Tell us your name, where you’re from, and a little about you.
My name is Daniel Pierce. I’m from Rochester, Minnesota, which is the home of the Mayo Clinic. I’ve been fascinated with computers starting at an early age, as they offer nearly limitless possibilities bounded only by your imagination.
I took a slight detour from my passion for computers and joined the United States Army as a Black Hawk Crew Chief for six years. After I returned, I attended and graduated from Winona State University with a B.S. in Computer Science.
What does “Lead Data Engineer” mean? What do you actually do on any given day?
As a Lead Data Engineer, I’m typically at the forefront of creating solutions for specific problems. Often this means working with a Solutions Architect to provide input on the broader architectural strategy, as well as making sure that the solutions I create fit into that strategy. I also provide technical feedback and guidance to other data engineers. I enjoy helping others grow.
Tell us about the Data Engineering team. What is it like working with them every day? What can you tell us about your team that we don’t know?
There are a lot of smart and experienced people on the Data Engineering team that I can learn so much from, which is exciting as a professional who wants to grow and excel in the field. In my past experiences, it’s often been difficult to find somebody with relevant experience who is also able and willing to impart their knowledge. There is no shortage of that around here.
How long have you been with phData? What past experiences have prepared you for your job at phData?
I’ve been with phData for about 6 months. Before that, I was with IBM Watson, where I learned many skills and technologies that I’m still building on such as CI/CD, creating and using distributed systems, various data storage and retrieval techniques, and the general importance of data to software and engineering. It’s critical to engineer the data and software together, and phData does that.
What is the one thing you want customers to know about phData?
phData has an uncanny ability to find people who are experts in their field and know how to interact with people. Typically, people expect us, computer nerds, to be really good with computers but bad with people. At phData, the engineers and architects are skilled with both computers and people. We’ll solve your problems and you will probably even enjoy the journey.
What are the most exciting things you’re working on and how do you see them positively impacting our customers?
Currently, I am working on a very complex, cross data center project, where availability of services and data is paramount. The service-level agreement requires very small latencies from the time that the data is published to the time that it is available to consume, and nothing can be lost once it is successfully delivered by a client application. This project is key to the customer’s ability to manage and respond to their data and will prevent many headaches from lost or slow data that they experience with their current system.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I spend a lot of my evenings pretending to be the “bad guy”, running around my basement getting beat up by the various superheroes that my daughter Evelyn and son David choose to be. When I’m done with that and the kids go to sleep, I enjoy spending time with my wife, checking out the intricate manicures that she designs for fun, or maybe playing some video games.