I’m Matthew Moran and this is:

The Google Automator on Substack.

The Google Automator Logo: A 4 colored circle with the letter G in the upper left and the letter A in the lower right.
The Google Automator

What is the Google Automator?

I provide more details below but, in short, it’s a place where you can learn to build solutions in and around Google Apps Scripts.

Additionally, I am a 25+ year software engineer and consultant. I will also be offering career and consulting advice from time to time.

About Subscriptions & Rates

Substack requires a minimum monthly subscription rate of $5. I want your monthly rate to be $3, which equals $36 a year. I want the yearly rate to be $30, which equals $2.50 per month.

In order to accomplish this I’ve established a 40% discount on ALL subscriptions. and set the monthly amount to $5 and the yearly amount to $50.

This effectively makes the monthly rate $3 and the yearly rate $30.


What you get with your super low-cost subscription

I will send code snippets once a week with hands on examples of automating business processes and building solutions in Google Apps Scripts and related technology.

Paid subscribers get the complete code snippets and will also be given access to a Google Driver Folder with working examples of the code.

Free subscribers will get a little information and be teased incessantly until the agree to my outrageously low rates. ;-)

You will have access to the Google Drive folder(s) and the code as long as you are subscribed. From the Google Drive folder you can copy working examples of the code in spreadsheets, documents, and stand-alone scripts.

Often, though not always, I will include videos. There will be basic documentation for every solution.

Additionally, as mentioned above, I’ll also offer some advice as a consultant and someone who has largely worked from home, generating what I call, Geographically Untethered Income. I’ve been social distancing long before Covid.

So….

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Additional Information

What is Google Apps Scripts?

Google Apps Scripts (GAS) is Google’s Javascript-based automation technology. With it, you can access a variety of databases, build custom spreadsheets and documents, send and read email, and connect to other cloud-based services.

More important, you can streamline the way you and your organization work and, should it interest you, do some consulting of your own and help other organizations implement solutions that you build.

My Life in Automation

How did I get here?

Automation is the Sheet!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ve been automating technology since my first Apple IIe and bulletin board systems in the 1980’s.

And just this morning (3/23/2022) I put some final touches on a system that pulls data from Airtable into BigQuery SQL, cleans that data in the process, generates reports for 40 of my client’s customers, turns them into PDF’s with section links, and sends them in a branded HTML email to a customized distribution list.

In 1989, I was hired by Blue Cross of California. I wasn’t hired for my technology skills. I was hired for data entry because I could type fast.

Ambitiously Lazy

As is the case with many automation technologists, I am lazy*. As I was doing all this data entry and generating reports. I started figuring out things I could automate. Within a month or two of starting my job I had annoyed my boss because I’d automated a bunch of my daily tasks.

Why this annoyed her has to do with her unfulfilled desire to learn programming and, well, who knows…

* Lazy is probably an inaccurate description. Easily bored with the tedious and mundane and unwilling to perform such tasks is more accurate.

Nine months later - like a new baby - I was hired into a new department where I started writing a document assembly system in a product named Word for DOS by this company named, Microsoft - ever heard of ‘em? I also started developing the departmental database in an XBase compiler/language called, Clipper.

Image of me at my desk at Blue Cross of California
Yours truly at Blue Cross, with hair, and the book, Programming in Clipper.

I’m thinking I should have taken Microsoft up up on their job offer in 1992. My son, a software developer for LinkedIn, did some calculations on what a small amount of that stock would be worth today… but I digress.

When asked by an IT department head at Blue Cross, how I came up with some of my ideas and solutions I replied, I’m ambitiously lazy. I’ll work extra hard to make tedious and mundane tasks go away.”

You should strive to be lazy too. And I’ll help you!

I left Blue Cross (Wellpoint) in 1995 to consult for a large law firm… document assembly is big in insurance and legal circles.

Since then, I’ve consulted for hundreds of organizations from Fortune 500 to scrappy little start-ups. I’ve mentored and trained technologist and seen them climb their own ladders of success. Some are also consultants and some serve as VP’s of Tech. They’ve done okay for themselves.

My goal is to help you!

Stuff we’ll cover

In this newsletter, I will share snippets of code, database integrations, and other helpful technology and advice from my life as a consultant & author.

Also, we’ll cover:

  • Google Apps Scripts

  • Google BigQuery

  • Airtable

  • Productivity Tips

  • Consulting & Career

  • And from time to time I’ll cover other technologies (SQL Server, Excel & Access VBA) that I work with.

Why Substack?

Because, this way, you can pay me for my wit, wisdom, and guidance. It’s about the price of a cup of coffee. Of course, if I can convince 10,000 of you to buy me a cup of coffee, I will have some serious jitters. Or I’ll be writing this newsletter sitting on a beach in the Virgin Islands.

The Current Pricing Model

As of: 5/15/2022

  • $3.00/month (paid each month) = $36/year
    or

  • $30/year (paid once a year) = $2.50/month

A little more about me

  • 25+ years as a technology consultant/software developer.

  • Author: I’ve written two books (links below) and numerous articles on professional development, technology, music, culture, and politics. I also write essays, stories, songs (see below), scripts, and help a few people with their content strategy and production.

Image of the cover of my book, Building Your I.T. Career
My book, Building Your I.T. Career - published by Pearson

  • Songwriter: I’m good… but check me on that.

  • I also write a free newsletter, covering my music and some meandering thoughts. It’s called, The Arrogant Sage. You should check it out.

  • Other about stuff: I like doing push-ups, hiking, cooking, taking pictures, watching science documentaries, wrestling with my girlfriend/partner, good tequila, bad wine, the “devil-weed”, and avoiding crowds.*

* I’m okay with crowds if I am the one performing or speaking. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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