Category Archives: Workplace

When working remotely does not work

About a week ago this article from Atlantic landed in my Inbox from one of many newsletters.

And now, returning home from just three days of working remotely, I think about how I agree with many of the points this article makes.
In general I am very thankful, that I have an option of working remotely periodically, but only because otherwise I will have to skip work entirely each time I travel.

I’ve always been a great proponent of remote work, arguing that it can be as efficient, as working in the office if not more, using my work with NY Department of Education as an example. But I have to agree with this article: times have changed. And now I have no doubts, that working remotely for me in my current position should be very limited – both to my own benefit and the benefits of the projects I am working on (which, to be honest, is almost the same thing :))


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Help wanted!

Since I’ve realized, that our job postings on LinkedIn are not current, I am posting here 3 positions which I personally is most interested to fill. All these people we’ll work very closely with me (for those of you, for whom that’s a plus :))

App Developer

Database developer

System analyst

There are matching junior positions for each senior position:)

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A major accomplishment

It’s almost the end of the year. And it sounds like the most improbable day to write something about work, especially voluntarily.  But I’ve being really busy working  for the past several weeks (and months, to that matter).

But now I have something really exciting to report. And that “something” happened on Wednesday last week. On that day we stopped the automated emailing of reports from the old datawarehouse. Which of cause means, that we have all needed reports set up to run and email results from the new datawarehouse, which I have being building for the past seven months.

On one hand it seems like it took too long – the data was there and available for a while. But it always takes lots of time to convince people, who are used to the old ways, that they need to switch to the new system, the the new system is better, more accurate, etc. Besides,as it almost always happens, on the day that we’ve announced that “the old reports will be discontinued”,  the whole bunch of reports never converted to the new system emerged out of nowhere…

We were able to convert all these reports, to validate their results with business, and to shut down the automated reporting as planned.  And that means a lot for me, because it’s a very practical result of all my work since I’ve joined Braviant.  I do not have any illusions regrading this “sunset”, I know that there may be still multiple cases of “I need to see this old report” and such. And even after all user access to the old system will be disabled, we’ll need to archive the data for auditing purposes. But in any case I consider the current status as a major accomplishment, and a very material result of my work.

Of cause I won’t be able to accomplish that task without my wonderful co-workers, and since we are a small company, the input of each individual made a huge impact on the successful achievement of that goal.  I am in a very good place now, in all possible meanings of this word 🙂

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Filed under Companies, Data management, Team and teamwork, Workplace

Attention chicagoans!

For those of you, who work and/or live in our great city: I have some exciting news to share!

About 3 months ago my company Braviant Holdings moved to the new office; and most of my friends already heard me bragging about this new space, how cool is it. Now you’ll actually have a chance to see this office with your own eyes, since January Chicago Postgres User Group meeting will take place right there, in our new office!

Please check out the event here; if you used to attend the PUG meetups in the past but for some reason stopped, it might be a good idea to have a fresh start in the New Year. And for those of you who never attended – why not to give it a try?

We are going to expand the scope of our presentations, addressing not only “some cool stuff which only experienced DBAs can do”, but some basic Postgres “how-to”. If you are an application developer who is using Postgres, but never had a formal SQL training; if you are a data analyst, who need to run reports on Postgres database, if you are just starting some new project and are not sure which of the Open Source databases will be a right choice for you – you might find something useful attending the PUG meetups.

Even more: you can help us to decide, what will be a topic of our next meetup – we are ready to hear your suggestions. Also, the greatest Postgres DBA ever Jerry Sievers will be there to answer any questions you have.

So… please RSVP 🙂 (on the Chicago PUG page!)


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What I was doing for the past month, and why I was so busy

I’ve just looked at my stats and realized, that I haven’t being posting anything for an entire month (till yesterday :))! In my defense – I didn’t have a single day off for the past 3 weeks, so this weekend was the first time since the beginning of June when I’ve started to get back to normal, back to life. More or less:)

I’ve spent the whole month of June building a new Data Warehouse for my company. I had a pretty good idea what I want to build, but the timing was really-really tight. I know – not only theoretically, but from my experience, that no matter how carefully you plan, there will be unplanned things which will slow you down, and that basically you need to plan for unplanned 🙂 – but it’s always hard. Especially when you know exactly, what you want to do, and you feel really frustrated when you are limited by the speed with which you can type, and by the time it takes to recompile a function or to execute a query.

That was the first time in my professional career, that I had to build the whole system from scratch, and to build it exactly the way I wanted. Ironically (or, may be not!) it was also the first time I had to sacrifice the “purity” to “what business needs”. No, do not take me wrong, actually, the at the end the business needs things to be done right, but I always hated when I was told: we need to build this thing fast now, and later we will optimize – make it right, etc. I used to always scream, that “later” will never happen, and now I made a conscious decision myself to do exactly that! And I do not regret, because now it’s me who has to control, that “later” will actually happen.

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About my new job – what exactly I am doing

The most important thing which I love about my new company is that we all share the same values, have the same vision. When I had a very first conversation with the CTO, literally her second phrase hit the right spot! I thought immediately – we can work together. I we will work together 🙂 – and so far I could not be happier.

I’ve immediately jumped into a very important project. Like it happens to me way too often – I’ve already promised the moon and stars, and now I am thinking – what if it will take longer than I thought? I know exactly how I want to proceed with each and single part of this project, but I also know that each step can involve some unforeseen technical difficulties. It makes my life both nervous and exciting. Every morning I wake up realizing I was thinking about my project while I was sleeping, and now can tell: no, this idea which seemed so cool yesterday is not really going to work. Or the opposite – well, I know how to make this part better!

… that’s how I used to say when my kids were teenagers – it’s like having three soap operas running at the same time 🙂 – now it’s a reality show running here and now. And the outcome is still unknown…

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About my new job, or – “you get what you’ve asked for”

Now, that I am already 3 weeks into my new job – it’s finally time to write about it. To be exact, there is absolutely no time to write, since I am so busy. But that’s what all my friends are asking about: what’s my new job, and why I made this move. Especially, because is was so fast, so sudden, with no announcement – and thereby for so many of my friends it came like a lightening on a sunny day.

Many people are asking me why I decided to leave, especially because I liked my previous job so much. I was thinking, should I write about this or not, and decided against it. After all, we all know: people change. Companies change. It’s not always uni-dimensional.  Is it good or bad, for example, that we are getting older? Good in some aspects, bad in the other, but it any case, this is an unavoidable change.

Companies change as well. And you might like or not like the changes – it does not matter, the changes are unavoidable. And you have to decide, whether you are going with that change or not, whether it is still your company or not… In this case, we went our separate paths.

One thing which came to me as a surprise – when I started to think what should be my next step, and where I want to be – I’ve realized how much I’ve changed after these five years at Enova. One thing I will never deny – working at Enova made me a very different person. Before that each time I was starting to look for new job I was thinking about stability. I was definitely interested in the creative and challenging work environment, but I wanted job security more than anything else. Also, I was avoiding any type of managing. Since my very early work experience when I had to manage a small team who would develop a system based on my methodology, I was afraid that if I manage, I won’t have time to code.

Now all of this changed. I’ve realized I want more responsibilities. I want to take a risk. I want to see a direct impact of what I do on how my company is performing. And I am not afraid of risk.

I’ve also realized that I it’s not enough for me anymore to just know “what’s the right way” and “how things should be done”. Now it’s even more important for me to lead people, to convince them that the way I want things to be done is indeed the best way.

More to follow:)



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