SQLHammer in 2018

SQLHammer.com has been quieter than usual this year. I have not written nearly as many blog posts as I would like. The reason for this is because I have been very busy and I thought it was time to update you on what I have been doing this year.

Leading into 2018

In October of 2017, I became the Data Manager as Subway. This was a large shift in my role with the company. I had spent the majority of my career as an operations DBA. When I wasn’t a DBA I was a developer. Coming into management was not completely foreign to me but it was foreign for me to be prioritizing management and leadership over technical contributions.

As you can imagine, with a new position I spent the end of 2017 getting my feet wet and settling into the new department, with very little time for much else.

2018, we have arrived

Work

By January I was settled in and even had my first managerial achievement to be proud of. My team had completed a three month bake-off between Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Amazon Redshift. We built out a detailed scoring system and assessed the two products as a replacement for our on-premises Teradata data warehouse. By January 15th we had CIO approval to move forward with our warehouse re-platforming project.

Ever since our project was approved it has been a whirlwind of project planning, current state analysis, data warehouse and integration design, skills ramp up, vendor consultations, vendor comparisons for staff augmentation, level of effort analysis, project costs analysis (projected cloud run rates), and legal paperwork. Do not even get me start on the number of contracts, vendor approval processes, and other legal related tasks I have been slowed down by and had to learn how to push through.

In addition to all of the project work, I have also worked to evolve the way our department operates with the rest of the leadership team (Data Integrations Manager, BI Development Manager, and Director of Data and BI). This required an analysis of our pain points and a restructuring of how we work together. We moved from having three independent teams with collaboration challenges to a matrix management style which tries to balance structured project work with maintenance of the business and operations work.

The matrix management experiment is still in progress and evolving. Maybe one day, I will publish our successes, failures, and lessons learned.

Aside from the non-technical work, I have been ramping up heavily on Teradata, Python, Redshift, AWS services, and Matillion for Redshift. I have many blog posts in their infancy but I am unwilling to publish them. Even after eight months of learning, I hesitate to publish without feeling like I can speak about the products with authority or credibility. Perhaps, one day, I will learn to publish content that I know is correct, even if I am not an expert on the product as a whole.

Home

Outside of work, I am just as busy as when I am at work. The most notable project that I have going on called Event Hammer. Event Hammer is a desktop application and server side database for managing competitors, matches, and brackets for martial arts tournaments. My mother owns a great karate dojo in Danbury, CT. Each year, she managed the tournament with a tool one of her sister dojos in Canada built. This tool did not fully meet her needs. A lot of it was in french, as well. So, I took on this project to build one custom suited to her needs. Follow the GitHub if you are interested in how that project moves along.

Community

Even though my blogging as slowed, for now, I have not forgotten about the community. So far, I have…

  • Given 4 user group presentations
  • Presented at GroupBy for my first time
  • Given 5 SQL Saturday presentations

Scheduled, so far, for the rest of this year I will be…

Wrap up

While my website might give the impression that I am slacking off or lost my passion, this is no where near the truth. I will be writing more as soon as I wrap up Event Hammer and my work life calms down enough for me to start devoting more of my off-hours to writing. Until then, I look forward to hearing about and seeing all of your great works.

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