My Next Step

Once again, it’s been an awfully long time since I last posted on here. I’m actually perfectly happy putting up what I consider to be decent, in-depth technical posts a couple of times a year – I’ve tried the “quantity over quality” approach to blogging elsewhere in the past and found the cons outweighed the pros. However, it does seem to make sense to put something down today to explain what I’ve been up to over the last few months, if only because the amount I’ve had on might excuse not finding time to write!

The biggest bit of news is that after three years working as a Database Developer/ Senior Dev at Callcredit Information Group (mostly with MS SQL Server), I’m moving on to a new role. Those reading past entries here or knowing me more generally will be aware that I’ve been interested for a while in alternative database technologies and open-source software. I’ve been looking for the last year or so at how I could take some of the experience I’ve already had with technologies like Hadoop and build on it. I was approached a couple of months ago about a position with Sky Betting & Gaming, and it became clear pretty fast that they are ahead of the curve, having made a big recent investment in moving their data warehouse onto the Hadoop stack. This includes not just the standard HDFS/ Hive (+ Impala) combination, but also Spark for analytics and some other likely prospects for the future. So – I’ll be joining them for my first day tomorrow, working as a Senior Data Engineer. Exciting times ahead!

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(Oh and I should probably give our HR team a quick plug – still actively recruiting for a large number of interesting technical roles in Leeds city centre.)

My other project for 2015 Q1 has been to put together and deliver a presentation on NoSQL and the modern database landscape for the “Leeds Sharp” .NET user group. This was a great challenge, as it forced me to investigate a lot of databases I’d previously had a casual interest in in a deeper, more structured way, and to really think about how to make sense of the mass of information available.

I finally presented it a few weeks ago and was really pleased both at how friendly and supportive everyone was, and at the quality of questions, comment and discussion from the audience. If anyone is thinking of doing a relevant technical talk in the area, be it something very in-depth or a quick ten minutes on a mini-topic that has excited you – Leeds Sharp is potentially a great place to do it. Good ways to contact them &/or see what they’re up to include MeetUp and Twitter – the next session is Thursday May 28th and celebrates their third birthday with a presentation on F#.

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My presentation also felt like a nice way to end my time at Callcredit, who have consistently been supportive of developer training and events, and now host not one, not two but three distinct regular public events (the other two being the Leeds SQL Server User Group and Leeds Code Dojo). I was responsible (along with the inimitable and very dedicated Grant Crofton) for bringing Leeds Sharp in to host there, so it was about time I did a talk!

For those that are interested, slides and full demo code are available online here and I may also look at repeating the talk elsewhere in some form later in the year.