Day in the life of a GIS Analyst (Developer)

An abbreviated version of a typical day involving the duties of a GIS Analyst and Developer. Or maybe it’s just me.

Hour 1

Arrive to work before the sun does. Grab some coffee, catch up on email. Peruse the latest ArcUser and ArcNews and look at how easy it all should be.

Hour 2

Crap, all the Arc licenses are in use. Send out mass email to all users asking if someone can free one up. Ok, you have a license. One of your SDE databases is down, a ticket to ESRI has been sent. Use an old slower SDE. Begin running a geoprocessing task on a couple million polygons.

Hour 3

More coffee. Discover some internal web applications are not working because that single SDE is down. Send out email to users notifying of situation. Development IDE of choice crashes or freezes a few times to remind you that you are a bad person.

Hour 4

ArcMap crashes in the middle of editing. Try again, crap, cashed again. Try this one more… forget it, no more editing, just use draw tools to make quick exhibits.

Hour 5

More coffee. Given a PDF map that came from a consultant and asked make changes. That’s it, just a PDF. You do things to make this happen that make you feel dirty.

Hour 6

Lunch time. Ninety-percent of solutions to GIS questions or development issues are found on web sites that are blocked as Social Media or Blogs. Twitter rant (vis smartphone). Check that geoprocessing task is still running.

Hour 7

Rush request for exhibit that needs data on the SDE that is down. That particular dataset can also be found on an external hard drive. The enclosure died last month. Pry open enclosure, rip out hard drive, pop open work pc and manually plug it in to extract the data. Cross your fingers that no one from IT department walks in as the internals of your gutted work machine are exposed.

Hour 8

Seriously reconsidering your life decisions.

Hour 9

Geoprocessing task failed around the 8-hour 5-minute mark with geometry errors. After 40 minutes is still cancelling itself. Go home and drink to forget.

Note: No actual analysis got done, as the failed geoprocessing task squashed that goal.

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