Welcome to New Zealand
This month’s postcard is from the South Island of New Zealand, where SQL DBA Melanie Carter helps maintain the health and operation of Pythian’s many systems and architecture. Read on to find out how this wife, mom, and problem solver balances her daily life.
Tell us about where you live.
I was born and raised in the Philippines and lived briefly in the United States. In 2006 I visited a friend in New Zealand and fell in love with this place, so I decided to come back a year after to settle here. I now live in Nelson, the top of the South Island in New Zealand. I’ve traveled a lot, but this is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places I’ve been.
What was your path to Pythian?
A year after migrating to New Zealand, I landed a job with a database services provider in Nelson. Although I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, this was my first technical job. I heard about Pythian and its opportunities while in that role, as they were actively recruiting for their SQL team, so I applied and was happy to get the job.
What’s a typical day like for you now?
I am part of Team 23. As SQL DBAs, we manage SQL Server databases from configuration and maintenance of database servers and processes on a 24×7 basis. We actively monitor our system’s health and performance and analyze, solve, and correct issues in real-time.
We also help refine and automate regular processes, track issues, document changes, and assist with query tuning and schema refinement.
We perform scheduled maintenance and support release deployment activities for our clients.
What has been the biggest challenge in this role so far?
As a wife and mother of two young and energetic boys, maintaining a work-life balance at the best of times can be difficult. While it can feel overwhelming, knowing how to balance work and my family commitments helps me juggle my professional and family life. It took a while, but I’ve mastered time management since having kids.
We managed to keep lockdowns to a minimum during the pandemic. We only had a couple of hard lockdowns, with the longest lasting about six weeks. Otherwise, the kids were at school most of the time while I worked from home.
Tell us about your workspace.
I converted my spare bedroom into a dedicated office space. I mirrored this space to match my previous corporate office to help preserve the same look and feel and help with focus and productivity. I’m much more productive working from home than from the office with many distractions. I tend to be introverted, so it’s my way to focus. I have a few social gatherings on the weekend, so I don’t mind the quiet working week.
How do you spend your time off?
Apart from our kids’ sports activities, our family loves the outdoors. If you live in New Zealand, you can’t not love the outdoors. Nelson is the sunniest city, so we enjoy the settled weather here. We love sitting outside a cafe and enjoying a cup of soy latte.
We also enjoy long walks and the occasional hike. We take our boat out quite a bit now that it’s officially summer. My husband and kids enjoy fishing or cruising out on the sea.
We’ve planned a trip to Abel Tasman over New Years, and we’ll take our boat Kassy and live on board for a few nights. No internet, no phones!
What’s one type of food you could eat (or drink) every day?
Sushi and a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Describe Pythian in one word.