Over the course of many years, Blackstone has acquired a wide array of experience working for major corporations like Taco Bell Corporation, Allergan Pharmaceuticals and Xerox just to name a few. He also has experience developing database software and systems across a diverse cross-section of industries such as agriculture, telecommunications and insurance. Blackstone's experience also stretches across various business functions such as Human Resource budgeting and forecasting, monthly & ye... [more]
I have worked in the IT industry for over a decade - mostly as a database developer. As a result, I have spent hundreds of hours using Microsoft Excel in numerous contexts to calculate, validate and model data. I have even programmed Excel using its macro language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). As such, I'm an expert user. In certain situations, the user base has exceeded the capabilities of Excel. In some of those cases, I have retooled a brand-new database tool in another technology (such Microsoft Access). I have used Excel in many, many corporate contexts and for my own personal and private data modeling and tracking needs.
Beginning in the 1990s, I was chartered by Xerox Corporation to build a custom Microsoft relational database to handle the roll-out of their national computer upgrade to all their satellite offices. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable about relational database concepts, my job involved writing numerous custom SQL statements (INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, etc). My coding also involved using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to build custom SQL statements on the fly based upon user input from screens (UI). Subsequently, I was on a team that used SQL for a collections firm. Their previous database system had been built in COBOL, and we completely re-engineered a new system using SQL server and Visual Basic 6.0. Heavy SQL coding was involved. Onward from those companies, I continued to work with SQL and front-end technologies to build and/or maintain relational databases.
I have been using Microsoft Windows since 1989 beginning with version 2.0 (on MS-DOS 3.3). I have literally spent thousands of hours using Microsoft Windows and numerous programs that run on this OS. Eventually I was hired by Taco Bell Corporation and provided help desk support at their main campus in Irvine, CA. I interacted with numerous users their on a daily basis, week after week. I've probably fielded hundreds of supports calls. After Taco Bell, I worked in the same capacity for Allergan Pharmaceuticals. Around this time, Windows 3.1 was the prevalent version. Eventually Windows NT and Windows XP were widely used and these were robust, highly secure versions of Windows. I have extensive experience with both. I have years and years of experience on Windows 7. Dealing with Windows and its intricacies is an integral part of all facets of my day to day work.
I have developed software and database applications for many companies using Visual Basic. These have included major companies like Xerox, Monsanto (Seminis). I have written hundreds and hundreds of lines of code over several thousand hours. I've developed software from scratch and maintained the work of other programmers. Using a related language, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), I've also developed integrations in Microsoft Access, Word and Excel. My Visual Basic experience includes developing using Object-Oriented methodologies including custom DLL development and calls out to the Windows API. I have also developed a solution connected Microsoft Excel to a SOAP WSDL (API) relying on the VB.NET framework.