db2commerce.com is now DataGeek.blog!

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About 8 years ago, I started db2commerce.com. I started it with two primary motivators. The first was that when I searched on Db2 topics specific to WebSphere Commerce, I found almost nothing outside of the official documentation. If I was searching I knew that others were, too, even if it was a small niche. I soon discovered that this went far beyond just WebSphere commerce topics, and expanded to blog on everything Db2 (LUW) that I could. As I could, I found guest bloggers, but over the years, less than 10% of what was posted came from people other than me. My other initial motivator was seeing someone I was teaching how to use Db2 start a blog. That person’s blog was short-lived, but it really ignited my competitive spirit. If they could do it, dang sure I could do it.

I got so much out of blogging. I improved my writing skills exponentially. But along with that came improvements in organizing my thoughts and presenting information logically. Within the last few years, I’ve realized that one of my problem-solving tools is now writing up a problem. Many times, I can solve something while writing it up before I even reach out to a mentor for guidance.

The blog has established my expertise in Db2. With approximately 1,000 page views each day, I’m helping hundreds with my writing. I am recognized at conferences and love the opportunities in my career and in speaking that blogging has brought me. For the last 8 years, my blogging time has been my primary self-education time. The research needed to write about a topic has taught me volumes and has taught me to essentially reason through things in a Db2 way.

I am, and always have been, someone who thrives on change. That is why I gave up on accounting and went back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree in MIS in my early 20’s – to be in a field with more change. My career goal coming out of college was “To be a DBA”. As I achieved that in name at least within the first couple of years, I altered that to “To be a Db2 Guru”. Developing an expertise taught me that “Expert” doesn’t mean you know everything about a topic. It means you know a lot in some areas, and in other areas you know where to go or who to approach to figure out the rest, and that you know what questions to ask and experiments to run. I have developed into a Db2 expert, though I still feel like an impostor saying that because I have a good idea how much I really don’t know. My career goal hadn’t really changed in 15 years, and that’s tough for me. I’m used to always pushing towards a goal. I don’t like to rest where I’m comfortable.

I have now changed my career goal, and with it, the focus of my blog. I will continue to generate excellent Db2 articles, but I’m going to start spending my career development time, both at and away from work, on my new goal. My new goal is this:

Make the world a better place through data engineering and data science.

The longer version of that is:

By 2035, I will be a data scientist making the world a better place. My definition of data science is bringing together technology, business or domain expertise, and analysis techniques to ask and answer important questions with data. In 2018 and 2019, this means continuing to leverage my top-level expertise in Db2 while developing skills in other data engineering areas. My five-year goal (by 2023) is to focus my day job on a data engineering role in which Db2 may play a part. I am still defining what educating myself on data science looks like, but I am starting on this curriculum: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-data-science-workout-charles-pensig/. My SQL skills should serve me well and likely will continue to be refined. I may develop an industry focus that can later be of use in a more direct interpretation of making the world a better place. This plan will be informed and changed by the areas I enjoy and the opportunities I encounter. Throughout my 20-year plan, I will continue to blog regularly to share what I learn with others.

That means that for now, at least one blog entry each month will focus on something data-related, but NOT Db2. Some of them may focus on my journey and be from a beginner perspective instead of an expert perspective. I would love to collaborate with others to cover other data topics on this blog. I don’t expect to diminish the amount of Db2 work I do for at least a year, and expect that my Db2 skills will serve me well for the next 10 or 20 years.

That is long way of saying that I’m renaming db2commerce.com to datageek.blog, and re-focusing on the blog as I slowly refocus my career.

If I’ve done everything right, all the db2commerce.com links still work, but point to datageek.blog content instead. Subscribers should still get notifications. Let me know if there are any problems you find with old content or subscriptions. The software for blogging is a specialty in itself, and one I am at best a passable user of. I cannot afford to hire anyone to do anything special in that area and don’t really want to take that knowledge too far.

I hope you’ll continue to follow me on my journey, and I hope to find more people to network with and learn from.

Lead Db2 Database Engineer and Service Delivery Manager , XTIVIA
Ember is always curious and thrives on change. Working in IT provides a lot of that change, but after 17 years developing a top-level expertise on Db2 for mid-range servers and more than 7 years blogging about it, Ember is hungry for new challenges and looks to expand her skill set to the Data Engineering role for Data Science. With in-depth SQL and RDBMS knowledge, Ember shares both posts about her core skill set and her journey into Data Science. Ember lives in Denver and work from home for XTIVIA, leading a team of Db2 DBAs.

11 comments

  1. Congratulations on always looking forward and pushing yourself to thrive in all you do. Best wishes for achieving all your goals!

  2. Best wishes on achieving the goal. In today’s cognitive world I would say DBA skills will be well served in the data science field . Best of luck!

  3. Wonderful!
    Nice articulation, Ember.

    I have always liked your posts and benefited a lot on my DB2 skills.

    All they very best on your goals!
    Shivaswamy

  4. I’m moving to a data science role after being a DB2 DBA since 2009.
    great to know that I can continue to follow your excellent blog even when my carreer is shifting.

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