Update: Part 2 is now available here, and the final part is here!
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The other day, i was digging through my documents folder looking for some old presentation i had done, and i stumbled across an old copy of my CV. Whilst i glanced through it and struggled to remember some of the things i was once an expert in, it occurred to me how boring it is to read through a CV. I mean, it really is.
What can i do about this, i thought? I remember being blown away by Robbie Leonardi’s interactive CV – you really should check it out.
Robbie Leonardi’s fantastic interactive CV
I appreciate that this is an insanely cool example, but wondered what could be done with Qlik which could make things a bit more exciting, and more importantly – interactive.
I’ll also be providing (not straight away, but soon) downloads for everything i show you here, including a working Qlik Sense app, and supporting Excel Workbook to load and amend your data model – more on that soon.
QlikView or Qlik Sense?
First major decision – which tool? I must offer disclosure at this point and say that for my day job, I’m embroiled in QlikView for the most part, so am always keen to snap up an opportunity to use Sense for something “cool”. Putting that reasoning aside, i did decide to go for Sense. Here’s why…
Wherever my CV is being consumed, i want it to look good. It’s going to have a fair amount of graphical elements, so i need things to flex without having to put loads of work in. Sense is the clear winner here.
Portability and the power of Cloud
The possibility to use Qlik Sense Cloud played a really big part in my decision. As a completely free resource, it’s invaluable in this type of scenario where ease and control of distribution is important.
When I think about the amount of times in the past i have seen my CV be “moulded” and “shaped” into something it is not by recruiters, it frustrates me. When i send it out, i want it to stay in that format unless i say otherwise. Cloud takes on this role perfectly.
Not only can i upload and publish a new version of my CV whenever i want, i also have total control over who is able to access it. Even better than that, whilst consuming, recruiters or employers can view it as much as they want, but they cannot download my app. Secure and locked? Sold! I’ll cover a bit on the features above in a later blog when we get to releasing our app to Qlik Sense Cloud.
Extensibility and future development
For this version of my CV, I’ve implicitly agreed to make some sacrifices. By selecting Qlik Sense Cloud as my platform, i’m throwing out the possibility to use extensions and widgets for now, which are not yet supported. That could pose some challenges in creating the CV i really want, but it also offers opportunity. I can see a future iteration of this project that includes extensions and widgets, but obviously that would be tricky to redistribute – you would either need to have a publicly accessible Qlik Sense Server with all extensions installed or redistribute the app with all the extensions and how to install them – yuck.
But you know what? Hopefully the day will come that Cloud will support mashups, extensions and widgets. It would definitely be fun to use some of the incredible extensions out there in a project like this. But feet on the ground for now.
Flexing your tech muscles
I always figured it would be a pretty cool moment if you could live demo your work in an interview environment, especially when it comes to your CV. In the age of digital security that we live in nowadays, it’s become increasingly difficult to demo your past work from previous employers to display your technical prowess.
So then, this is a cool way to show you’re a boss with Qlik Sense without even have to provide a demo of your everyday work. Bazinga.
Building the app
Now that we’ve decided on Sense, let’s start setting the groundwork for building our app. But before we do that, it’s time to go and grab the content that we need.
Sourcing assets and storing
As a Qlik guy, i knew i would have to download some assets to include in my app. For example, i’ll need logos for Qlik Branch, Qlik Sense, QlikView, NPrinting, D3 etc etc.
Logos, logos, everywhere….
Save yourself some time by doing some image pre-processing to ensure that similar types of images are scaled and sized correctly, or you’ll have some formatting hoops to jump through in Sense later.
My advice is to save all your assets into your Sense default content folder, which if you’re using Qlik Sense Desktop, is:
Creating CV based Data Sources
There’s no getting around this part – you need to manually dig into your CV Word or PDF doc and pull out the text that you need. But fear not! I’ve created a simple Excel Worksheet that you can use as a template to load in the data you need for your Qlik Sense CV:
- Website (Company Website address)
- Start Date
- End Date
- Comments (A blurb describing the role in general)
- Bullet 1 (Specifics and achievements in this role)
- Bullet 2 (Specifics and achievements in this role)
- Bullet 3 (Specifics and achievements in this role)
- Bullet 4 (Specifics and achievements in this role)
- Bullet 5 (Specifics and achievements in this role)
- Percentage (Percentage of time (decimal) spent on skill during employment)
- Client Name
Note: Bullet 1 – 5 are used to describe up to 5 key points relating to each role. I know it’s not automated, but given that it won’t change that much over time, and the fact it’s real easy to add more bullets, this is an accepted compromise on my part.
Hopefully the above is self explanatory. The key things are you have a set of employers that you need to fill in the details for, and making sure your list of skills and employers are relevant.
Loading the data into Sense
Create a new app in Sense, and then simply drag in the template spreadsheet. Everything is all named to join together correctly, so you should be good to go if you just make sure you select all tables in the sheet. Hit Load data and finish.
If things have worked correctly (i’ve tested it, honest!), your lovely associative bubbles should look just like this:
I just love those bubbles and the ability for Sense to prepare data for me, but that’s for another time. Now we have a data model to work with, let’s start creating some structure in our Sense app.
Sheets, navigation, and abusing the KPI object
My app is going to have 5 sheets, so i’m going to create those blank first. For my purposes, i’m going to go for Summary, Skills, Roles, Qlik Branch and Qlik Dev Group, but just flex the amount of sheets to the content you will need. You should end up like this:
I’m pretty aware that this app might be landing on the desk(top)s of folks that don’t know Sense too well, so i want to give them some clear navigation points in the app (even though this is built in already) and use that as a template to create all my sheets.
Normally in this scenario, i would rely on Stefan Walther’s wonderful Sheet Navigation extension, but extensions are out for now, sowe need to use another solution. Enter the KPI object….
Obviously, that’s mainly used for displaying KPIs, but it does have another very useful secondary feature: it allows you to link to another sheet, which is just the functionality i’m looking for. Let’s set it up.
Open your Summary sheet and go into Edit mode. Select the Charts icon in the top left corner and and the KPI object, as below.
Add a Measure and type in =’Skills’ to your measure expression.
Also change the label to Jump To, to make it more obvious it’s a nav button.
I’ve changed the colour to green because i can 🙂
Then, in the Appearance settings, make sure the Link to sheet setting is on, and select the Skills sheet.
I prefer the Open in new tab setting to be off to make sure there’s only one instance of the app open for a user.
If all this worked, you should now be able to hit Done, and when you hit your KPI button, you’ll get confirmation that you will be jumping to the Skills sheet. Yeah!
Now we have the basis to navigate in our app, and we’ll repeat this step to create KPI objects to navigate through all combinations of our app.
We’re off to good start – we have a data model containing our CV details, a shell of an app and a neat and obvious way to navigate around our app. In part 2 we’ll look at:
- Creating Master Items for our Navigation buttons
- Adding to our Roles sheet to create an interactive employment history
- Explore some funky Background Image vs Embedded Image arguments
- Apply consistent layout and import all our images
- Some more stuff 😉
I hope you will join me for Part 2 soon, and if you have any comments, please do let me know. Until next time….just makeitqlik 🙂
Update: Part 2 is now available here!
From me to you,