(The Executive Summary: I left my job last week, and I start working at The Pythian Group on Monday. Go to their website if you’d like to work with me, or with people just as knowledgeable as me.)
I get inquiries all the time about consulting. Folks are madly searching for experienced MySQL DBAs. The lure of a new environment is always tempting, however, working for any one environment has its quirks. In October I realized I was coming up on having worked 2 years at my job. That’s not a very long period of time, but it certainly was long enough for me to learn the environment and get stuck in a rut — mostly my rut was doing more systems work than database work.
I looked around for other places of work, and had a wonderful interview at an awesome company to boot. However, they were also a product company, and I’d decided that I wanted to move to a service company. That is, a company that provides database services to a wide variety of environments. A company that sells products still usually has one environment, or at least one environment that I would work in. With a service-oriented company, such as a consulting firm, I can gain the experience of many environments and many setups.
Learning from my co-workers is important too — too many shops have only 1 or 2 MySQL DBA positions, which leaves me with 1 or 0 MySQL colleagues at work. Being the big fish in a small pond has its advantages, but it’s also too easy to get caught in my own ways of doing things and not see another side of things.
So, I thought about where I’d want to work. There are many great MySQL consulting firms out there. I looked at the ones I knew about — most of the ones run by Planet MySQLers I ruled out because either I didn’t have the right skillset (I’m not a programmer, C or otherwise!) or because I thought there might be personality conflicts, or because I’d have to move.
That was a big one — having to move. I have to stay in the Boston area, at least for now. My husband and I discussed things, and we’re not willing to move right now. Also, I hate too much travel. Anything more than 10% really wears me down. And that, sadly, put MySQL’s own consulting out of the running. I just cannot travel that much.
So where does that leave me? Well, I called up The Pythian Group and we had a few hours of great phone conversations.
Next week, I fly to Ottawa for training! There will be a Boston office opening, but that’s after I finish 2-3 weeks of training.
I’m very excited to learn more about how The Pythian Group operates, as well as getting down and dirty with different environments, and solving lots of problems.