Lisa Dochstader, Systems Analyst

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Systems Analyst, OpenText

“I pull all the pieces together from a database, like ingredients in a recipe, and make it easy to use. I am the master chef of data!”

Lisa is a troubleshooter who fixes computer problems for OpenText employees. She helped solve a major problem in Japan, where the yen currency has no decimals (i.e. it’s 4 yen never 4.35 yen). The company needed to change a database from having two decimals to no decimals so all the numbers would match up. Lisa replaced all historical transactions with a “new” currency called JP2 and recreated the yen with no decimal places. From there, she did a lot of trial and error tests to figure out how to get the desired results. “Along the way I taught myself many new things, used some old skills and learned some new tricks.” It used to take the Japanese a lot of extra time to input data in the old database. With the new streamlined system in place, she made a huge difference in the day-to-day lives of the Japanese accounting team.

Lisa's CareerMash

Lisa began her career as a TV producer/director in community television, eventually moving into broadcast television at Corus Entertainment. She took on a new position as production scheduler and worked with a software application called ScheduALL. Lisa caught the tech bug as she got into customizing the application. So she moved into the IT department and never looked back! “There is a lot of opportunity in the IT world.”

A Day in the Life

“Every day there is a new puzzle. It’s like I solve puzzles for a living.”

Lisa works with a software developer to find new ways to solve problems. “The kind of work I do is a lot like cooking. The ingredients don’t make a lot of sense by themselves. But you put those ingredients together and it makes something nice.” Lisa created a report that sorts data faster than before. She connected many different data reports that had previously run separately. Thanks to Lisa’s solution, what was once a 55-hour job gets done in a 2 hours!

Why this Job Rocks

OpenText is a huge, Canadian-based organization with offices around the world. Lisa deals with people from Germany, Japan and Sweden. She makes lots of contacts and learns how business and IT work in different countries. Lisa says everyone knows her. “Even the VP has tech problems! I get to talk to people at all levels.”

“OpenText is a great company to work for. They really appreciate their employees.” In the summertime, OpenText throws events like staff BBQ’s and beach days, where you dress up in your favourite beach wear, and in the winter the company hosts hockey tournaments.

Roadmap

  • Lisa graduated from Niagara College with a diploma in radio, television & broadcasting.
  • She worked as a producer/director for several years in community television before moving over to Corus Entertainment.
  • Lisa moved into the IT department at Corus when she discovered she preferred the tech side.
  • She has been in her current job as systems analyst at OpenText since 2009.

Speed Bumps

A lot of television broadcasting work is freelance and Lisa didn’t like that. She wanted something more secure. So, she started working full time doing production scheduling at Corus Entertainment. She soon found she had more fun writing reports and customizing the application than doing scheduling and moved into IT exclusively at Corus.

Tips for Success

  • Challenge yourself. Find a job that challenges you. “Don’t take the easy way out or you will get bored. Find a job that really interests you!”
  • Be open to change. Lisa switched careers three times until she found her passion was IT!
  • Work to live. “I work to live, I don’t live to work.”  Lisa loves volleyball, gardening and hiking! She meets up with a lot of people from work on the weekends. “IT people aren’t boring!” She finds that her co-workers are also involved in after work activities and have lots of different life experiences.