Turning A New Leaf With A Career Change

I started a new job this week. I am working for Expedia, Inc now as a Database Development Engineer (or DB Dev, for short). So far, I am really enjoying the opportunity. The people are really great and have a real entusiasm for what they do.

It’s a quicker pace for development releases than I’m used to, but it seems like they have a really good system of checks and balances to ensure the process is flawless. I am learning that “Uptime” is the most important factor and that everything else comes in as second priority. That’s such a different mentality to me. My background has always been in the client-server world. So we could shut the system down to make our changes/updates and then give the All Clear signal to let everyone in. But not with a website that is running 24x7x365. It the site is down even a few minutes, that’s lost revenue, which is unacceptable.

The work is still similar from a database perspective, but every little change is scrutinized. Can’t update a table in a large batch, it has to be done in iterations of 100 records or less so that it doesn’t lock too many data pages.

Today, I was writing a multi-threaded query stress tool. It’s going to be something that will compare all the CPU, read/write IO, & memory metrics for a defined number of iterations and threads. We will be able to scale it up to simulate a real load on the database server. We have to be concisous of every little change we implement, because a small change can get magnified when 50,000 users hit the system.

Regardless of the details, I am LOVING my career change. It’s refreshing to change everything.