Snowflake made it possible for my company to move to the cloud in less than a year. We’ve never looked back.

Photo by Philipp Birmes on Pexels

Can a company, having already invested in and matured an on-premise data warehouse, abandon it entirely in favor of a cloud-based solution, reengineered from scratch, leveraging none of their existing software stack, and manage to do so within a year? Well, yes! Here’s what we learned along the way.

I currently work for the world’s leading B2B bedbank. We provide wholesale accommodation, transfers, activities, and car rental products through a global network of travel distributors. With thousands of daily…

Coupling SQL with iterative and conditional logic to create dynamic pivots for any database

photo by Felipe Hoffa

There’s something about SQL and PIVOTs: Everyone wants to PIVOT their results, but there never seems to be an easy way for it.

— Felipe Hoffa

Felipe Hoffa recently posted an excellent article on creating dynamic pivots in Snowflake using javascript stored procedures. It's worth a read not only for his creative approach but also because it introduces functions that not everyone may be familiar with.

Querying a query withresult_scan(last_query_id()) , that’s so meta!

However, Felipe’s solution relies on features that are exclusive to Snowflake. …

Enhancing human cognition through data visualization

A spark ignites the flame Photo by Elia Mazzaro on Unsplash

Rumor has it, Elon Musk is developing Neuralink — an implantable brain-machine interface to augment human cognitive abilities. What if it was possible to augment your cognitive abilities through a brain-machine interface right now, at no extra cost, and with absolutely zero holes drilled in your cranium?

Think, Rotate, Drop?

Let me start by making two predictions:

  • You’re familiar with Tetris, having played it countless times.
  • You’ve never stopped to consider that there are two reasons to rotate a shape: to fit a selected slot, obviously, but also to help you think about which slot should be selected.

David Kirsh and Paul Maglio…

Views, Virtual Relationships, DB Ops, and more!

cartoon avatars of Yew Inc introducing new SqlDBM features
cartoon avatars of Yew Inc introducing new SqlDBM features
New Features available in SqlDBM — Jan 21 update

Two months ago, Yew Inc. adopted SqlDBM — a database modeling tool that requires absolutely no coding. Besides helping their IT team develop and maintain their DB landscape, we saw how SqlDBM could help Yew Inc. foster collaboration, automate manual tasks, promote data stewardship, and reduce costs through time-saving measures.

Yew Inc. has been busy, riding the wave of efficiency that SqlDBM has introduced in its day-to-day operations, but the folks at SqlDBM have been busy too. …

From complexity to control through CI/CD, automation, and best-practices.

By James LeeFormerIP on Flikr on Wikipedia

The tale you’ve been told about the boiling frog is a lie.

For an ectotherm, location change as a response to temperature variation is the primary means of thermoregulation. A frog would be long gone before the water even became uncomfortable.

However, another organism has evolved to be particularly vulnerable to the boiling pot scenario: the database developer.

Under the steadily rising heat of an enterprise system, a developer will begin to perspire, complain, and on occasion, even resort to foul language. …

Breeze through data analysis with these time-saving techniques.

Man standing on mountain, looking out with a flashlight on a valley, under a starry sky.
Man standing on mountain, looking out with a flashlight on a valley, under a starry sky.
Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

In data analysis, we often come across very large tables — containing dozens of columns and millions of records, or more. Database editing tools can facilitate this task by giving us quick access to the table’s DDL (e.g., column list and constraints) and allowing data previews. However, a column list and a couple of hundred records give us little insight into the nature of the data or the relationships within it.

In March of 2019, Snowflake announced its first-ever acquisition: a visual SQL UI company called Numeracy. Features of this graphical UI…

A year after the platform migration, do the business users share BI’s excitement?

Working on laptops and discussing ideas
Working on laptops and discussing ideas
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

A year after my company migrated from on-premise SAP BW to Snowflake Data Cloud, I wrote an article comparing the two Data Warehouse (DW) platforms and highlighting the key factors which made the project a success. Given such a niche topic, I never expected the amount of feedback and healthy discussion that the article continues to generate.

However, one crucial detail was missing from that conversation: the end-user experience.

In a DW migration, winning over the business users is just as important as getting the model right…

Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash

All all successful careers are successful in their on the way; each miserable career is miserable because of similar missteps.

While the internet overflows with advice on how to succeed as a programmer, offering creeds and aspirational maxims, it has little to offer someone who is hell-bent on achieving a life of misery as a coder.

“Whoa now,” you might say, “misery isn’t really high on my list of priorities.” To you, I offer the apocryphal tale of the simpleton who wished to know where he would meet his end (so that he may never go there). …

“You Got This” the latest science on the power of mantras and positive self talk and their ability to influence performance
“You Got This” the latest science on the power of mantras and positive self talk and their ability to influence performance
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Before joining the Navy SEALs, Richard “Mack” Machowicz seriously questioned his chances of surviving BUDs training — then he got a life-changing piece of advice. He was told that a person could only be defeated in one of two ways: if they give up, or if they die.

This revelation gave Mack newfound confidence for the challenge that awaited him, but it was too heavy to take into battle. In typical special forces fashion, he “field stripped” it into something more compact: “Not dead, can’t quit!”

Several months later, wet, starved, sleep-deprived, and exhausted, Mack is running through the morning…

How a Navy SEAL tactic can set us free from buggy systems, sloppy code, and general misery.

“Discipline equals freedom.”

Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Maybe that’s true in the SEAL teams, but does it apply to everyday life?

The word “discipline” brings to mind rules, routines, and accountability. Last time I checked, the definition of freedom included none of those: “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants (f*#& yeah!).” Perhaps there is more to this idea?

The philosopher Immanuel Kant was the first to divide the concept of freedom into two categories, depending on whether we are acting or being acted upon, which he…

Serge Gershkovich

Peaceful warrior. Traveler sans terminus. BI Architect.

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