Back in the saddle

In 2015, President Obama appointed me the CIO of the Social Security Administration, and I had to stop posting here. The products and vendors I would have liked to review were often installed at the SSA, and unfortunately, it was not appropriate for me to comment. Now I’m at a place without constraints, so I’ll try my hand again.

I could spend the next year posting stories of my experience at the SSA. It was a fantastic time. I think that I left an impression on the IT programs there. It may be that I even left a good impression.

I will mention two things for fun. First, as CIO, I was in charge of a $1.2B/year IT budget. Who knew that a geeky guy could perform at that level? Not me. Second, in case you think $1.2B on IT per year is an example of wasteful government spending, consider that the operations at the SSA are directly responsible for payments that represent 5% of the GDP of the US. $1.2B for IT that drives 5% of $20,544B is a bargain.

A lot happened during my time away from the Database Fog Blog, and my stint as a CIO provided me with a new perspective. I implemented a data lake, a data warehouse, and utilized the cloud in a very modern manner. I applied agile methods and DevOps effectively. I imagined a unique application of machine learning and prototyped it. I worked to make this all happen in a very large organization. These experiences are the fodder for what I’ll write.

Since I implemented cloud-native apps, I have a lot to share on how cloud computing will impact data warehousing (hint: Snowflake is just a significant first step). You may be surprised at where the cloud could take us. There are significant technologies, besides Snowflake, that will impact how we might architect analytic data going forward.

The first topic (this preface, does not count) considers workload granularity and cloud-native computing. I hope that you will find it interesting and different.

It is great to be back.

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