You’ve heard of oops babies, right? This post is about being an oops database manager – in the field, we call them, “accidental admins.” It’s a story about how I made this my career (as early in my career as I am, I really love what I do!) and the values that guide my work.
Government forms are notoriously awful! Good thing The Lab @ DC set out to redesign and re"form"at them! We could all learn from their example. Plus, some meta-analysis about my last post #WeWillNotBeErased. Come for the puns, stay for the learning!
The federal government's plan to define sex as "either male or female" and "unchangeable" is not only a measure of social control, but also a question of data collection and retention. In this post, best practices on *when* and *how* to collect data on gender identity and sex or sexual orientation. And a bunch of thoughts about erasure, coming out, and our political regime.
A treatise on mystery, learning, and shame. A joyous reflection on NPSP Day Philadelphia. And a spreadsheet tip you might not know you needed.
What is a mistake? Let's use the etymology to learn some lessons about mistakes and spreadsheets. Plus, puns and a recommendation for learning more.
On one hand, data skills are impossible to learn (and we blame the individual). On the other hand, companies tell us that advanced coding skills are easy to develop, 1, 2, 3! How can these be true at the same time? Who benefits from these messages? It's classic capitalism doublespeak: make non-data people feel insignificant and intimidated, then sell us a solution to our problem.
I call BULLSHIT on these dynamics and offer 8 tips for wrangling a sloppy spreadsheet that you can use right away!
There's certainly plenty of resources about how to be a mentor, how to pick a mentor, or why to seek out mentorship in the first place, but what about tips about how to be a good mentee? Here's a spreadsheet I use to keep track of mentorship commitments and make sure I show up as a good mentee!
We are in a period of reflection and atonement in the Jewish ritual calendar, so here is an Al Chet (collective confession) for the sins we, as database administrators, have committed. Add your own in the comments!
Reflecting on what database managing and farming have to do with each other. Come for the puns, stay for the data tips!
On a pragmatic level, I offer 6.5 concrete ideas for interfaith solidarity in databases. On a conceptual level, I explore how databases built to promote religious tolerance can lead to behavioral change. What else is possible if we build systems that accommodate and celebrate the fabulous diversity of our communities? Thanks to colleague and mentor Andy Kirshner from IFYC for exploring these ideas with me over dumplings and bubble tea (the way to my heart!)