My Best Moment at Work, Lately

Working on our spiffy new Analytics app (soon to be released to customers), ran into a severe bottleneck getting our summarized data out of Hadoop and into MySQL (which we use to hold, essentially, a bunch of precomputed reports).

More or less immediately jumped into my usual approach to this kind of problem: Google + reading various tech blogs.  And this is something I feel quite proud of: give me a random tech problem, and I can figure out some decent approaches pretty quickly.  But, then, somehow, I caught myself, and, instead, I wrote an email to the HubSpot devteam, basically saying "This is something I don't know much about, anyone have any idea how to help out?"

Cue to the next morning, as I sat down with Drew Hite and Alex Alexander, and got an incredibly helpful walkthrough of my.cnf.  A few config changes, and a MySQL restart, and the bottleneck was good and totally gone.

I think this may have been my best moment at work, lately, as the title above says.  It's somehow so easy to just try to solve problems on your own (and to measure your own sense of self-worth by how good you are at such solitary work).  But, finding the right moment to ask for help is about the best possible thing you can do, sometimes.

I love, love, love what Kent Beck says: "I'm not a great programmer, I'm a pretty good programmer with great habits."  This all felt like I took a step towards the great habit of asking for help when I need it.

Dan Milstein

Written by Dan Milstein

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