Changing places pushes you out of your comfort zone (in a good way) and makes you learn new things. Moving to NZ helped me to look at the area of interest in my professional field from another perspective, and working for different companies gave much deeper understanding of the IT sector.
First being a developer for data analytics consultancy in Auckland, then helping out with the establishment of the first (in NZ) social media listening platform Zavy – now I am quite lucky to land as Business Intelligence Consultant at OptimalBI in Wellington.
In 2 years I have gone through different experiences from job seeking, being onboarded not having enough language skills, learning new technologies and development practices, trying out independent contracting and meeting world class experts in BI and data warehousing field.
I find it really fascinating. And little bit different from what I experienced in Russia.
One of these, you most likely won’t notice as many IT consultancies in Russia, at least in the data space. In NZ it is much easier and less costly to outsource development and analysis to agencies or independent contractors than to hire permanent staff. Meanwhile in Russia the question is mostly lying in the political area of data sensitivity. Nobody can guarantee data safety. Only security measures are able to save your company from data leaks and angry competitors.
Only Russian industrial giants (which is limited to IT industry pioneers, finance, government, retail and telco) can support expensive training programs, conferences and invest in innovative practices.
Thanks to OptimalBI, as for the first time in 10 years of my career I found myself sitting in the agile data warehouse design course presented with brilliance by Lawrence Corr. He talked about the exciting BEAM methodology to facilitate BI and data warehousing projects as well as covered some technical implementation topics and how Ralph Kimball’s methodology fits in the modern data warehousing world. In 3 days we’ve done 8 exercises designed to support the learning process of model storming. Walls, markers and communication were actively in use!
Speaking about communication, networking plays crucial role in working life of NZ. Meetup.com is widely used platform to serve the purpose. Anyone can organize any group based on their interests or aspirations. From a professional perspective it is a good way to share your knowledge, connect with people who are doing some cool projects, find customers or future employers. If you are lucky enough with Microsoft/Oracle/ or any other company being a sponsor you could get treats and drinks to make meetings more relaxed and entertaining.
If you’d like to talk about databases, data warehouses and business intelligence in 2 years I’ve learned tons of definitions and labeled my practical experience gained in Russia, where companies still mostly concentrate in supporting operational activity rather than thinking about the BI way.
In NZ you can hear about lots of trendy visualization, data warehousing and business intelligence systems while in Russia it is still the privilege of banks and telecom companies. If you’re in Wellington and want to attend a BI Meetup, turns out OptimalBI facilitate this one.
Oh yes, gender diversity is quite important issue in New Zealand IT and taken seriously. How to attract women in IT? How to make them stay? Most females in the sector are employed either as business analysts or testers. Female communities are being created to work on communication strategies in this tough male-dominated industry. Auckland-based Refactor borrows the TED-talks format – 3 women, 3 inspirational stories. One of the current trends is to involve males for effective communication. Wellington-based Women in Tech is a newbie. First meeting has been dedicated to networking and being quite international. The aim is to create safe environment for women to share experienced issues, ask advice and receive support.
Anastasia blogs about Data Vault and Business Intelligence for both technical and non-technical people. She’s new to this whole blogging thing, but really likes the Year in Review blog and thinks you should check it out too.