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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
in 2012. Well, it's closer back to more 2011. I was doing my undergrad in accounting, um, and a professor up at the University of Utah who happened to be a neighbor of mine. He and I got talking one day, and he's like, What are you gonna do after I was like, Well, I think I'm gonna go to my masters of accounting agencp and kind of go that route. Um, and he's like, you know, and he could tell I wasn't to set on it, you know? I mean, I was unknown. What you gonna do? I don't know. You know, that's kind of the path for an accounting undergrad. I was like, Well, why don't you check out the Masters and information systems? I was like, Well, I don't have any. You know, I enjoyed tinkering with computers, and I can, you know, know my way around technology fairly, uh, was pretty proficient at the time. He's like, Yeah, well, you don't need You don't need to have a background and CS or anything to do information systems. So that sparked my interest. And that kind of changed my path to go to the Thio, um, apply for the program up there at the University of Utah, which I started in, um, 2013 January 2013. And that was kind of my first drill experience, actually getting into, you know, database management systems, Really? The weeds of security and kind of, you know, you can kind of choose your path. I chose the business, intelligence and analytics route. Um, s I went through school that year. I wasn't working, Wasn't doing an internship. It was just full time school, you know, working in the field. You know, it was more just full time school. No, no, no jobs related to what I was doing in information systems, which we'll get to that shortly, Has some advice, but finish school in December 2013 and started at a health tech company called Health Catalyst in 2014. February, March of 2014 has a tier one support. Ah, and that was, uh that was great, because it kind of gave me some experience within the company, because at that point, I still don't know where I wanna go. I wanna go the development and I want to go operations continued on the B, I rolled database side of things and that evolved to, you know, it s so I did support for a year, Really learned our product, Learned our back end. Um, we're of Microsoft shop there. Microsoft Shops was all sequel server, single serve immigration services. Um, and that being said, I actually started talking to another kind of a colleague of mine that became a mentor in the sense. And he's like, you know, do you wanna We're looking for a database administrator. Do you want to go that route? I was like, Well, I'd love to learn, you know, the weeds of sequel server and, you know, even more so and, you know, really learn what it takes tow, um, manage a database system. And so I did that After a year of being in support, I became a database administrator and did that route for three years. And that evolved to kind of where I met. Today is a data engineer. Over the past 2.5, 3 years, um, left health Catalyst a couple years ago went to Trager pellet grills. That was a data engineer there again working on sequel server and like your soft They're sorry. Single serve integration services. Um, and then spend a little time there and then really wanted to become more of a proficient data engineer. Really? Learning python are Scarlett whatever it takes, you know, Microsoft, you know, people server and just knowing Sequels only getting me so far. So I made a move ah, year ago to a company called Collective Medical. Another health tech company was going to get back into going from the product side of things that trigger back to the health side of things. Um, and now at traeger and, you know, a little bit at sorry at trigger a little bit. I was able to start that kind of that pivot. Um and it's just only accelerated mawr since moving to collective eso. Now it's yes, there's sequel everyday. Still not so much of the database side, but Anderson. I've been able to take all that knowledge I built from, you know, anyone can write sequel queries, right? Just like anyone can write code. What makes a good report writer or a sequel developer or anything else is a fishing code writing code that runs well writing code that doesn't bring down the system. Think it is based administrator that you know getting up at 3 a.m. When our service go down. You know, it's usually because not usually it happens more than off. More often than not, someone's let her grow query. Keep running, and it's brought down the systems. It's filled up our log files. I've been able to take that and pivoted into what I do now every day and you know, how is this query really gonna run on the system? Um, and it's, you know, what shaped my career path to kind of get me here has been I definitely say a good mentor. Um, he was with me at Catalyst. He actually came with me. He actually joined me when I left to go to trader and he was my director there, and he's always been something that I could go to for questions. Even yesterday, I reached out to him on G chat. I had a question about, uh, some data quality questions and, you know, we chat all the time, and I'd say that's definitely been one of the biggest benefits to me, for me is having a good mentor, so

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
eso every day. Now it's Python day and day out. Um, I work in, uh, engagement success? Uh, division. So working a lot in salesforce, writing out python, building out python projects to import and export a lot from Salesforce. Calling the Salesforce a p I, um where were were on the engagement and success side of things. A lot of metrics, a lot of reports. A lot of, um, a, uh, sequel queries. Um, where I'm a data engineer. I'm actually not on product or engineering, so it's It's kind of a unique role being in operations. Ah, lot of process improvement and O s a lot of process improvement, and it's building out those processes. Thio accomplish that? Um, I work a lot with our data science team. Also, I'm again. They're all metrics, all tableau, all KP ice. Okay, ours, um so so weekly work, work hours, you know, it's It's the standard, you know, 8 to 5. I find myself coming, you know, 8 to 5. And then if I'm working on something, I come back to it after dinner. Um, because it's interesting. Not so much, because I have thio. I mean, it's, you know, we have our sprints, but it's I'm working on this and it's rattling through your head throughout the night and you're like, You know, you take a break and you come back down to your office and you. And then the next morning, I find that when I for me when I in the day on a high note, it makes it that much more enjoyable to continue Thio work the next day. I actually live, you know, regarding, ah, commute hours or commuting time. I actually live about a mile from the office. It's I've always had a short commute, even a health catalysts and trigger, um, health Catalyst was only a few miles away. Also, obviously now, with, uh, Pandemic, I'm working from home full time and probably will continue to work from home even after the office reopens. Just because it's, you know, I've worked from home throughout my career, not something I would ever think I would do full time, but I really learned to enjoy it.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
So, uh, currently at Collective Medical. Um, my sequel, where everything's running off of my sequel and Lennox servers. So even ableto. Obviously, a lot of what I've learned in Sequel Server has transferred over to my sequel. Most database management systems were similar. That's my sequel. Oracle Sequel Server. They all have their quirks, Um, relatively the same. And then python working in pie charm is the Is the i. D. I chosen. Um, but yeah, it's sequel in Python Day in, day out dabbled a little bit in tableau and tableau Domo and click you depending on which company I was out. No expert by any means, but definitely been exposed to those, um, b I tools also.

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
I would say challenges would be knowledge, at least for me. There's never a day where I don't have to go to stack overflow or Google. Um, and it's accepting that, you know, you kind of I've had a learn Thio. I'm not going to know everything, and I'm never going to know everything. So it's It's knowing where to find the right answer, knowing how to ask the question in a way that you can find the answer, um, regarding out, you know, um, challenges outside of, you know, at least with myself. You know, there's always it's time, you know, Time is always you're always at a kind. There's never enough time in the day. Um, you know, you have your sprint planned, you have your tasks. And then there's unplanned work. Um, Phoenix Project is a book that I've learn Thio kind of based my career off of. If that's a good suggestion, if you can plug that one in there, uh, they talk a lot about unplanned work and that unplanned working derail everything. It's the Hey, can you just get this formula quick? It's the person on slack that's reaching out. Can you just get the sequel career. Quick, It's learning to say No e can't get it for you right now and you can't please everyone figuring out a way to I can't get a free right now. But when we put it in the backlog, what's the priority? Um, everyone needs everything right now, but when you start asking questions, most things aren't aren't needed so, so so time and learning how to manage time is also a challenge.

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
Yeah, it's a where I'm on operations. I do work with less technical people. Um, they understand, uh, you know, they we can have a conversation, right? But it's knowing that Hey, we want this done. And sometimes what they want done is in their mind it. So this is simple. We could just get this done. Um, you know, is this an hour project to our project when in reality, it's it could be a month long project eso it's. And then also, though some of those people that as cake and I get this for me, it's teaching them how to get the answer themselves. Um, and most of time, they're willing to, you know, a lot of people, Like I said, I work with their their technical. They can not our Sorry. There might not be as technicals because their product managers there, there, you know, they've been on operations, their their health plan managers. Um, you know, they they haven't worked in technical roles, uh, for their entire career. So they can that they may know sequel a little bit. They may know they may know at least their way around are products of the understand kind of, you know, at least specifically, collective micro services or whatnot. So it's working with them in a way to help them understand really what it takes when they ask for a project, but then also helping them. Hey, can you get the simple for me? I could get it for you, But why don't I spend 15 minutes on a call and show you, you know, show you how to write the query on demand? I'd say 99% time. They're ecstatic, Thio that I'm willing to give 10 15 minutes of my time to teach them something. Um, you know, going back to the titles I work with. Like I said, it's I do work a lot with data science. So, yes, I could weaken, speak, you know, they can run circles around me and a lot of things. So I I learned a lot from them with the, you know, some of the data engineers over their data scientists, um, machine learning analysts. Uh, I I honestly do not work with our Dev team very much our engineers. I do go to them to learn our database structure. And if I have questions about the product? Um, yeah, mainly. It's, you know, help fund managers, uh, customer success managers, customer support, Um, trying to think who else? On our you know, some of the titles I do have an operations analysts that I work with. Um, and I worked with work together every day. We're on the same team, Um, and then some e t l engineers. So yes, of course with them. Aiken, you know, we can weaken, talk the talk, and, um

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
okay, Uh, specifically on our team. It's, you know, we have what are called rocks and more of a sprint model. Um, and it's It's the springboard. That's how we track performance. It's Here's cork in process. Is it getting done? Is a isn't moving through the system? Here's the backlog. Is the backlog going down our estimations for work in line with our actual work? Are we overestimating? Are we underestimating? A lot of the time? Work is underestimated, Um, but it's, you know, we will have a lot of the things I'm building out our like. It's a process improvement initiative. So instead of having, for instance, one project, instead of having to create cases, automatically create cases manually in Salesforce, which there could be sometimes 50 cases on a monthly basis, and he'd be created for some product alerting, I was able to build out a python project to create those cases automatically. So it zits the time savers like that that we are able to measure and that so now, customer service, uh, our customer support analysts doesn't have to create those cases. They're done automatically. So it's it's a indicators like that

What things do you like about your job? Were there any pleasant surprises?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
I think I like. My job was every day. It's something new, always something to learn. I mean, like I said, I haven't had much experience with Lennox. And lately I've been working in Lenox and doing everything in command light eso again. That could be a pleasant surprise, but it can also be, uh, a knopper to NATO Learn something new. Um, so it's a obviously working with good people when we were in the office. You know, like most tech companies. Now it's They make the office of fun place to be. Well, good people, good friends, good colleagues. Um, I like to get excited about, you know, they call it a deking out right on raspberry PiS or whatever. It's nice, Teoh. You know, I work with people that also enjoy those things which, you know, that's similar with most career fields. But, uh, yeah, you know, you're doing the right thing when you can also share your hobbies with your colleagues, So yeah,

What skills and qualities does your team look for while hiring? What kind of questions does your team typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
always that there's always the technical questions, but, ah, lot of the interview is not focused on that. I would say, You know, your resume can kind of tell your experience. Technically, what you know, your your knowledge and the 1st 10 15 minutes of an interview will uncover how truthful or, you know, qualified. You really are technically right. Um, ask if your technical questions thio to make sure they know, not necessarily try to back him into a corner, but work through a problem with them too. Really? See, Because chances are if they don't know a question, you're also able to see how do they work through that problem, Right? Um, so, yeah, you know, you want to get base, but you also want someone that's willing to learn. You're someone that's knows how to find the right questions and ask the right questions. Um, watch him struggle, you know, watch a candidate kind of struggle and see how they work through a problem. Um, but then a lot of the qualities and skills we're looking for It does come down to cultural fit. A very I'd say more than a technical fit is cultural fit. Do you work with those people? Obviously, the standard cultural fit, uh, questions. And a lot of the times it just turns into a conversation. An interview. Its's not really necessarily questions. It's just Let's have a conversation, right? Who are you? What do you like to do? What's, uh what? What are your hobbies? You know, do you, you know, just kind of see how they interact with people.

What helped you to stand out in your hiring process? How should someone prepare for an interview for a job like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
I went into a pretty relaxed, you know, I I had done my homework. I it didn't It didn't hurt that the My hiring manager, the lady I report to now, I actually worked with her health catalyst. Eso that helped kind of take down the walls of, you know, take a little edge off the interview process. And she and I had a great conversation, and then it was meeting with three other people downstream, and then those were more technical interviews, but it, uh, it was more relaxed. You know, I didn't I wasn't in a suit and tie. I think I wore I don't know. I may have word denim in a button up shirt. You know, I knew, you know, I knew everyone else was gonna be in shorts and a T shirt, so I I dressed it down a little bit. No, Uh, know your audience. When I was at when I was a trigger, we were in shorts and a teacher everyday flip flops. I don't, You know, whatever you wanted to wear. So when people would show up in a suit off the bat, we knew you don't obviously don't know this company enough. It would almost from the start, before they even said a word. It would, um uh, it would degrade, not degrade. It would. I'm searching for the ward. Yeah, you know, they're just up in a suit, and we're in the We're in shorts and a T shirt. Obviously don't show up in a swimsuit. But, you know, in this day and age is not a bad thing. Yeah. Um, and again, how should you know prayer from interview for a job like yours? It's, you know, get to know the company. If, obviously, you know, Lincoln is a great thing in mentors, networking. Whatever it is, chances are you can find someone that works that that company have a 20 minute conversation with him on the phone. Say, Look, I'm applying for this job. Tell me everything. Tell me your experience. Tell me what was your interview process like? What's a day? What's the company like? And if you can't find someone, that's usually what? The recruiter of the companies for their their to talk up the company and they will give you those pointers. Should I dress up? Well, yeah. We're a suit and tie kind of office. Great match the right. But I would think I was just It was a relaxed interview. It was I e again had a conversation, and I knew the technical questions that were potentially going to be asked from the job description. So I was ableto polish up any of those skills I may not be so familiar with, at least to the point I could speak to him. But then it came down to I don't know, these questions you're asking me if one came along on it, you know, showing that you're willing to learn and how you would learn Teoh, get to that to become more provisions in that skill. Because then then again, you're never gonna know everything on a job application. Your if you if you qualify for every, um, if you fit every skill set listed in a job application, you're gonna be overqualified. So knowing for me it was going in knowing, you know? Okay, I fit about 75% of these qualifications. Then let's now let's talk about how I can get that other 25% proficient, correct

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
a T least with directly related to the year. I've been a collective medical. Um, hi farm. It's been a struggle, but it's it's been alert. You know, I've been six years in Microsoft and, uh, Secret Serve integration Services with Sequel. And it was going back to that learning a new skill set. Obviously, it's come quickly than sequel ever. You know, I became more proficient, uh, just learning how to learn and, you know, and that that just comes with the knowledge. But I would say some of the biggest. You know, some of these, uh, self source projects working with a p I and doing that in pipes on it nationally. Been a confidence. Mr You. You You know, I I sat down and tried to learn C sharp. I don't Scala java. I've tried to learn all of them in my career. I've never had projects that I could directly Um, I do those Yes. So? So you're guarding a prom context. It's always been Yeah, this skill be nice toe, have. But I don't have a direct application in my current career with my work, I've done it collective. It's been able to Okay, I need to learn pie. I had a good grasp on python. You know, beginner, too, you know, beginner, beginner, intermediate, uh, knowledge of it. But then it was like, Okay, now then, I've been able to exponentially girl that knowledge by completing these projects and by completing those projects to build your confidence. And it's just kind of that circle. And then you wanna learn Mauritz like, Well, what else is out there? You know, the different tips and tricks. And, uh, you know, uh, some of the problem context and learning that again, finding a good one for finding people at the company that you could go to with questions but going to them with the right questions to show that you've done all your research. Uh, and then people are more willing to help when you can prove to them that you have taken the time to struggle and looked at things at different angles before coming to them with questions. So

What is a future career path for professionals in your role? How long does it typically take to advance through various roles? How easy are such promotions to come by?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
for me Now. I'm looking at my next Advancements will be to a senior data engineer, Cedar, the senior data engineer role within the next year. So hopefully, um, and in my career, it seems like about about five years, you know, five years get you from that beginner to intermediate, and then another five years get you over to that senior about 10 years total. Um, which, actually, I think back. I'm I've been in my career now, six years, and it seems like just yesterday I was in row heats, Um, emerging Web technologies, Class A to the University of Utah. Um, and so time goes by very quickly, and you pick up a lot on the way. How easier promotions? I would say. Very easy. I see people with, ah, lot less experience. You know, when I say experience, time in the seat, becoming senior and director roles. Um, so it it just depends, But yes, it would be, Ah, senior position. And then a director where I senior maybe be leading a team or are managing some data engineers underneath me or and then after that, a director position, Uh, whether that's leading a team of data engineers or, um, Or, you know, even at this point, do I migrate over to more of a data science role? I don't plan on that now, but, uh, you know. Then again, I didn't see my self being where I'm at now, six years ago, so

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle at work? What were the challenges? What strategies were effective in dealing with these challenges?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
they were different technology stacks. Um, again, we had We always had the problem with underestimating our sprints. We had unplanned work coming in all the time. Ah, lot of walk ups. Hey, can you do this for me real quick, so you get distracted a lot. One of the benefits of working from home is you don't get those walk ups nearly as much. People have to go through the effort to either call you on slack or send you a message so you don't get the flight. You don't get the fly bys. We had an open office there, so it was very easy. I mean, open office with only forfeit cubicles. It was very easy to get distracted by walk ups and that unplanned work. Uh, strategies that are effective is really you know, we really built out our sprint estimation process and our our backlog grooming and tackling that mountain of tasks. Ah, and really became sticklers on estimation and, uh, and getting the work done that was planned for that sprint with not too much flow over to the next friend. Not not too much stuff got pushed over. But then also learning to say no to other teams and saying, Yes, we can get to the submit a ticket, um, or work with the work with a, um, project manager to get this project into our sprint in the coming weeks, setting the president with other people, also, that we just can't drop everything to get to your task, so

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts in each of your college programs?

Based on experience at: Masters of Science, Information Systems, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
the the network convinced for beneficial to really get to know people. Um, again, I wasn't working full time. I didn't have just my wife and I home. We didn't have a family at the time, so I could dedicate more time to that networking and really making an effort to go to those, uh, networking events. Um, time permitting. Obviously, uh, the faculty, obviously RoWhite who asked me to do this mentor, uh, interview. Um, even after I left, I was always talked him. You know, having a product of my own one day is is the dream. And, you know, we had a little startup ideas we read, run past him and he'd meet us at the light. He'd meet us over the cafe, and we, you know, bounce ideas off of him, and, uh so I'd say the fact that he was great. You know, the resource isn't in helping me prepare my resume and to actually make that jump after I leave school into a career. Um, we're all great, but finding my first job at health catalysts came from, um, half students or alumni that I were that I was in classes with during the program. So

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
may not have. I mean, I have some examples, but yeah, for some of them. But I'd say one thing I've learned just in recent years. It's not the smartest, not the smartest person that gets promoted. It's the person that that sells themselves, but in a way that is with with humility on dare, not out to sea promotion. It's the person that they come into work. They get their job done, they have proven results. But then there's also a good person. They're not the one that's always trying to come off Aziz the expert, even though they potentially could be the they they're they're humble. They're they're willing to help others, but there not out. At least they don't come off Azaz there. You know, everyone's searching for that promotion, right? They're the ones that are, but they're doing in the sense of you don't know they are would be one of them. Another one is that I've kind of touched on this already know when to ask the right questions at the right time. Um, you're never going to know everything. No one is ever going to know the answer to everything but the people that uh, come off as the experts in the field are the ones that ask the right questions and know how to find the right answers. Um, yeah, it's not bad to ask questions, but, uh, learning how to ask those questions and articulate them in a way to where you, uh, don't come off sounding unintelligent. Um, and probably the biggest part for me. Ah, biggest lesson is having a good mentor, uh, one someone that you can go to regardless of any question you have. You know, it helps. Obviously, if they're in the same field, is you. And that's what's benefited me. It's been able to bounce a lot of questions off of my mentor throughout the years, and we still chat everyday work Really close friends. Uh um, you know, someone that's been in the field for a long time in it, you know, that's kind of a natural selection process. I think anyone, uh, anyone out there confined a good mentor? Just, you know, you don't have to set your mind to it. It's more so, no, when you kind of have been connected with someone that could be a good mentor, uh, versus say, hey, who wants to be my mentor? You could get random people from ground, um, places. And, well, a mentor is someone that's more of a friend than anything. So So find someone that is, that you could find someone that you wouldn't mind hanging out with on the weekend. It definitely helps, so

What starting job and internships would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
obviously, for me, it was it was kind of a roundabout way to where I got to, but it was starting out in that support role, I think, help me get exposed to a lot of things really quick within a company because, you know, working with all aspects of the product versus just getting siloed on a, you know, as an intern on, you know, for instance, doing test, You know, uh, an engineering or quality assurance. Um, because, you know, I I worked with engineering law because we'd find bugs on, uh, really get to see what they do. So I was like, Well, I could potentially what? We're engineering. I could move over to the cloud side of things, which is what I ended up doing. Uh, so don't be afraid to take a It's like, Well, I wanna be a date injured. Don't be afraid to take a I wouldn't say lesser role, but something outside of what you originally planned, because, well, it may surprise you, So I would say be open to, uh, be open to different opportunities that you may not. I have had in mind originally when starting school. Um, don't don't get discouraged. There's a lot of days. Even now, I question if I even want to keep doing this, you know that you get stuck on a project, but then all of a sudden you have that lightbulb. Come on, and it's one comma in your code that's blowing everything up and your project works and you've gone from wanting to They're your laptop out the window to flying on night. So obviously, for me, also starting out of 2013 were just coming out of the recession. Obviously, pandemic may change things a little bit, but it was the job market. I was a little surprised how long it took me to get a job. I mean, it was only a few months. I was hoping it would have taken a little bit less time. Part of that, that could have changed. That outcome was if I had an internship while I was in school, if I would have started looking for those interests, I I didn't start industry. It was a full time job out of school, but I think my biggest device would be find that internship, find it early, Um, because it also helps while you're in your internship to go to class at night and b of the why what you're learning in class on the job and vice versa. It really helps put things into context. And I didn't have that I went from. Like I said, I went from accounting, straight and information systems and a lot of everything I knew coming out of school was all academic. So I did have to, you know, if there are students that are in that position where everything they know is academic, start doing things on the side, start tinkering around with, You know, there's raspberry PiS or do we know there's many things out there, you know, start a project on code dot or GTA or portal site? Whatever the learning platform is outside of school to show that Look, I may not have this. I don't mean, you know, I don't have the real life experience, but I've done some things on my own. I built this raspberry pi, you know, that checks the weather, for instance, and updated it to a Web app. Now I can check in on my phone. Something like that could go a long way if if you I don't have that time in the CIA's. I call it coming out of school. Uh,