Staying in the Pink

 Like a lot of older phrases the original use of “In the Pink”1 has been lost but is associated with being on top form and in good condition. When I apply this term to data I tend to associate with a good friend of mine Allan Mitchell who is one of the MVP’s behind SQL Bits with a penchant for Pink polo shirts. However what really keeps him in the pink is his attitude to his work. When I first met him he was a hard core SQL Server guy who then got into Integration Services who had a reputation for over running horrendously during his talks where my early failing was demos just not working at all! However when StreamInsight came out in SQL Server as a way of handling feeds coming into a service in near real time event when there were tens of thousands of events he really got stuck into this niche even though it was little understood and at the time very niche.  As we kept bumping into each other over the next couple of years he mentioned that this service was coning to Azure.

Roll forward to today and Allan is one of the key authorities on Stream Analytics and big data and is working on all sort of interesting projects one of which is handling 3 million of events a second partly due to Azure services scalability  and also to his expertise in making it work. Even now he is not stranding still and is actively tracking the new data stuff coming down the Azure track, like Data Lake and the Data Warehouse. He also learns by teaching, as you can’t really explain anything to anyone else unless you understand it yourself. So he’s an MVP because of this and he’s not alone in this space so I could also call out the dozen or so Data based MVP’s as they all do this too. They all stay current with the new stuff partly out of curiosity partly because they get bored with the old stuff, and because it actually makes sound career sense.

So if you are fed up of patching, performance tuning and general (SQL) server hugging or are just worried about this kind of role going away then you could do worse than follow their example by taking time out to invest in yourself to make your career more interesting. The data developer/ data Professional is the job to be in but you do need to stay current and the top resource for all thing Microsoft in this space is the Microsoft Virtual Academy which has portal just for us..


and like it says at the top of the page “successful techies never stop learning”


1.  BTW The phrase “in the Pink” refers to wearing the best hunting gear (by Thomas Pink), and my source is Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon