I started at Oakton this morning with 5 others (the equal largest weekly intake) with a lovely woman called Fiona Begg. I was blown away by her enthusiasm for the company and it has definitely rubbed off on me. I am very much looking forward to starting on a new Lend Lease project through Oakton (Stock Code 'OKN') which will deal with Property Funds Management.
After the induction, I was given a runthrough of the work to be done at Lend Lease. I also had some spare time which I used to look into the Property funds management business in general. I found some very illuminating articles on the software currently available at http://www.avo.gov.au/PropertyFundManagementDiscountedCashFlow.htm. Looking through some of the articles linked to on this site gave me a good overview of some of the tools used. It appears that there is an industry leading application called "DYNA" which is currently used by Lend Lease - along with Excel.
It seems that what ever the company, there is always a worrying number of spreadsheets lurking around where business-critical applications should be. I don't want to go into the many problems there are with spreadsheets - but I would hope that you don't want millions of dollars going awry when you incorrectly cut and paste a formula! After all the spreadsheets I've seen at Queensland Water Infrastructure and Pfizer, my thoughts were .... "Oh no! Not again!"
I also noticed that (like most companies), that Timesheets are not kept at the task level, but rather X number of hours is just allocated to a client. This is a lot simpler than the level of detail we had to provide at SSW. Perhaps our clients were just more demanding.
One of the things that Mark Liu mentioned when I gave him a lift to the bowling was that his brother John Liu (with whom I worked with for a year at SmartSalary) is also at Oakton. This means that I will potentially be working with 4 people I have worked with previously :
- Ryan Macnamee will be my supervisor (with whom I worked on the Qantas meal forecasting application at his old company Datacom)
- Andrew Weaver (who used to work at SSW) who now works at Lend Lease directly
- Tristan Kurniawan (who is contracting to Lend Lease via SSW)
- John Liu (if he moves to the Lend Lease project).
So it is really more like changing clients at SSW than moving company... Only bad thing is that I have to start 7:45am tomorrow!