WIDBA - The busiest DBA in Wisconsin, its all I do and I do it well

Friday, October 25, 2013

A year in review.

A co-worker decided to assign individual blog topics to each of us recently, presumably to create peer pressure for blogging.

My topic:
  • 1 year recap at Trek

I will sum up this past year.  I do not hate Mondays.  #booyah


Trek is a bike company, I had not really rode in 10 years, so I got a new one and rode close to 430 miles this summer, that is what some crazy coworkers do in a week, but I was happy with the miles for my first year getting in the groove and a whole lot of uncooperative weather to start out the riding season.

The company is based out of Waterloo, WI (near Madison).  I live about 4 hours away and see the home office every other month.  The remainder of the time I commute to work in about 30 seconds, with a quiet office overlooking my garden, at least one yellow lab laying at my feet and my own coffee.  I built a stand up desk (my posture is horrible sitting), so I work standing up most of the time and love it.  Comparing this to my previous employment is pointless, there is no comparison (1.5-2 hrs on the road, mediocre coffee, small cubicles, low walls, noise, politics, wearing dress clothes, etc)

Trek does Agile, in the sense that we have sprints, stories and deliver every 2 weeks.  (for those who say "how do I know this person is working at home", you simply allow them to participate in planning the work and setting velocity), if the work is not complete and it happens consistently, its pretty obvious they should go work in a big corporation that does waterfall where they can hide for months or years at a time. 

The main reason for me to switch jobs was boredom and opportunity, I was bored in my current position and BI seemed to have all the cool toys and new tech of the day (minus Hekaton, which is really interesting on many levels).  Trek is the antithesis of boredom and old technology, within 2 weeks of my first day I was working in SSIS on Azure IaaS.  The team has been on SQL 2012 for well over a year and we have several tabular cubes in production on top of the several MDM cubes already.  Sharepoint 2013 is running and all the Power_* technologies are being used, abused or at least being studied for feasibility right now.  This new SSIS feature is going to be lots of fun to work with as Power Query becomes more prevalent.

The last thing I want to brag about is my co-workers.  I work on a relatively small team ~10 folks of which most have blogs, half of them speak at user groups and SQL Saturdays and all are good at what they do.  I highly recommend working with people who are smarter than you, its challenging, but your skills improve exponentially faster.  I should also mention that I got to attend the PASS Summit 2013 with several of my co-workers after only being with the company for a year.  It was my second Summit and it is a great opportunity to really learn new skills and talk with the brightest minds in the business.

So in summation, I took a risk switching careers, took a few steps down the career ladder and got back to learning again.  It has been a great ride.

Might as well throw some goals for year two in.
  • Get my head around how SSAS cubes work - so I can logically solve MDX problems without resorting to guesswork.
  • Ride 1000 miles in 2014 and ride in the Trek 100, 36 mile route
  • Get better at testing and validating my own code.
  • Improve my performance tuning skills in the data warehouse arena
  • Speak at a technical event on a non Powershell topic
  • Pick a technology and immerse myself in it, some neat possibilities are Power Query and "Q and A" (my bet is its going to be called Power Bing or Power Google eventually).  

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