Bank of America will always hold a place in my heart because my work saved an entire division from being shut down. More on that in a bit, but I had to say that upfront because I know y’all are thinking, “A bank project…boring!” 🙂
Originally, I was hired to bring an old DOS based app up to date. BofA wanted the app to run on Access 97 on Windows. I got there, looked at the ugly DOS app and asked, “Now, if you want, I can make this look EXACTLY the same on Access 97 as it does now. Or I can redesign it to make it better.” There was a quick question, “Will it take you longer?” My answer was, “Not really. I have to build the screens anyways whether I build them to look the same or different won’t really matter much.” The manager nodded an approval and I was on my way.
The first half of the project was data clean up. Their old system allowed them to enter dirty data and there was a ton of clean up needed. To break up the monotony, I’d chat with the users and watch how the used the current app. I’d ask them what they’d change and how they’d change it to make them work better. I implemented all those changes in the redesign and rolled it out. My favorite feature was where I implemented a button click to automatically calculate and run a report that used to take a week to build. During the merger with NationsBank years after I left, they figured out that my application enabled the BofA team to do twice the workload that the NationsBank team, despite the fact that BofA had half the number of people. Therefore, my project helped save that BofA division from being shut down. It blows my mind that a 23 year old version of me saved 30+ people’s jobs. However, I’ve been making apps the same way ever since.