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Search - "business intelligence"
Hired a new BI developer. She tested reasonably ok in SQL, and certainly showed good strengths in visualising data, plus had a good attitude in the interview. We hired her. She broke her laptop the first day. We got her another then she complained the camera didn't work but didn't realise the lever in front of the camera was to move the privacy shutter off and on.
Assigned her some work of taking queries that are used in a BI tool that targets the transactional database directly, and re-jigging them for Snowflake which we're using as a data warehouse now, aggregating all our data into one place. Yet, she's struggling to understand why the SQL query she's pasted in doesn't work as-is.
I go over it again; the source schemas and tables are this, but in Snowflake we've named them this. She then bemoans how much work that is to change them all - I say use find and replace. She then struggles with Snowflake syntax errors and asks for a guide on T-SQL to Snowflake. I show her Google and say "this is what I did when I hit these problems - search for 'Snowflake equivalent to T-SQL getdate()' or 'how to get current date in Snowflake' but she still doesn't understand. I ask if she's every had to work between T-SQL and MySQL or MySQL and PostgreSQL or Oracle and so on and she says yes. I say the syntax isn't the same, is it? And she goes oh, now I understand.
She scored reasonably in her SQL test but I'm now concerned there's something fundamental missing in her grasp of SQL. I gave her a detailed demo of the tools, I explained in the interview and on her start about our move to a data warehouse for all our apps, and put her through some training plus gave her time to work through our Confluence pages - not expecting she'll remember everything, but more to ensure she recalls they exist and what the general contents are.
Anyhow, that's my rant.7
A story about burnout you say? Well, here it goes.
In 2019, I worked in a now-defunct startup. Back then, I was deep in "treatment" with wrong medications that almost ended up turning me into a vegetable. When I was hired, my mind was already deteriorating quickly, and I was caught in a downward spiral of losing intelligence.
Prior to working there, there was never ever ever a situation in my career when I was given a problem to solve and failed to do it.
But right then, with already double-digit IQ and constant, pumping anxiety, I was seeing task descriptions that looked familiar and doable, yet I absolutely could not do them. I couldn't comprehend. It was an absolutely screeching, crippling panic about me losing my intelligence forever, being fired and ending up unhireable, dying alone on the streets.
Apart from my depression I recovered from, this very experience was a trauma that haunts me to this day, every day. You know, my experience being raped as an adolescent doesn't, but this, it's something else. Now, my intelligence is back, I design architecture, I'm a CTO, and my solutions are objectively cleaner and better in every way than what I did pre-depression. Yet, I still feel a sharp, sudden rush of anxiety, and my heart skips a beat, when I think about writing code or even opening the IDE.
I don't know how does one recover from this. I'm now slowly transitioning into "architecting CTO" role that is just being a devrel, assessing ethics, working with business to realize their need, designing solutions and leaving the implementation for the team to do. You know, the stuff I was taught in the uni.
Maybe doing open source and launching small pet projects will help. But at this stage of my life I have no emotional resource to care.11