Glen Ellyn native Diane Williams has been programming for over 20 years. She speaks to clients day in and day out, about their upgrades and software and hardware changes, then trains employees to use what she develops.
Though she’s been programming for her entire career, first with MSI and then with Future Link, Diane’s knowledge continues to grow. “Back in the day, before there were really packages available, I started out doing all custom programming. As things changed, I got involved with add-on software – ERP, accounting, manufacturing, distribution-type packages – all written with Basic.”
Helping customers interface
Over the years, Diane’s gained a good understanding of the business process. Customers turn to her for help and she’s happy to steer them in the right direction: “They have an idea, but they don’t really know how to get there.”
For one manufacturer, she helped develop software so folks in the plant could easily interface with the system’s backend. “I developed a custom interface that simplifies the process,” she explains, “Especially for employees whose first language may not be English. Now they can easily key in the backend, right from the factory floor.”
Customers trust Diane; she’s built up good relationships with them, some for over 20 years.
Diane’s gift is being able to sift through “programmer speak” versus “business speak,” and bridge the gap between the two. She’ll go through what the client is asking for point by point and implement changes with them, helping them get to the easiest solution that still fits their needs. “The customer’s vision of things might not really be what’s happening, so we have to meet in the middle,” she explains.
Diane helps customers take a step back and see what it is they have to do.
Diane has seen tech (and tech knowledge) evolve as business evolves. “Some of our clients didn’t know what Excel was in the beginning.” She’s helped move a number of clients from all-manual, paper-based systems to computer systems. “Now they run interfaces and pull things in Excel… Getting them on a Windows server was a big step for some of them!” she laughs.
There are still some people out there who use and run software that was written 25 years ago, she admits, but one of the best parts of her job is helping them migrate to new systems: “[The old program] does what the customers need it to do – but the new version has a more modern look and feel and use, and now we can customize packages to their needs.” Clients have room to grow with an updated system.
When she’s not at work, Diane spends time with her three grandchildren, aged 8, 6, and 2, who just moved back to Illinois after living out-of-state for several years. “It’s been kind of fun to have them around,” she smiles.
Future Link of Illinois has been doing IT support for businesses like yours since 2002. Future Link specializes in fully customized hardware and software solutions to meet your needs. Connect your business to technology resources and experts, like Diane: Click here to schedule a call.