Dreaming Databases

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich 1 Comment

Over the past month and a half I’ve been doing nothing but database design, testing, re-design, further testing…….  You get the idea.  And every night guess what I dream about…….


This seems all to familiar.  Back in 1996 when I started in with Sprint PCS I was charged with laying out a pair of TelLabs DACS installations.  Two different switching centers in MA.  I needed to manage the hundreds of cell site connections, and the tens of thousands of individual channels coming in on our facilities.  Oh, and also all of the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) connections that delivered our final calls.

At the time I had never built a database in my life.  Honestly I’d just left my graduate program in Economics after coming to the conclusion that Ivory Tower Academia wasn’t for me after all.  See, I wanted to earn a living, and the network boom was going on all around me.  The thesis I’d written in grad school was, “How Per Unit Pricing Effects Endogenous Technological Change.”  It was written to counter some of the disastrous ideas that went into the 1996 Telecom Act.  Ah well.  Bottom line, I taught myself TCP/IP network engineering while doing an economics thesis, and it was a hell of a lot more fun than academia.

Through a series of really weird events I ended up with Sprint PCS.  And as I said above, I had to track all these connections to different locations.  A database was necessary.  And over the course of my career in wireless I kept having two recurring dream themes.  Databases and DACS management.

Here I am well over a decade later and I find myself dreaming databases again.  And it’s not a bad thing.  I’m actually enjoying it.  Sure I could be dreaming of The Granite Dells, White Pocket, The Grand Staircase, and all the other amazing places I’ve seen and photographed.  But given my extreme type A personality I’m not surprised that I dream about work.

Funny, back in Prescott I didn’t dream work.  I don’t know what that means, but I do know I’m happier now than I have been in years.  My theory is simple.  I’m doing something that people value, I feel respected again, and I’m a little proud of the work I’ve been doing.  I was proud of my photographic & print work too, but somehow it never translated into earnings or feeling valued by the bulk of my client base.

So yeah, I dream database design.  Once an “enginerd” always an “enginerd.”  🙂

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