How to relaunch my career?

  • Thanks Grant. These are invaluable pointers. I like writing and I look forward to contributing to the community. I'm hoping I will stay focused and pick a few good habits. I will explore the options you mentioned, I think that might be a good way to meet a mentor. Thanks again.

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • Arjun Sivadasan,

    Any happy developments at your end to be shared on this forum?

    🙂

  • Thanks for asking Abrar. Let me start by apologizing for not answering any sooner.

    The last couple of months were tumultuous. My teammates quit and I'm the only dev left in office. I was stressed out with server upgrades and a few data migration projects. Upgrade to 2014 was interesting. We have trace flag 9481 turned on because all the junk code written ages ago wouldn't complete and just timeout with the new Cardinality Estimator.

    About relaunching my career: I realized it all depended on one person - me. I have decided to give my job the best I can while I am still here, instead of whining and bitching. I have become a lot more proactive. I'm also happy with my learning efforts. I'm preparing to write about my experiences with the 2014 upgrade w.r.t performance. I have also set a long term goal and decided to not worry about where I'm at while I work to achieve it.

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • Wow. Good for you. Best of luck to you. Hope it works out!

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    Check out my blog at https://pianorayk.wordpress.com/

  • Arjun Sivadasan (5/11/2016)


    Thanks for asking Abrar. Let me start by apologizing for not answering any sooner.

    The last couple of months were tumultuous. My teammates quit and I'm the only dev left in office. I was stressed out with server upgrades and a few data migration projects. Upgrade to 2014 was interesting. We have trace flag 9481 turned on because all the junk code written ages ago wouldn't complete and just timeout with the new Cardinality Estimator.

    About relaunching my career: I realized it all depended on one person - me. I have decided to give my job the best I can while I am still here, instead of whining and bitching. I have become a lot more proactive. I'm also happy with my learning efforts. I'm preparing to write about my experiences with the 2014 upgrade w.r.t performance. I have also set a long term goal and decided to not worry about where I'm at while I work to achieve it.

    Where you are now sounds like an opportunity to build (or prove) your T-SQL refactoring and tuning skills. Let management know you're willing and able to take on the task. Why this should be a priority is because illustrating your proficiency with performance tuning, actually backing it up with before and after numbers, is an excellent way to round out your resume and provides a impressive narrative for use when interviewing for your next job.

    Remember the old story of Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby...

    (spoiler alert)

    ... he escaped from his sticky predicament by tricking the Br'er Fox into throwing him into the briar patch.

    http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/brer_rabbit_meets_a_tar_baby.html

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • xsevensinzx (2/19/2016)


    ...I quickly found that the world was not flat. I needed more knowledge outside of just SQL Server. There is simply too many other technologies that have better advantages as the proper tool than SQL Server.

    So, my advice to you is to not just focus on what's in front of you right now. Look at what's down the road. ..... This is because architecture is expanding beyond one piece of technology or stack. The value in the career is the holistic approach. That's the value add.

    Great Advice.

    Identify what your goal is, and learn all about it. Sounds like your job will end up having quite a bit of quiet time, so use it learning other skills. And start to write about it. Setup a blog, perhaps here at SSC, and write as many articles as possible. It builds credibility, and you do learn about the tools.

    Sharing helps you as much as it helps others!

    The more you are prepared, the less you need it.

  • @eric: Thanks. That's a good story that, had never heard of it. With some new resources in, I have more time at hand and I've been putting it to good use. I love performance tuning and usually do a good job. These days, I am reading up MS Premier Field Engineer blog and picking up some invaluable inputs from there. There is a lot to learn 🙂

    @andrew: Yes, that is great advice. The pace at which technology advances is quite overwhelming. I don't expect myself to be a SQL top dog for more than 10 years. Hopefully, by then, I would have found a better way to utilize my knowledge and technological insight.

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • xsevensinzx - Friday, February 19, 2016 9:07 PM

    I'm likely going to catch heat from this here, but oh well, here is my 2 cents.I was like you and wanted to transition into data architect. It was my career goal to move out of SQL Developer into either Data Engineer or Data Architect. The reason was different though. It was because the tasks I was currently doing did not reflect what I was actually supposed to be doing on paper.When I was first on the path of being SQL Developer, I previously made a goal to become a master at SQL Server. Silly I know, but I really wanted to learn as much about the technology as possible. Unfortunately, when I decided that I really wanted to specialize more in data engineering or architecture, I quickly found that the world was not flat. I needed more knowledge outside of just SQL Server. There is simply too many other technologies that have better advantages as the proper tool than SQL Server.So, my advice to you is to not just focus on what's in front of you right now. Look at what's down the road. For example, I've put more of a focus on NoSQL, Python, R, MicroStrategy and AWS than pursuing more of SQL Server. This is not because I have mastered the Microsoft stack. This is because architecture is expanding beyond one piece of technology or stack.The value in the career is the holistic approach. That's the value add.

    7Sinz: Funny how your advice resonates much better a couple of years down the lane.

    In the last couple of years, I moved on to lead the database team at a global pizza company where we moved the ordering platform from SQL Server to Azure NoSQL - Cosmos DB. It was an eye opener for me, and helped me realize that "the world was not flat", as you rightly put. Even though I loved my work at the said pizza company, I ended up quitting in under a year after face palming myself far too often at their mismanagement that it started to swell. At the moment, I work in a small Analytics team and I'm learning R and Python; so I guess taking a path quite similar to yours. 

    I have set a mid-term goal of becoming MCSE in Data Management and Analytics, focusing on Big Data using R and Azure Machine Learning. Hopefully, that will help become the main Data guy, which is my long term goal. I find it hard to explain to people - recruiters and hiring managers - why someone would go from being ace OLTP SQL to Data Analytics. Ideally, I want to be in a role where I can do both, but such a role is hard to find. Organizations seem to separate these roles quite aggressively. Could you please share your experiences and thoughts on the same? It will prove very valuable to me, because the way I see it, I'm tailing you by two years 🙂

    PS: I am in AU, where technology updates arrive late. We are catching up of late though.

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • Arjun Sivadasan - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 12:40 AM

    xsevensinzx - Friday, February 19, 2016 9:07 PM

    I'm likely going to catch heat from this here, but oh well, here is my 2 cents.I was like you and wanted to transition into data architect. It was my career goal to move out of SQL Developer into either Data Engineer or Data Architect. The reason was different though. It was because the tasks I was currently doing did not reflect what I was actually supposed to be doing on paper.When I was first on the path of being SQL Developer, I previously made a goal to become a master at SQL Server. Silly I know, but I really wanted to learn as much about the technology as possible. Unfortunately, when I decided that I really wanted to specialize more in data engineering or architecture, I quickly found that the world was not flat. I needed more knowledge outside of just SQL Server. There is simply too many other technologies that have better advantages as the proper tool than SQL Server.So, my advice to you is to not just focus on what's in front of you right now. Look at what's down the road. For example, I've put more of a focus on NoSQL, Python, R, MicroStrategy and AWS than pursuing more of SQL Server. This is not because I have mastered the Microsoft stack. This is because architecture is expanding beyond one piece of technology or stack.The value in the career is the holistic approach. That's the value add.

    7Sinz: Funny how your advice resonates much better a couple of years down the lane.

    In the last couple of years, I moved on to lead the database team at a global pizza company where we moved the ordering platform from SQL Server to Azure NoSQL - Cosmos DB. It was an eye opener for me, and helped me realize that "the world was not flat", as you rightly put. Even though I loved my work at the said pizza company, I ended up quitting in under a year after face palming myself far too often at their mismanagement that it started to swell. At the moment, I work in a small Analytics team and I'm learning R and Python; so I guess taking a path quite similar to yours. 

    I have set a mid-term goal of becoming MCSE in Data Management and Analytics, focusing on Big Data using R and Azure Machine Learning. Hopefully, that will help become the main Data guy, which is my long term goal. I find it hard to explain to people - recruiters and hiring managers - why someone would go from being ace OLTP SQL to Data Analytics. Ideally, I want to be in a role where I can do both, but such a role is hard to find. Organizations seem to separate these roles quite aggressively. Could you please share your experiences and thoughts on the same? It will prove very valuable to me, because the way I see it, I'm tailing you by two years 🙂

    PS: I am in AU, where technology updates arrive late. We are catching up of late though.

    Very awesome to hear!

    I am still on that path and have invested even more into the NoSQL route with the traditional RDBMS concepts, but with Azure Data Warehouse. It's been great and our teams who are mostly analytic/data science focus are benefiting from it a great deal.

    I work on a team that is separate from the technology team. Our team is mostly all analyst and data scientist. I lead the data engineers who's primary responsibility is to support the data scientist on this team. This allows us to be dedicate resources on the same time while also providing separated data services without having to go through all the hoops of a separate team such as technology. This also works out real well and fits the bill of the recent editorial on why you would have multiple databases -- for multiple teams and use cases such as analytics versus application development.

    I for sure see that split in many organizations. BI developers who sit primarily on the technology teams where data scientist may sit on other teams. Both have to work together, but yet, both are on two separate teams. This is why I exist in the company I work for now. I'm bridging the gap. But, not all organizations are thinking under that mindset. Many very much believe it's all tech and needs to sit with tech, everyone needs to use a single data warehouse the way Joe Blow designs it, and all that jive. And thus, it's hard to fill both roles because you're torn between many different teams.

    I would say that starting on any team to fill one role and looking into later developing that role is going to be the best option. That's technically how I did it. I started as the SQL guy and then sold the organization on the reasons why we should stay split, but yet still work together. I developed my own position and the business allowed me to grow it.

  • Sounds great mate. I guess Data Analysis has matured enough over the years for organizations to take notice and dedicate resources to it. I hope to emulate pretty much what you are doing. I need to work on my bargaining skills, I guess. Are you using much of the Azure technologies such as Stream Analytics, Data Bricks and HDInsight?

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • Arjun Sivadasan - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:44 AM

    Sounds great mate. I guess Data Analysis has matured enough over the years for organizations to take notice and dedicate resources to it. I hope to emulate pretty much what you are doing. I need to work on my bargaining skills, I guess. Are you using much of the Azure technologies such as Stream Analytics, Data Bricks and HDInsight?

    Nope, mostly Azure Data Lake Store and Analytics. Really don't need much more than that for what I'm doing. So many options out there it's often hard to tell the difference between them all. I'm following a similar path to those on AWS with Redshift and PySpark.

  • xsevensinzx - Thursday, July 19, 2018 6:12 AM

    Nope, mostly Azure Data Lake Store and Analytics. Really don't need much more than that for what I'm doing. So many options out there it's often hard to tell the difference between them all. I'm following a similar path to those on AWS with Redshift and PySpark.

    So many options - that's very true. 

    In this period of transition for many database programmers, if you could please write about your experiences, I'm sure many people such as myself will benefit a great deal from it.

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • Arjun Sivadasan wrote:

    Thanks for your valuable inputs. I think I can join the local user group, that's a really good suggestion. I have a vision for where i want to be 5 years from now, so I'm not in a hurry. In the past I have changed jobs frequently, whenever I found the work boring or learning curve stagnant. While it has helped me improve technical skills, I feel like a drifter. I joined my current job hoping to stay and help the company grow, but a bunch of false promises has got me in a really tricky situation. If I do change my job, I will keep your advices in mind, thanks Phil. PS: title should have been how to revive my career! I hope that there are others in a similar situation and they will find this thread useful too.

    5 years ago I posted a topic here and got excellent advice from many of you. I can't thank you enough. Here is what happened in the last 5 years.

    • I moved on to a new job as Database developer/DBA at a popular global pizza chain. Worked on Azure No SQL Cosmos DB. Got promoted in 3 months, left the job in 7 months.
    • Started a job as a Data Specialist in an Analytics department of a travel group. Stayed there 2.5 years and got promoted to Data Analytics Manager.
    • Pandemic hit travel, so I had to change jobs. Joined a SaaS company as a Data Architect.

    In the meantime, I blogged plenty. Presented at local user groups and I have a good network. Plenty more to achieve, and quite hopeful for the next 5 years. I had a vision for where I wanted to be by now, and it worked thanks to advice and guidance from my peers and online community. I have a new vision for where I want to be in 5 years, and I want to exceed my goals.

    You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. - Steve Jobs

    https://sqlroadie.com/

  • Just do what your heart tells you to.

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