For August 2012′s #meme15 topic, Jason asks that we write a few reasons why we love our job. Prior to this job, I’ve never found myself in the situation where I love it, so I am pleased to have the opportunity to wax poetic about now.
Let the haters hate…
Warning: In a previous post on writing, I explained that one of my rules for blogging was that I wouldn’t talk about politics. Another was writing about my work. Like all great writers, I’m breaking those rules now.
The [Final] Countdown
For those of you not in the know, I work as a Finance DBA for the DNC. Despite the DBA moniker, I actually have a combination of work that spans administration, development, reporting, and even web application development. Without further ado, the countdown!
I got the job through the community. I’ve read stories of how the community has come together to help a fellow data nerd out in a pinch, but I never thought it’d happen to me. And it kind of didn’t. I had a job, so I wasn’t in a pinch. And I was being paid enough, so that wasn’t a complaint either. But I wasn’t happy. And for that reason, I owe Noel McKinney a beer every time I see him, because he helped change my life for the better.
I get to work with SQL Server every day. I’m sure that may sound odd, but give me some leeway. In my prior position, I didn’t have the chance to work with SQL Server. Sure, I used management studio, and I ran scripts, but it’s not the same as digging in and solving problems. Since I had the skill-set, I solved problems as they arose, but I wasn’t a DBA. But it was always an emergency, and the talk about appreciation or a new role was always “down the road.”
I get to work with more than just SQL Server. Back in 2011, I considered launching a startup. My idea continues to gnaws at me each day. So as much as I love learning about SQL Server internals, I also love building things. I think because of my background in Fine Art, I’ll always be somewhat of a developer at heart. (Heretical, I know.) But projects like our WebApp let me learn and sate my curiosity for the technical beyond SQL Server, and I am grateful.
I feel like I make a difference. One of the complaints I have about my private sector experience is that I sometimes felt disconnected from the work. I understood the purpose, and the business goals certainly, but I’m a bleeding-heart Liberal at my core. I most enjoy my work when I feel that it’s helping people, and that doesn’t always seems to be that case outside of the non-profit sector. One may ask, “How does politics help people?” but I would posit that even if you don’t view it favorably, you can admit that it has an effect on your life.
I get to combine my love of technology with my love of politics. I came to DC in 2002 for school and never moved back to Cleveland. I love Cleveland, don’t misinterpret me, and I will always consider it my home. But it doesn’t have the opportunity and excitement that DC offers. I love this city. I’m even more connected with the political process than I have been before, and it’s intoxicating. And the fact that it’s an election year, and I’m working for an organization that holds the same ideals that I do… well, the level of commitment and excitement often leaves me without words.
It’s not one of those swank Evangelist jobs, nor do I often deep dive into administrata, but it’s my job and I love it. I’m working with SQL Server, I’m expanding my horizons, and I get to feel like I’m making a difference in the history of our nation. I can’t ask for any more.
And the best, chart–topping reason of them all can be found in my very next post!