Since I got my first real job, I’ve always gravitated to the most technical aspects of the work. Over time, as my aptitude and skills became clearer I moved into roles that were specifically in the technical realm and I always felt comfortable there. Being really good at something is a surefire way to fall in love with doing it, and that’s what happened to me.

In the beginning, there was no Internet. PC’s were connected via a LAN and internal office email was new. Fax machines chugged away, and documents were Fedex’ed all over the place all the time. Most heavy lifting was done on mainframes or other production systems which held all the data. Some of us who had the aptitude and ability started using PC database applications like dBase or Paradox and spreadsheets like Lotus 123 (Excel wasn’t out yet) to make our offices smarter and more efficient. There was a lot of McGyvering going on to extract and manipulate data out of and back into production systems.

In my last corporate job, my team used ODBC, Excel, Access, Microstrategy, and other tools to extract the right data for the right jobs from all kinds of sources: Oracle data warehouse, AS/400 production system, mainframe production system, and miscellaneous pockets of data stored on the network file server. I used every possible source to get the right information and analyses to the right people. Since leaving that job, I’ve been immersed in web application technology: IIS, C#, SQL-server, various API’s, and Javascript.

Now I’m setting out to explore a new personal frontier: big data, shorthand for the challenge of turning mind-boggling amounts of data into value. I’ll be posting my progress and thoughts here. Feel free to email me and thanks for stopping by.

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