My official job title is Database Systems Administrator. You might think that I spend my whole working day tinkering under the bonnet of our data base platform – SQL Server 2005. I wish!
Being part of of a relatively small I.T Department in a company of less than 500 employees means that I have to do more than just databases.
In my previous working life I have spent a good part of it developing Business Intelligence applications with products from Oracle, Business Objects, and Cognos. In my current workplace, the tools of choice are Integration Services for ETL, Reporting Services for Relational Reporting, ad Hyperion Planning and Essbase for Planning, Reporting and Analysis.
I have also worked with web tools such as ColdFusion and ASP.NET as well as Windows Forms applications using VB.NET. I am currently building Web Services using Visual Studio 2005 – using a n-tiered architecture for an Online Sales application.
All of these tools that we use are complex and require a considerable investment of one’s time just to learn the basic concepts. How does one keep pace and balance one’s family life ? (I have two children under six years old).
My wife and I have taken to Podcasts as a way of keeping up with things while doing something else.
For me, it’s the tech podcasts such as TWIT, .Net Rocks, and Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott. For example, I was listening to one such pod cast on the weekend from .NET Rocks where Carl and Richard interviewed Michelle Leroux Bustamante about WCF. At the same time, I was helping my wife clean the house. So now I have some understanding of Contracts, Claims, Cardspace, SML and other stuff that I would not have learnt about unless I sat down and ploughed through all the documentation at MSDN.