Positioned

Sit Up Straight!

Computer Posture A Must

…for health.

In all seriousness. When you sit at a computer all day you will eventually realize that it is hard. Most people will tell you that it is a cushy job that doesn't take an effort. We will not go into that right now. What I want to cover is that, while it is part of your daily life, it doesn't have to be. I used to be in the same position. Bad back, and a whole lot more. But while bad posture can stem from an injury, genetic predisposition, or another case, the truth is that most of us just have the bad habit of bad posture.

Still, with time and effort much of what we have done can be reversed, at least that is what they told me. And when I began undergoing physical therapy, however the thing that surprised me the most is that the clinic was and probably still is full of young people exactly like me.

They were mostly guys, most them were there because they have been playing too many computer games or because, like myself use a computer a lot. But it can be because they have an addiction to smartphones or simply work an office jobs etc.

If you choose a career in the tech industry it will happen to a lot of you too… I guarantee it.

I've been trying to not slouch which has made things a lot easier. When I use my computer, I sit up straight and keep my eye level with the top of the monitor.

Any time I have my phone in hand I hold it up near eye level. Looking down at your phone between your legs is the worst thing that you can do for your posture apparently.

Another thing that I learned was that you should avoid sitting in "office chairs" with low backs.

One problem is that because they're common in offices, where your well being is rarely important, that they must be good; they're not. Get a high backed chair that you'd typically associate with executives/ your boss. Try out a few chairs, see which fit your straight back best.

A nearby shop should have a show floor with chairs to test.

The chair I use is a Steelcase Leap, and it cost about a considerable amount, but it was by far the chair I spend the most time in, in the entire house.

I've had it for years, and it keeps my back straight, my arms level, and is over all the most comfortable desk chair I've ever owned. I can sit in it for hours without any back, neck or wrist fatigue.

Because trust me, you will get problems eventually, you can avoid some of them, or you can reduce the damage ahead of time.

It may seem bad, for some people it will be much, much worse.

Positioned

No Boat Fishing in Miami

Alright, so I have a boat, but I don't always feel like getting it out to go fishing. That is where no boat fishing comes in and there are actually a couple of good places here to do that.

One of them is Black Point Marina in Cutler Bay.

We like to park on the left side of the channel, from there you can walk down the long trail – you can't miss it, it runs right along the channel where the boats taxi out into the bay. Once you reach the concrete walking path that ends continue on until you get around channel. You should see "Number 15-13", you can't miss them they're big red and green diamond shaped signs in the water of the channel.

From here we just cast a line and you'll reel in fish all day right there. They love hanging around the wall drop of the shore and center of the channel.

The places around marinas usually have good places to fish. You may have to walk around a bit to find a good spot, but that's part of the game.

For tackle, get a 7 foot medium/heavy graphite spinning rod. I like the Calico Jacks; I got mine from Dick's for $60. For a reel, get a Penn Fierce 3000 for $50. Put 20 pound mono backing on the reel, and top that with 200 yards of 30 pound braided line (I like Power Pro). At the end of the braided line, tie on 4 feet of 20# flourocarbon, and then tie on a lure. Cheap lures that work really well are 3/8 or 1/2oz white bucktails. I also like Mirrolure Mirrodyne 3/8 oz lures. Another approach you can take is to get some 1/4 oz jigheads and some Gulp shrimp.

With that setup, you can pretty much catch anything in Florida short of an adult tarpon.

Brings your friends, family and some beer, and it is easy to make a day out of it.

Positioned

Today: ETL

I am going to be looking at different areas of the tech industry and try and shed some light on the different roles you may want to fill. I plan for this to be an ongoing series and see if people are interested in exploring it further.

ETL Developer

ETL developers do DB development, especially in big data. This is a process that requires a lot of planning before moving on to the implementation, so I wouldn't necessarily call it "day to day operations," at least not as a whole.

Let's clear up the terminology a bit, ETL = Extract, Transform and Load. Basically you're going to take data from one source and transform it then load it to another place but that other place is carefully crafted to fit the data and be expanded on when the time comes.

In some case it could be simple, say mapping fields between two databases, but that is rarely the case. Usually the work is more complicated, and an ETL developer performing mathematical operations on some fields, combining it with other data sources, then loading them into a final location.

Size matters here, since you can't look at it as moving small databases around, even in a small company you will be handling many TB of data.

While the size of the company may dictate how much responsibility your job entails, it does not mean that you will necessarily be working with less data.

In a small to medium size companies, the developer could also be the database developer and the ETL developer, with the position rolled into one. A larger company will likely fill the positions with specialized roles like people who only do ETL, people who just do Database development.

Often the Database developer will work with an application developer to develop a database.

The Load

Since the volume of data is so big you will never find the ETL developers working with the data loads manually. In most cases that would be impossible.

Instead you will find them in the heavily invested in the design process using tools that allow them to manipulate the data on schedule. That involves a lot of data modeling due to the size of the job.

Why? Becuse can't just copy and paste your data into SQLite and call it a day when you need to scan a 100 TB of data and actually return meaningful resuls as fast as possible.

People want the data returned from their query, and they want it now.

The team that is responsible for infrastructure and ETL of any big data platform is mainly composed of people with software engineering backgrounds. Most of their time is spent designing the ETL and making sure it is running without error.

And running without error is definitely a aspect that has little room for compromise, you don't want to be exposed to data loss.

As you can see, ETL development is a subset of database development that focuses on the pipeline/tools. This often rolled together, being used to extract data from a data source, transform it into something useful, and load it into a database.

It may sound straight forward but it is more involved than you can imagine.

No matter how you look at it, there are many aspects to overall database development, so ETL is just one part. At a small company, a database developer might do lots of different database development tasks, but at a larger company, they will be more likely to have specific people writing reports, doing ETL, etc.

Amused

Stepping Into the Boat Shoes

For me salt water runs through my veins, and with that so does the urge to own a boat. So it wasn't too long after I moved out that I bought my own boat. It wasn't anything special, but it was mine. One question that friends often ask me is how they can get into boating, they make suggestions like joining a boating club, etc.

I recently got the question again so I wanted to break it down a little, and see what you think so that you can make an informed decision of your own.

One way is the club, but look at about spending $300 a month (docking a boat is expensive as well) but with a club you can reserve a boat for whatever day you are planning.

When you get into boating there are lots of questions to be considered.

Some of them include:

  1. Honestly, how often are you really going to use the boat?
  2. What does a typical boat rental cost in your area? A one off rental is often more affordable than being in a club!
  3. When you join a club, will you be able to keep the boat out an extra hour, day, etc, can you? Not all of them allow for this so keep an eye out for it when you are doing the paper work.
  4. Cost. Are there any other costs to taking the boat out (gas, etc)? You bet! And you will probably spend about twice on fuel than for a car traveling the same distance.
  5. When you join a club, do they have enough boats? Not all clubs can adequately serves your purposes on popular weekends, some of these include: memorial day, labor day, etc?
  6. What happens when the club boat has a mechanical issue, who pays? Hint, it might be you!
  7. Age plays a role here as well, does the club have new boats, older boats that are well maintained? You will find a mix in most clubs, but this can be an indication that they are worth the price.
  8. Let me just through this out there, how is insurance handled?

That list should get you going and help you make some thoughts on what it means to join, what is essentially a timeshare. Clubs cost a lot, owning a boat costs a lot. And either might be a good fit for you.

But if you decide to buy, there is the added expense of finding a place to store it. And they charge by the foot if you dock it. If you do not have a suitable place to keep it docked, you will need to keep it on a trailer which means that you need to have a suitable tow vehicle.

So:

  • Do you have the money on hand to buy a boat outright? If not you will have to find another way to finance it, and if that is the case the extra expense that come with it might be out of the question.
  • Then, unless you have experience, you will have to find one that fits. Do you know for sure what kind of boat you want?

Getting into boating isn't hard, especially if you have the money, but the reason most people turn away from the idea is because they do not realize how much goes along with it.

Clubs might be a way in to the world if you've never owned a boat before. They allow you to discover if it's right for you. But don't be surprised when you have to sign a big contract. And shell out thousands a year.