One of the best skills you can teach yourself to get ahead in your career is SQL. In a world so driven by data, being able to pull your own data is very empowering. It’s also a way to get ahead. People who can pull their own data are less reliant on others.
At Rover.com, we’re teaching all of our people, from customer service to marketing to the CEO, how to run their own SQL queries. We have a read-only version of our database, so that anybody in the company can pull their own data and run their own reports.
How can you learn SQL?
Wanna get ahead in your career? Here’s how…
Be a person who takes things off your boss’ plate.
Your boss might be internal…like you work at a company.
Or, they might be external…like a client.
Like you, they have too much work to do. So, be a person who makes it so they have one less thing to do.
A common best practice in the workplace when people are trying to be smart about a project is to ask, “what is the measure of success?” I would propose that a more pertinent question is, “what is the measure of failure?”
The truth is that most projects neither succeed wildly, nor fail spectacularly. Rather, most linger in a middle ground of neither. These are the worst types of projects because we continue to spend valuable resources—time, money and mental capacity—to support them when, really, they’re not all that beneficial to whatever we’re trying to accomplish. Given opportunity cost, they’re probably a net minus.
Naturally, the hardest part about these middle ground projects is that we’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into them, so it’s hard to let them go. We know, just know, that with a little more time or effort the thing might be a success. Or, we suffer the Sunk Cost Fallacy: that we’ve invested so much and come so far, that it makes sense to go all the way. Probably, though, we’re better off cutting our losses.
I was in Boulder, Colorado earlier this week. When casually talking to locals the inevitable came up: in just a few weeks, Washington State and Colorado will be the first states in the union to allow marijuana to be sold like alcohol.
Now, nothing makes me happier than when facts trump assumptions. It’s just one of the many obnoxious, nerdy aspect of my personality. So, when I saw this in the paper this morning, my interest was piqued:
California Finds Fears Unfounded With Cannabis Use: California’s experience as the first state to legalize medical marijuana offers surprising lessons, experts say. …continue reading Lessons from Cannabis Legalization in California and The Backfire Effect
To: Scott Porad <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: Scott Porad <email@example.com> Date: October 26, 2013 Subject: NSA for TSA Swap
Following upon my earlier post about the problems with healthcare.gov, Twitter follower @lukeoreilly sent me a link to a great article: Notes and Translations for the New York Times coverage of healthcare.gov software. It’s totally worth a read, though my favorite part was this:
“Nevertheless, disarray has distinguished the project. In the last 10 months alone, [...] officials modified hardware and software requirements for the exchange seven times. It went live on Oct. 1 before the government and contractors had fully tested the complete system. Delays by the government in issuing specifications for the system reduced the time available for testing.”
Now this really makes me want to cry, because this is going to be the crux of the matter when the Congressional Committees grill the contractors. It is not going to be pretty. There is going to be a lot of drill-down on matters that the contractors have a hard time explaining, and the committee members are going to have a hard time understanding. It is going to be extremely tedious television, I assure you.
If you read this blog, I have never kept my political inclinations a secret. Since the early-mid 2000′s I’ve increasingly become more of a liberal…to the point where I’m practically a socialist these days. (Dear NSA analyist reading this: I’m not really a socialist, and even if I were, that’s not a crime.) So, it’s no surprise that I’m a big supporter of Obamacare.
But, when I read this about the problems surrounding healthcare.gov, I had to laugh:
One specialist said that as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly.
Aaaaaaaand, we’re back!
The last time I posted here was the last day of school, and prior to that I had decided that I was going to take the summer off from writing. There was just a lot going on in my life, and I needed a break.
Amongst other stresses, I was struggling with parenting. As my kids have gotten older (they’re 8 and 11, now) they’ve become more independent and assertive, naturally, and let’s just say that I was not endowed by my creator with an endless fountain of patience. About 97% of parenting is modeling, and frequently I don’t model very well. I’m trying hard to be more patient and let them make their own decisions and mistakes.
Nevertheless, my older son is extremely enthusiastic about technology, and this summer he set a goal of building and shipping an iOS app to the App Store before he went back to school. He worked very hard, and it was an amazing experience. I gave him a few pointers here and there when he got stuck, but honest to goodness, 99% of the work he did on his own and met his goal!
Children feel many intense emotions, but there are two feelings that nearly all of us share and can remember as adults: the eager, nervous excitement of the first day of school and the jubilant emancipation of the last.
Today, was the last day of school for my kids, and I drive my kids to school every day, then head in to my office. The drive takes about 15-20 minutes, and in order to avoid fights between them about what we’re going to listen to on the ride I have previously declared myself The Absolute Dictator of the Radio. I introduced them to Alice Cooper today.
As I watched this video I noted just how bad Alice Cooper is: not only does he pop a balloon, the chaotic and climatic ending is punctuated with bubbles!
I’ve liked Minus the Bear for awhile now…just something catchy about their sound. I was pleased to find out they’ll be playing a music festival north of Seattle this summer.