Today marks the shifting from one track to the next track in my career. For the last six years I have been working for Baseline Consulting while enjoying the luxury of being at the same client the entire time. When I signed on six years ago, I left behind the corporate world to dive into the world of consulting. The promise was for 12 months on my first project with no guarantees beyond the twelfth month. However, the one year turned into four and the fourth year turned into six and the potential for several more years was quickly approaching.
Why change tracks now?
Because just like the opportunity to work with the kick ass folks at Baseline came along six years ago, the right opportunity to take the next step in my professional growth came along. I am now an independent consultant and will be working on a kick ass data quality project as a lead production Teradata DBA. I’m not really sure the level of detail that I can fully disclose about the project that I am working just yet, but I’m pretty sure I can share this much. It is in the realm of health care and it affords me the opportunity to work from home 75% of the month and spend the other 25% at the client site.
This whole independent thing is going to take some adjustment on my part and that of my family. But I think it is the right challenge for me at this time. I’ve have struggling internally regarding the direction I wanted to take my career. In fact, I remember clearly sitting down with my manager at Baseline in the Swan Dolphin hotel during a Teradata Partner’s Conference three years ago talking about whether or not being a DBA was becoming a commodity career and whether the time was coming to change tracks and focus on something new.
Three years have gone by since that conversation and I have realized that my heart is still into being a DBA. I just spent 5 hours documenting a routine that I wrote earlier this year that I was quite proud of writing at the time and I still am. My transition notes that I left behind were a window into that passion, all 8 pages of them. Some of the most passionate emails I have written were done over the course of the past week as I navigated a political mine field with a team of Oracle DBAs.
What I thought was lost over the past several years as I internally struggled with finally came to light over the past four to six weeks as I wrestled with Oracle 11g and Teradata batch environment. I can tell you it wasn’t the ETL transformations that made the adrenaline flow. It was the taking the feeling of being in charge and taking ownership of the problem when it seemed no one else cared. It was trying to right the ship so that it can be left in calmer waters under the hands of someone else who can navigate in my absence.
Whats around the next bend?
I’m not sure where this is going to end up from here. But I do know that it involves me paying attention to some of the things that I have neglected professionally recently:
- Blogging – It’s never been more important than it is now.
- Community Involvement – I need to get to the next round of Teradata User Group meetings. Chicago or Dayton. Then of course there is the online community buried in LISTSERVs still and occasionally on the web. Not to mention presenting.
- Twitter – I better start proselytizing. #TeradataHelp (#TDATAHelp) anyone?