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My Employer: The Generations Network

The Generations Network

What do I do

My day to day work involves a lot of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), TSQL, DBA, and some VB.NET and C#.  My actual title is Senior Software Engineer - IS, but my duties are more in the SQL Developer/DBA realm. I haven't done any heavy duty coding since I started working here, but I'm fine with that. I always wanted to migrate into a more DBA-centric role anyways.

I am responsible for a good size integration with a third party marketing application called DREAMmail. My current setup has about 120 tables, and 47 DTS packages. I use SSIS to debug the package logic, then recreate it on the production server. SSIS lets me do a lot of debugging. The production server is a SQL Server 2000 installation, and that's why I'm stuck with DTS.

I designed and implemented the integration with the help of the Business Intelligence team. This was my first foray into data warehousing (dw). I was constantly bringing the dw when I started. I've gotten a lot better since. It's been a nice learning experience. I'm in the process of re-designing the ETL jobs to be more scalable.

I really enjoy what I do, and find myself sufficiently stimulated mentally. I do get bored sometimes, but that is normal for any job.

My environment

I have a u-shaped desk in a large cubicle. I have a nice view out of my cubicle, and plenty of windows all around. The views include a large meadow on the window close to my cubicle, and several mountains on the other windows. The mountains are starting to be snow-capped. I love looking at those!

I have a 2 monitor setup. They are 21" CRTs, but that doesn't bother me. My machine is a dual core Pentium with 2 gigs of RAM. My chair is one of those office specials, but it's not too bad. I've been thinking of buying a better chair. I personally don't like Aerons, since I haven't been able to get comfortable on them, or any kind of mesh-type chairs.  I like the heavily padded chairs that hug the body.

Why do I like it here

This is the first truly family-friendly, where they mean what they say, company that I have worked for. Everybody else has given lip service to this philosophy, but TGN lives and breathes it. I truly thought these sort of companies were a myth, and was shocked when I found they were for real.

I have been able to leave work to take care of family matters without my employer having a hissy fit. Their vacation policy is very good as well as their health insurance. I've already used almost 2 weeks vacation, and I still have several days left. I accrue almost 5 Paid Time Off (PTO) hours per paycheck. I think that increases after a year. I haven't checked.

The second thing that is a very big issue is having to have your butt on a chair by a certain time. I'm not subjected to this here. I'm treated in a very professional manner. This has been my biggest pet peeve through my career. I haven't been lucky enough to find somebody that would let me work remotely. This is the second best compromise. My commute is around 20 minutes each way.

The third thing that inspires confidence in this company are the managers that I work for. Both of them are very good at what they do, and they shield their underlings from most of the corporate politics. Management is one of those things that are hit or miss is most companies.

I was originally reporting directly to the IS Manager. He got promoted to Director of IS, so now I report to the Team Lead. TGN had a recent reorg, which broke teams into groups of 5 or less. My team is called "TMS - IS." We lost one team member to the reorg. His position was cut, but fortunately for him, he found another position in a team on the same floor. So now we have 3 people in my team.

I just passed my one year here. I've been at a company no longer than 18 months, but I can easily see myself here for 5 years. This is part of the reason I'm not going at breakneck speed or putting massive hours on PainlessSVN or SystemWidgets. I have a strong need for balance in my life, and I have finally achieved it.

posted @ Saturday, November 10, 2007 3:17 PM by Hector Sosa, Jr

Posted in: Personal

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