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Mauricio Featherman Mauricio Featherman Ph.D

The video above makes the argument for all people to learn how to program. Featherman’s ASP.NET\SQL Server class will give you a good start as a web-database developer. The video below is designed to give you an idea about job opportunities in the MIS area. To achieve any of the positions you will have to do tremendous amount of self-study to supplement your major courses. That is usually the fun part – self exploration or small-group based learning of programming and database techniques.

We live in a time rife with big problems, increasing digitization and complexity, information overload, and tough career demands. More than ever businesspeople need computer programming skills to automate processes,  provide monitoring and alerting systems and other systems that reduce information overload. This class will show you how to quickly create systems to perform self-service transaction processing, dynamic reporting, business process analysis, and automated alerting and transactions. While this class teaches business programming, the focus is on solving business problems, improving business processes, and creating value and important quantifiable results. Information Systems that provide us with alerts and automate more mundane transactions can help shield us from information overload.

You will join the business world which uses corporate-wide enterprise systems that create big data. A challenge for managers and analysts lies in gaining mastery over the terabytes of data so that fact table insights can drive business decisions, cost-savings, and revenue generation. Luckily we live in an era with great technology. Specifically your MISe department has secured the rights to give you free access to Visual Studio and SQL Server technologies. This course is designed to teach business programming skills which can be used to design and deploy web sites, create business performance analytics, and work with data.

Each manager of the future needs to be data smart, knowing how to harness data to make sense of the problem they are attempting to solve. Paired with a good database class, this class teaches you how to make data-based, web-based transaction processing systems, and management reporting systems. Paired with an intro BI course this course further demonstrates how to design and implement key performance indicators (KPI’s) and the derived data used to visualize them in management dashboards. This programming course then in design to allow you to maximize your understanding of the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack of technologies.

Mastery over data begins with an analytical mind, empowered with programming and database skills. In this class you learn both Visual Basic and structured query language skills. You learn about web site development, practicing well-oiled routines useful for gathering and analyzing data.  Consider this a problem solving class wherein participants learn basic technologies useful to create, organize and analyze business performance data.

Business Analysts and technologists need a foundation of strong T-SQL, database, programming, and statistics knowledge and skills. With this combination of skills, understanding and perspective you can make yourself ready for corporate employment.
New for 2014: This class has been near-completely reconfigured with the sole purpose of helping you gain mastery over data as quickly as possible. As much as possible the ‘teaching programming” metaphor has been replaced with the get BI projects done metaphor (using a Visual Basic programming). The course focuses on the business intelligence administrator or analyst’s need to interact, manipulate and display data.Here is a comparison of the 2010-2013 teaching context and new 2014 teaching context.

Course Purpose:

The course empowers participants with a programming mindset and skill set, instilling the perspective to understand how corporations collect, utilize, analyze and organize data. The course begins with a coverage of database retrieval, transformation and reporting technologies designing and creating key performance indicators. Subsequently business transactions are analyzed, digitized, and then automated. the astute student will leave the course empowered to solve common business problems using web, mobile and database technologies. While the real take-away from this class is a problem-solving mindset, some examples of hands-on solutions you should be able to create by the end of this class include:

1) a retail point of sales and store management system that keeps track of sales, customers, vendors, products, inventory, and employees (transaction processing system)
2) Event registration, communications, coordination, and logistics systems. (transaction processing system)
3) Automating business processes such as extracting data from databases and transforming it to answer business questions (management information system).
4) Interactive drill-down, roll-up reporting systems and dashboards (decision support systems)

Technologies Utilized:

1) Visual Studio Professional 2013 (or similar) and Visual Basic.
2) SQL Server 2012 (or similar), structured queries and T-SQL inside stored procedures


You should gain an appreciation for the requirements definitions and systems development process, including system testing. You should gain a programming mindset that encourages you to quickly envision custom solutions to common business management and reporting needs. Your ability to embrace new programming skills will also give you the confidence to quickly learn other new information systems such as BI tools or CRM tools. Your ability to concentrate, troubleshoot, and persevere in the context of solving IS/IT problems should increase. Your appetite and confidence to innovate using technology should increase. All of these skills point to increased job prospects, and perhaps also result in people magically appearing and offering you money to waive your coder’s magic wand and make their business problems go away. Coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit you may even create and sell your packaged apps and solutions.

Content description:

It is important for business students to be able to create, modify and maintain web-based business applications. It is not enough to be able to use that app you downloaded. Sure its a skill to find and master apps quickly, but custom software (like a custom tailored suit) can solve your business problem most elegantly. MIS majors therefore need to know how to create small web and mobile applications, and just as importantly understand the development process. Programming against a database is a core skill of MIS professionals (just as developing BI dashboards and reporting systems is). This course starts you on the road to web site authorship, web development project management, and database design. You will learn how to:

1) Create web applications that enable saving (and modifying) user responses into a database (i.e., party or event registrations, e-commerce orders, survey responses, etc.)

2) Create interactive web applications that perform calculations and draw attention to business problems or successes.

3) Learn how to use standard program control tricks and techniques to write some advanced programs (such as a Point of sale system, Customer Relationship Management System, Accounts Receivable System, Supply Chain Management system or Inventory reordering system). Your professor has written applications to accomplish each of these, and stands ready to get you moving in that direction too.

4) Check the syllabus and schedule on the left for more details.

5. Anyone that got this far in their college experience can excel in this class. Patience, poise, professionalism, and playfulness are needed.

6. It will not be possible for your professor to teach you all that you need to know, or all that he wants to teach. It takes time to develop skills. Therefore consider this just a first class in a direction of learning, and the icebreaker to a really fun set of skills and processes.

7. When you are creating a program and it does not work, and you are trying to fix it, using all means possible such as looking at class notes, online books, sample programs, Googling error messages, texting friends, etc., is this a waste of time? Or is it when the learning is happening? You learn more by researching and fixing errors. This is the learning process, so embrace it, relax, and go with the flow rather than reject the troubleshooting process as BS and disengage.

Students that learn the tools and skill set this course imparts will increase their chances of securing an IT, or MIS internship or job (ask the campus recruiters). Students that perform additional experimentation (self learning) using the tools provided will greatly improve their job performance and career success. Don’t believe it? Ask the recruiters that come to WSU campus, and the high-achieving MIS@WSU Cougs that came before you.