What I’ve Been Doing

I’m in Data Warehousing here at K2. For the last 6 months I’ve had to get up to speed with TSQL on SQL Server, figure out SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, figure out good Source Control practices, figure out the detailed inner workings of the databases of 6 MMOs, 2 casual flash-based games, and 3 billing and Customer Relationship Management Databases, figure out how to work with something over 1.5 billion rows of connection log data, figure out how to use web services and XML messaging, figure out how best to set up daily data extractions and snapshots, use these great things called “Table-Valued User Defined Functions” (think “parameterized views”), learn how and why one should write well-formated TSQL code (it’s a piece of art to see clean, well-formated TSQL), figure out how to do accounting and reporting for virtual currencies, figure out how to manage employees in an overseas development office, figure out how best to balance doing full extractions of data vs. just pointin Analysis Services directly at the source data (go for the latter whenever possible, by the way), figure out Data Mining structures (great fun when your data is set up right), learn just how much better life is when you get pretty hard-core about mainting strict referential integrity in your databases, get really good at reverse-engineering systems based solely on the data they spit out, learn some Multi Dimensional eXpression language basics, write some VbScript to identify exploitive in-game behavior on an in-production MMO, figure out how one can go about doing Social Network Analysis on large data sets, learn a ton about top-down hierarchies vs. Agile-like production teams, figure out some mid-level DBA work, learn how critical it is to have your business decision-makers have a good understanding and great respect of and for what it takes to develop great applications and databses (even if it’s just a qualitative understanding), and I’ve effectively not written a word on what I’m truly passionate for: MMO design.

Yeah, I’ve learned a ton. I feel like I have the database development and reporting chops to be able to seriously contribute on an MMO development team, but I feel like I’ve divested myself of what really drove me to get into this industry. So, without further ado, I’m going to quite simply start writing more.

Well, maybe I’ll start tomorrow…