About

The Short Version

I, Ember Crooks, am the principal author of this blog. This blog used to be called db2commerce.com, but has been moved to datageek.blog. I have 17 years of experience working with Db2 on Linux, UNIX and Windows platforms in a consulting role. IBM has named me an IBM champion (since 2013) and IBM Gold Consultant (since 2014). I’ve been blogging since 2010, with five or more years of that consisting of weekly blog entries. I hope to engage more guest bloggers to express more viewpoints than just mine.

I live in Denver and work from home for XTIVIA, leading a team of Db2 DBAs. I have been happily married since 1999 and have two boys. In my spare time, I enjoy sewing and reading.

The Long Version

I started a blog about Db2 and WebSphere Commerce called db2commerce.com back in 2010. I was inspired to start that blog by two major factors. First, I could find almost nothing specific to the database aspects of WebSphere Commerce outside of the official IBM documentation in the Info Center. I figured if I was searching for it, others were too. Second, someone I was mentoring to learn Db2 started a blog, and I thought if they could do it, I could too.

The blog quickly morphed to cover all kinds of Db2 topics. Writing that blog did incredible things for my career. First of all, it forced me to research a large number of topics in great detail to be able to write about them. It also vastly improved my writing skills, which weren’t terrible to begin with. I learned how to organize my thoughts and present a topic logically, in a web-friendly way. I learned how best to link to other information. Some of the earlier posts I find a bit embarrassing, but they are still there for all to see. The blog led to promotions at work and the opportunity to speak at conferences, both nationally and internationally. It was a major contributor to obtaining IBM Champion and IBM Gold Consultant statuses. But more important than any of the rest of it, the blog provided another source of information to help DBAs figuring out how to do their jobs. I heard from readers thanking me for the information. In a world where many of the aspects of my day-to-day job consist of helping businesses make more money, this has been my way of giving back and as corny as it sounds making the world a better place. I have not made direct money off of that blog – the little bit of ad revenue for it has not even covered the hosting costs.

After 17 years of developing a deep Db2 expertise, I’m now looking at ways to broaden my skills. I want to look into other aspects of the Data Engineering role in a world where Data Science is becoming huge. I’d like to learn other RDBMS platforms and learn about NOSQL platforms as well, along with data cleaning techniques and more. I want to learn more about Data Science and find my role in it. As half of my learning technique now consists of writing, and the time I spend blogging is my professional development time outside of work, that means I also need to re-focus the blog as well, to cover both the Db2-specific work that still makes up my day-to-day job and the new skills I want to work on developing. I feel that even when learning, the process of working through basic topics can be a useful kind of blog entry. This is why I’ve renamed the blog – a brand that I’ve been developing for the last 8 years. I need something that does not include “Db2” in the name.

I still work for a company that focuses on database consulting – Xtivia. I’ve worked there since October of 2014. I lead a team of Db2 DBAs who serve multiple clients and come to work to different challenges every day. It’s a dynamic environment with lots of opportunity to learn new things. Before that, I worked in a role that primarily focused on the build and support of DB2 databases for WebSphere Commerce environments. I started my career with IBM for about 7 years, as a Physical DBA for a number of different DB2 databases both internal to IBM and in support of IBM Global Services’ clients.

I also hope to make this blog more collaborative and involve more guest bloggers. Despite my best efforts, less than 10% of the posts on this blog have been by authors other than myself. I’d love to build this into a true group blog by a group of data professionals and even learners.

On a personal level, I am a mom to two wonderful young boys, and have been happily married since 1999. My husband is also in a technical field, and is a great supporter. I live in Colorado. My hobbies include reading, sewing, bicycling, and skiing. Not long ago, my older son made a fortune-teller(we called them cootie catchers when I was in school), and the final fortune was “You will get 100 hits on your blog”. I wonder if I’ve been talking about blogging too much…

 

My LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ember-crooks/8/a9b/25a

My Twitter ID: @ember_crooks

developerWorks Articles

Mining your package cache for problem SQL in DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows
Why low cardinality indexes negatively impact performance

db2Night Show appearances:

January 6th, 2012 – Top 10 tips for e-commerce DB2 databases.
December 14th, 2012 – Back out strategies for DB2 LUW Database Changes
April 18th, 2014 – Why Low Cardinality Indexes Negatively Impact Performance
December 12th, 2014 – HADR & TSAMP Advanced Topics
June 11th, 2017 – Interviewing the DB2 LUW Optimizer
February 4th, 2018 – Using Jupyter Notebook for Db2 Administration

5 comments

  1. Hi Crooks,

    This is Abhilash, working as a DBA for DB2 on Windows which integrated with WebSphere Commerce environment.

    I’m frequently getting issues from WCS System Admin teams saying that there are few performance issues from Database side. I was looking into those issues but sometimes I could not justify those issues.

    I looking for few suggestions from expert’s like you. So, could you please help me out from some of the performance issues.

    Looking forward for your support.

    Thank you,

    Regards,
    Abhilash

    1. Performance is a complicated topic. When looking at this scenario, I would first check all the standard DB2 performance stuff. That includes all the physical key performance indicators, looking for things like deadlocks, and especially finding and anyalyzing any problem SQL, and looking for deadlocks or excessive lock waits or lock timeouts. If the problem is reproducable, I would run a statement event monitor during the problem to see exactly what the database is doing.

      If everything there does indeed look good, the next thing I would ask your application folks to look at is dynacache and any other caching at the application level. A properly configured dynacache is critical to WebSphere Commerce performance.

      I have certainly seen WCS Admins blame the database when it was not the database before. I have also seen a very wide variety of performance problems – all the performance issues that can happen in other databases can also happen in WCS databases. If the problem appears to be occuring during uncustomized code, you could always engage IBM WebSphere Commerce Support to help you out.

      Hope something there helps.

      Ember

  2. How to convert DB2 9.5 to DB2 10.5 online? This can be done with IBM InfoSphere Data Replication? Has anyone done this or have any idea how to do?

  3. I didn’t know you’d moved from the old domain. I like the new format! As always, thanks for sharing! Greetings from Utah.

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