+ certifications.

2017

Started seriously seeking to move from administrative work into website development.

settings pie
life of a provider
sites diagram
chart

2018

Recently I have started a site for my landscape photography, since I live in the beautiful Mat-Su Valley of Alaska. It is hard to resist the urge to take a photo of snow capped peaks or the occasional moose in the yard.

I’ve also started a second site for a client, in fact my first website client from 1995. Happily the site seems to also be doing well.

Wanting to continue my web development learning I found a few online videos and sites to continue to read up on web technologies when I found time. I started once more taking classes in 2015 and 2016 on many topics and adding to my knowledge base.

2015

Started taking online courses in a variety of programming languages and technologies from Unity to SQL to HTML5 and CSS3 as a refresher

2009

For fun I added Coffee Institute as a place for my love of coffee. I wrote a little but ultimately it is becoming an affiliate niche site for coffee.

2016

I split my portfolio domain into Code Monkey and Lady Code Monkey, one for developing WordPress plugins and themes (not much done with it yet) and the other for advanced web development topics.

2014

My love of web development languished for a couple years but was renewed in 2014 when I decided I needed a way to manage all my sites instead of logging in to each one at a time to update them. I found and implemented Infinite WP which allows me one place to see all my sites, update them and even manage plugins and themes.

Researched managing multiple sites as maintenance was time consuming and implemented Infinite WP which allows me to keep all of my sites updated and ready at all times. Started watching more current videos and reading more on website development as well as what new technologies were becoming available.

2005

 I added Sera and Justice Together to my now growing list of domains so that my young children would have the option of learning to develop websites. This was where I learned how to use my hosting to split my sites into sub domains.

2008

I then added Sue A Darby, my portfolio site to the collection to use as a place to showcase my work for my Capstone.

Towards the end of my second round of college in 2008, I started Alaska Office Specialists as part of a college class in web development.

1995

Shirley’s Creative Designs was started.

In the summer of 1995 I became interested in creating websites and started developing Shirley’s Creative Designs. In the fall of the same year I started Sue’s Tiny Costumes. I started out on the infancy of the internet using an old site, Xoom.com which is no longer online. From there I moved to a Geocities site for a number of years. I developed in the browser using the WYSIWYG editor until I learned Dreamweaver and HTML. I did all my own photography with a film camera and scanned photos before doing general editing. Eventually, I purchased a digital camera.

Sue’s Tiny Costumes was started.

In 2002 I was convinced by my mentor to purchase a domain name for myself and use hosting for my site. It was at this time I learned FTP. With hosting I also learned SEO and CSS as well as how to optimize images as my site had grown to 200 hand coded pages. I continued to revise my site by hand until 2005 when I started to learn about content management systems and discovered Drupal, Joomla and ultimately WordPress.

2006​

In 2006 my love of books and music led me to try my hand at a site called Books, Music & More and attempt to monetize it but with competing priorities it has been a slow process building it.

My Doll Business

I get a lot of questions and funny looks when I mention that my small business which was started in 1995 is focused solely on dolls. You see my original college major was Fashion Design and I focused on dolls as they are fun and easy to make a wide variety of garments for. When I talk about the size range I get more incredulous looks since the smallest doll I have and have actually designed, drafted and sewn for is a 1/2″ baby doll. The next largest is 2 1/2″ tall and has a hand beaded gown. From there I move to 1″ scale dolls and go larger still into 6-8″ children dolls, 10 1/2″ lady dolls, Barbie of course along with Gene, Kitty Collier and finally my beloved Letha Marie who is 3 ft 10″ tall and wears a child size 3 shoe. A couple of my dolls I literally poured the porcelain for and created from scratch before I dressed them. If asked in an interview about my dolls I will brag on them never ending as I LOVE my dolls and my sewing work in all those scales. Letha placed 2nd at the Anaheim Doll show, several outfits for my 1″ and 1/2″ scale dolls have been featured in magazines as well as my larger dolls. Two of my dolls won 1st and 2nd place at the Alaska State Fair and were featured in a magazine. Why am I so proud of the doll business overall though? Each pattern, and there are 100 and counting, takes a large amount of project management. Choosing resources, designs, colors, dolls, fabrics and trims takes time. Budgeting for a costume plus determining the shapes of pieces, testing patterns, technical writing is involved in each pattern for step by step instructions. Some designs were done as custom items for customers and thus I had to work closely with each one to get the tiny details right. Over the years I also had to learn photography as well as web design and development. I started by scanning my dolls since I didn’t own a camera but I had a scanner. Once I had a camera I started working on my still life portrait skills, they are dolls! I had to learn to edit photos and add them manually to a website. My original site was 50 megs and over 200 hand coded pages. I taught myself SEO,  Drupal, Joomla and eventually learned WordPress. As for my books, those were herculean for me as I was also a new parent to an infant and then toddler which required a lot of time management and multi-tasking skills to go with the technical skills and all the testing and even book layout and production of the hard copies at first. Why am I not still at this? I do it as a hobby now as it just will not support a family. I have totes of dolls and fabric and ideas filed away and when I find time I dig out a doll and start making something. I still work on my website when I can get a chance as well since I have photos and such that I still have not shared with the world. Yes, my business is based on dolls but the skills used to create products as a one man shop are very transferable to a workplace. I use many of my time, task and project skills all the time at my previous job as well as at my current job. Some examples of the results of these skills show up in the Compliance Checklist and the Certification Checklists which were projects for the State of Alaska.

Search Tool Business Document 7-2013

When we had a change of regulations in 2013, that prompted a big change in our database, which in turn broke a few things including a web based interactive search tool. This was the business document I was asked to develop upon my discovery of the broken tool. It not only fixed the issue, it added some improved functionality that the division had wanted for a couple years. Update: The changes to the Provider Search Tool are complete and can be seen live on the Senior & Disabilities Website. Additional changes have also been made to the Submit Corrections form as well recently. Update 2: This tool has changed since 2017 when Harmony, the new database went live.
Provider Name ACME Agency
Mailing Address 123 Bozo, Anchorage, AK 99666 Geographical Area Served Anchorage South Central
Phone 907-555-1212 Fax 907-212-5551
Email [email protected]
Waivers Served ALI APDD CCMC IDD
Services Offered Chore Respite Transportation Personal Care Attendant Residential Supported Living
Care Coordinators Person 1, Person 2
         
Search based on
  1. Provider Name (text box search)
  2. City (physical) (drop down)
  3. Geographical Area served (drop down) Secondary area? (drop down)
  4. Waivers spelled out (drop down)
  5. Services (drop down)
Providers who return results should have:
  1. Active status
  2. Current end dates
  3. All Active services
  4. Show agents and/or renderers
  5. Show waivers served
  6. Show all services provided
  7. Show mailing address
  8. Show phone
  9. Show fax
  10. Show email
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    All image on this site are ©2019 Sue Darby.

    Photographs are taken by Sue Darby please ask for permission and link to this site if you wish to use one.

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