Happy Anniversary to Me - Do we actually make an Impact?

Today, 8/10/2022 is my 23rd anniversary at Epicor (big cheers!)… I started in Tech Support (5.5 years), then Professional Services (16+ years), then Product Management (1.5 years). Epicor has been, and continues to be a great place to work.

Sometimes we look back and wonder… “Did I make an impact?”, “Am I doing quality work?”, “Will I be remembered” (or missed) when I eventually move on (not planning anything soon).

Well… I typically answer that by looking back at some of the changes over time that I had my hand involved with in the product. I know of some special fields, processes, and features that I had a direct impact on getting implemented. Some of you use those features:

  • Allow Consumption of Minimum - one that I pushed on for a while to solve a major problem for some customers
  • Min/Max/Safety calculations - I “accidently” developed this as an updatable dashboard for a customer who needed it. A Sales Engineer got ahold of it and started including it in demonstrations. When E10 came around, it had to be rewritten, and someone in Dev converted it to a real process.

DEEP PAST
But I even see a relic of past work at my former employer… over 25 years ago, I was the IT Manager at a small company called Datatronics and I created their FIRST Website. It was very state-of-the-art back then with real photos of products, and it was all built with the now defunct Microsoft FrontPage. Well, the webpage has been completely redesigned and no longer a FrontPage site, it still has some remnants of my original website.

If you go to Datatronics’ “About” page, you will see this photo. I TOOK THIS PHOTO using a 0.5 megapixel Kodak digital camera (good for the day) and used an early version of Adobe Photoshop to “clean up” the image, removing powerlines, and making it pretty. (For a while, I even had a space shuttle flying over the building as a joke). Also, if you go to their Awards page, many of the photos of awards are ones I took as well with that old Kodak digital camera (the ones with bad resolution).

For Reference, here is what the building looks like today according to GoogleMaps… the Cypress tree is much taller, the powerlines are back, the building is painted, and even the sign on the front of the building is gone (but they still reside here).

So… if you ever wonder about your value, remember that what you do MAY still be in use 25 years later. (If I got just 1 cent for every view of that photo…)

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OH, and many years before this, I helped invent something new and got a patent… (US4808958A - Linear variable differential transformer with improved secondary windings - Google Patents)

I find it interesting how there are an additional 19 patents that are reference this new discovery. Did this invention make a huge impact on the world? Who knows if it saved the life of a pilot or made something better for someone along the way?

I do know that my father’s uncle who invented the CHAIR had a big impact, otherwise everyone would be standing all the time.

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I would argue that your impact is far larger than just the features you have implemented. Just on this forum you have helped people solve problems when they were stuck, made some people more open to new ideas, and even made people laugh! Now that is real progress! All the best on your next 23 years at Epicor! :wink:

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Tim,

That’s fantastic! I really appreciate your knowledge of Epicor & best practices, and your generosity sharing it with all of us. You are one of the good guys for sure. Thank you.

And we had chairs like that in our kitchen growing up in the early 1980’s. Totally tubular, man!

Andris

PS - My only lasting contribution seems to be that I’m still the voice on the phone menu when you call Mallory Industries, from my first manufacturing job in 2001. Man I hate listening to myself! Some of the pictures are from when I was programming the Zeiss CMM too.

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@John_Mitchell & @askulte, Thank you for the kind comments… Yes, I try to help people and freely give away information. This is something that became a habit early in my career after some advice from my boss, Bob Miller, who was the president, so he occupied the “principals office” in the building which was formerly an old school building. One day, after working for him for 2 years, Bob said: “Let me give you some advice… in order to be promotable, you need to be replaceable.”. He then went on to tell me that I should give away all my knowledge to others as I worked. Make sure that everyone is trained in what I do and how I do it… if I held all my knowledge, and if I was the only one who know how to do something, he could not promote me to a new position. Ever since, I have always given away anything I learn to my coworkers, customers, etc.
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Every time someone uses .Any in a LINQ statement…

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We’re happy to have you here @timshuwy!

If I had to bet, at least 80% of our innovations come to market this way… haha

This might be the most useful piece of advice I’ve heard in a long time.

I know that I have learned a lot from you and from so many others on this site. I would not be in the position I am in otherwise. With that in mind, you’ve impacted not only me but also my family and the community I live in. The culture you’ve helped to create here is amazing and it makes me want to keep passing on all the knowledge. Cheers to 50 more years!

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Hmm… maybe I should make “In order to be promotable, you need to be replaceable” its own post.

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I quoted it today to a coworker. Love it.

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I find it humorous that in one of my comments, I had two links to two different patents… one was mine, and one my uncles… more people were interested in my dad’s uncle’s CHAIR patent at a 5 to 1 ratio.

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:laughing:
I clicked the CHAIR because I wanted to see if the patent was actually filed as “CHAIR”.
The other link had a little more description on the post.

Yup… it was literally a “chair”, which I thought was rather funny. He also invented many other things such as the motor scooter,
and a Water Dispensing Fountain
and a kitchen Blender

Tim,
Thank you for being a great Mentor and Friend!

Paul

@pjackson, you are STILL missed here at Epicor as both a friend and colleague.