The Best Thing Your Boss Can Do For Your Data Engineering Career? Leave

Strategies for building self-reliance as a first-year data engineer.

Zach Quinn
Pipeline: Your Data Engineering Resource

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For nearly 6 months in 2023 I worked a graveyard shift; it was a grueling 3 am to 11 am period, Monday-Friday. Ok. Admittedly, it helped that 3 am to 11 am EST was equivalent to 9 am to 5 pm European Central Time, a schedule I followed when I briefly lived in France (it was the study abroad I never knew I needed).

Aside from enjoying incredible flexibility to work on tasks asynchronously (I thanked my former boss profusely for this), I also credit this period for providing an unlikely professional benefit.

Since Europe is 6-ish hours ahead of the US’s east coast at any given time, I’d be “on my own” for at least 6 hours of my shift.

And though, before, I thought many of our processes ran during the work day, a surprising amount take advantage of the low-processing nighttime hours.

This meant that I often had “first crack” at debugging a script or re-running a failed job.

During this time, forced to at least figure out some solution, I gained a deeper understanding of processes I had only surface knowledge of prior to my (international) on-call stint.

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Zach Quinn
Pipeline: Your Data Engineering Resource

Journalist—>Sr. Data Engineer; helping you target, land and excel in data-driven roles.