DBA Kevlar

Tips, tricks, (and maybe a few rants) so more DBAs become bulletproof!

Pythian- Devotion to my Vocation

I’ve been employed at Pythian for just over 2 months now.  Not a very long time and yes, I’m still a “newbie”, but I’ve been there long enough to know why I do love my new job.

1.  Working remotely.

     No, not everyone does and it’s not for everyone, but so far it’s been a win-win for both me and Pythian.   I have never needed a manager or anyone to lean over my shoulder to tell me when to work and what to do, so working remotely in a home office has significant benefits for me.  I appreciate the limited office distractions, I have an office phone, so I have an extension, no different from any other employee in the office and my team is great about keeping an open chat window up at all times that we can easily communicate throughout the day.  My Mountain timezone is nice to balance out the Eastern Ottawa folks until our Australian or Indian team come online each day, too.

2.  Opportunity

    I have been delightfully surprised at the opportunities to work on new technology and interesting issues.   I am currently working with Exadata, carefully and methodically submerging myself into the environment.   There is a huge focus on addressing issues the right way, not just to “quiet them.”  We work closely with the customers and this allows us to bond with them just as we would if we were a DBA’s in their office.

   Now that I’m starting to get the hang of the customer support, the internal processes, I even find I have time to write!  I have this huge collection right now of half complete blog posts that just need me to spend more time to complete my research, so I fear there is a flood of posts in my near future.  I have time to present at conferences and think about more than just local ones.  Pythian poses the question of what areas interest me in database administration and what areas I would like to study.   Pythian knows that professional growth is not just good for the employee, it is good for the company.  They want you to be more, the best you can be.  I appreciate that opportunity and not all companies can offer this type of growth, especially one that is geared so specifically to Database Administrators. 

3.  People

   This is a company that is run by pleasant, intelligent and gifted individuals.  I was immensely impressed with Andrew Waitman and his insight into the business.  He has a voracious appetite for knowledge and he loves to share this with everyone.  Paul Vallee is such a gifted man with a wonderful humility about him.  He knows where we need to go to be successful and knows when he needs others to create that success.  I don’t think I need to tell anyone how much I have always idolized Alex Gorbachev.  He’s resided on my short list of DBA Gods for a long time and earned his spot honestly.  I met so many others while I visited Ottawa that upon reflection, noted they were right where they could offer Pythian the most value.  This is a company transitioning to become something even greater than what it already is. 

   As part of a team, there isn’t much more I could ask for.  My lead Mark Brinsmead is great-  he values my opinion and technical skills, but also is good to push me when I need to accomplish more.  I chose a “transition team”, coming on board as others were leaving, but am happy to say that Paul Logan was not one to transition to projects.  He just happened to be visiting Ottawa when I was there for my visit and it is impossible to not like this great, friendly Irishman.  Andy Klock just joined Pythian this month and he’s rounded out the team well, giving the right blend of technical skill and chomp at the bit readiness to take on the world.  I can’t say enough about how pleased I am with the differing technical skills in my team, as well as the technical skills of those in the teams around me.

There are a number of career opportunties with the unparalleled growth that Pythian is experiencing.  If you think you are ready and you are looking for a change, you may want to check out the website, http://www.pythian.com/about/careers/job-listings/  and tell them Kellyn said it was rather nice in Ottawa, even this time of year!

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