"Interesting" Job Posting: Hybrid IT Pro/Accountant/IT Pro Needed



  • <FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> This was an interesting posting I found today.  Any takers?</FONT>

    <FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3></FONT> 

    <FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>Hybrid IT Pro / Accountant / IT Pro Needed</FONT>

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </FONT></o:p>

    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">Outdoor Advertising Company seeks full time permanent employee experienced in both accounting and programming to assist with conversion of custom accounting software to Access/VB/SQL.  A detail-oriented person with an Accounting degree and both accounting and IT programming experience is required, and management experience a plus.  This will be a long time position – if you change jobs every six months don’t bother to read the rest of this.</FONT></FONT>

    <o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </FONT></o:p>

    <FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>Candidate would develop software that candidate, candidate’s staff and other departments (sales, real estate/leasing, production) would use.  How often have you thought of improving the software that you or someone you know is using? We are in the process of converting an old VAX Cobol based accounting system to Access 2003/VB/SQL. Anticipated basic development time has about 2-3 years remaining, mainly in the AR and Inventory Control areas.  Payroll, AP and GL are essentially complete.  After development, candidate would move into a more accounting oriented role and eventually be responsible for preparation of financial statements and tax returns, doing maintenance programming or supervising new projects, such as updating this package to pure SQL/thin client.</FONT>

    <o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </FONT></o:p>

    <FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>I am the current VP Accounting/IT and am looking to retire soon – this candidate would be in a strong position to assume my position within a few years and manage both departments.  When I first got started in this in the mid 70’s, I took our company from a manual accounting system to computerized billing, then PDP-11 and eventually VAX full system completed in the mid 80’s.  I supervise both the Accounting and IT departments.  Our Accounting Department is in great shape, with my Accounting Manager handling the routine along with his staff.  Our immediate need is in IT – while my IT Manager knows his stuff, he does not have the accounting experience necessary to better handle the current conversion.</FONT>

    <o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </FONT></o:p>

    <FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>If you think this may be for you, email me at xxxx with Resume in the title – I’ll turn off the spam filter for you. Please remember that an Accounting Degree is required.</FONT>



  • Mhm... the requirements are rather uncommon, but it seems perfectly possible to me that someone might want exactly that kind of job.



  • @ammoQ said:

    Mhm... the requirements are rather uncommon, but it seems perfectly possible to me that someone might want exactly that kind of job.

    Are you kidding? Just imagine the 30 years of worth of WTF that the former accountant-would-be-programmer will throw at you!



  • @JvdL said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Mhm... the requirements are rather uncommon, but it seems perfectly possible to me that someone might want exactly that kind of job.

    Are you kidding? Just imagine the 30 years of worth of WTF that the former accountant-would-be-programmer will throw at you!

    Why do you have to assume that "accountants" can't program? It's been my experience that non-computer science majors do quite a lot of software development, and I tend to be much more impressed by the results than by what the CS people do. Electrical engineers and especially mathematicians are imo perfectly capable of developing software. In fact, lots of time computer science is more abstract and theoretical, while other sciences get more experience applying computers directly to problems.

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me that an accountant, mathematician or electrical engineer makes at least as good  a programmer as a CS grad would. I don't know if this is common practice, but at my university the entire bussiness / economics department is part of the math faculty, which also does quite a bit of software engineering. There is also the interdisciplinary major of Bussiness Informatics, not at my University in particular, but it's not uncommon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_informatics

    You really do want someone with experience in both fields to develop a system such as this. Now, whether or not this job is a WTF is another question, but do not mock the accountants :-)
     



  • @Nandurius said:

    @JvdL said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Mhm... the requirements are rather uncommon, but it seems perfectly possible to me that someone might want exactly that kind of job.

    Are you kidding? Just imagine the 30 years of worth of WTF that the former accountant-would-be-programmer will throw at you!

    Why do you have to assume that "accountants" can't program? It's been my experience that non-computer science majors do quite a lot of software development, and I tend to be much more impressed by the results than by what the CS people do. Electrical engineers and especially mathematicians are imo perfectly capable of developing software. In fact, lots of time computer science is more abstract and theoretical, while other sciences get more experience applying computers directly to problems.

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me that an accountant, mathematician or electrical engineer makes at least as good  a programmer as a CS grad would. I don't know if this is common practice, but at my university the entire bussiness / economics department is part of the math faculty, which also does quite a bit of software engineering. There is also the interdisciplinary major of Bussiness Informatics, not at my University in particular, but it's not uncommon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_informatics

    You really do want someone with experience in both fields to develop a system such as this. Now, whether or not this job is a WTF is another question, but do not mock the accountants :-)
     

     

    Having had the misfortune of actually converting non-professionally creating code into a working system, let me assure you that it takes a lot more than logic and common sense to create a decent system. I have a lot of respect for anyone who has spent years studying something, but I do not believe that they can then create professional quality software in a reasonable timeframe without stepping into all the minefields I have in the last twenty years. I come across this kind of thing all the time. I had one example of a power station modelling system where a very learned professor had created a prototype which (when I examined the code) consisted of vast numbers of essentially cut+paste VB6 code fragments. It had zero structure and huge numbers of hardcoded magic numbers. Unravelling that lot took me longer than it would have taken to write the full system from scratch.   



  • @Nandurius said:

    @JvdL said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Mhm... the requirements are rather uncommon, but it seems perfectly possible to me that someone might want exactly that kind of job.

    Are you kidding? Just imagine the 30 years of worth of WTF that the former accountant-would-be-programmer will throw at you!

    Why do you have to assume that "accountants" can't program?

    Because accountants can't find their own arse without three competing bids, a full breakdown of costs, and a stack of tax reclamation forms. And they'll bill you by the minute for doing it. 



  • @zedhex said:

    it takes a lot more than logic and common sense to create a decent system

    Common sense is the arch-enemy of software development. You can't create anything worthwhile until you learn to stop thinking it exists and paying attention to it.



  • @Nandurius said:

    @JvdL said:

    Are you kidding? Just imagine the 30 years of worth of WTF that the former accountant-would-be-programmer will throw at you!

    Why do you have to assume that "accountants" can't program? It's been my experience that non-computer science majors do quite a lot of software development, and I tend to be much more impressed by the results than by what the CS people do. Electrical engineers and especially mathematicians are imo perfectly capable of developing software. In fact, lots of time computer science is more abstract and theoretical, while other sciences get more experience applying computers directly to problems.

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me that an accountant, mathematician or electrical engineer makes at least as good  a programmer as a CS grad would. I don't know if this is common practice, but at my university the entire bussiness / economics department is part of the math faculty, which also does quite a bit of software engineering. There is also the interdisciplinary major of Bussiness Informatics, not at my University in particular, but it's not uncommon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_informatics

    You really do want someone with experience in both fields to develop a system such as this. Now, whether or not this job is a WTF is another question, but do not mock the accountants :-)




    My intent was not to mock people without a CS degree, I'm a mathematician-would-be-programmer myself. It's just my gut reaction when reading between the lines of this job posting. This is what I read:

    The seventies. A small company (100 employees) enters the information era and assigns a scout that has a way with numbers or electronics. In this example an accountant, but if it was the early eighties it would have been that guy (never a gal) with the PC. He starts building single handedly a system over a period of twenty years. This system has no design or goal. It just haphazardly automates tasks as deemed useful or urgent.

    Now to get away with for so long that shows that the guy has some talent. But he learned the trade on one system and his first trial and error code is still at the heart of it. Add to that a complete lack of design or direction and you have more WTF this site could handle.

    Fast forward: enter the nineties. The small company starts to grow, as does the use of computers. The company now has 1000 of employees, and needs an IT department to handle all the shit. Naturally, our accountant becomes head of IT given his experience with the mother of all systems. As he needs both hands to keep it in the air, he also needs an accounting dept to do the actual accounting.

    Late nineties. The accountant is now CFO/CIO of a company with 10,000 employees. Y2K looms and GAAP(*) becomes law. The company wants to replace the old accounting system by a new ERP system, for the bargain price $10,000,000. Somehow our hero manages to stall that and keep alive his baby, promising the CEO to convert it from VAX/COBOL to Access/VB (good choice!).

    2007.  Seven years into the conversion, he's still clueless. Seeing no way out this mess, he doubts whether he should put a gun to his head or go for early retirement and utters this last cry for help and mercy.

    How do I know all this? His statement "my IT Manager knows his stuff, he does not have the accounting experience necessary to better handle the current conversion" gives him away. Accounting holds no mistery for IT. Companies differ on many aspects. To implement ERP systems like SAP, Oracle Apps, PeopleSoft etcetera takes years and millions due to the subtle differences in business processes. The one thing that is a no-brainer, in fact, the anchor that keeps all the rest at bay, is the accounting component that, due to strict legislation, is always the same for every company (within one country).


     (*) Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
     



  • /*

    Tosses a dime in the accountant's piggy bank...

    */



  • @JvdL said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Mhm... the requirements are rather uncommon, but it seems perfectly possible to me that someone might want exactly that kind of job.

    Are you kidding? Just imagine the 30 years of worth of WTF that the former accountant-would-be-programmer will throw at you!

    I agree, Jvdl. The key to the WTF can be found in a couple of key phrases from the OP's post:

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Candidate would develop software
    that candidate, candidate’s staff and other departments (sales, real
    estate/leasing, production) would use.</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Access 2003/VB/SQ</font>

    Yeah. It's not a WTF that they'd choose that platform to base an obviously multi-user (and probably heavily used) system on. Come on! Access & VB for that? How can that not be a bad choice? And if that's the type of choice the former-accountant-would-be-programmer is making now, how could choices over the past 30 years have been better?

    Edit: And no, I'm not saying that Access and VB can't be good choices;
    just that they're really bad choices for this particular application.
    I'm not bashing the tools, but the choice to use them here.


     



  • IMO the WTF is that they're migrating to Access/VB instead of simply recompiling that puppy on a new Integrity server with VMS 8.3.  Or if they can't afford Integrity, Alphas are available on Ebay these days...

     (Do I sound too knowledgable about these details?  ;-)  )


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