Get Your Numbers Right
About the Programmer - Greg Lovern
Greg Lovern has been using Microsoft Excel since version 3.0. He's been automating it with macros since version 4.0, and with VBA since the day his pre-ordered copy of version 5.0 arrived in the mail in February 1994.
Greg had been working as a restaurant waiter to support his labor of love, a small mail-order catalog of humor books (before Amazon.com) called "Giggle Books". The restaurant manager had him start doing the bookkeeping using Microsoft Excel, which was Greg's first encounter with any spreadsheet program. Before long Greg bought a couple of Excel macro books and taught himself to write macros (the old XLM kind, as this was before Excel VBA) and made that large restaurant's bookkeeping process many times faster by automating it with macros. Then he automated virtually all the other tasks being done in Excel there, and created a simple management information system. Finally, he decided he liked Excel more than Giggle Books and restaurant work, and soon found his way into Microsoft.
Greg was a technical support engineer at
Microsoft for over 9 years, taking calls from customers about all kinds of
problems and questions about Microsoft products. Over 3 of those years were in
Excel support. For most of that time, Greg was on the Excel "escalation team",
which meant that he was one of the support engineers that would take on
difficult cases that other Excel support engineers were unable to resolve. For
the last 6 months of that time, he was the lead for the escalation team in
Washington State, taking all the support cases that even the other Washington
State escalation team members were unable to resolve. While Excel escalation
lead, Greg earned his Microsoft Certified Solution Developer status, Microsoft's
highest software programming certification at the time (1997). Then, in a rare
move for Office support engineers, Greg was promoted to VB support, when VB5 and
later VB6 were current. Greg never gave up on a
single case, and he often worked very late (occasionally all night long)
resolving problems for customers. Greg treated every single customer like he or
she was the most important customer who ever lived. Because, after all, each
customer really is that important.
Greg hopes to someday resurrect Giggle Books as a small publisher of humor books.
Greg Lovern lives in Bellevue, WA (near Seattle) with his wife Barbra and their three sons Eric, Avery, and Nathan, ages 6, 4, and 1. Eric is pictured above at about 18 months.
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