Interview – Melody Zacharias

I decided to start a series of blogs where I interview key people in the SQL Server community. Instead of me asking technical questions, I plan on asking about their outlook on the future, books they read (non-fiction and/or technical), and their overall thoughts on where technology (mainly SQL Server) is headed. You can find more interviews here.

Next up: Melody Zacharias (b | t):

Mohammad: Do you think people who dismiss the cloud as a “fad” or just don’t take it serious enough to learn about it (i.e. Azure, AWS, etc), will be in a tough spot to find a job 5 years from now?

Melody Zacharias
Melody Zacharias

Melody: Will people who do not embrace the cloud be in a tough spot to find a job in 5 years. I don’t have a crystal ball, but, I would be surprised if they would be happy with their decision. 😊 Our industry is constantly changing and if we do not change with it we will be unhappy. That is not a cloud vs non cloud issue but just a general, we as professionals should try to continue to learn to ensure we can stay relevant.

Mohammad: Do you ever see the traditional SQL Server DBA role being replaced/eliminated?

Melody: I don’t see the role being removed, but I can definitely see it changing and expanding. As the landscape of SQLServer changes and expands so will the DBA role. There will be more real estate to manage with data both on prem and in the cloud. The role will likely evolve and become more complex and depending on the size of the organization there maybe much more work to do.

Mohammad: What are you most proud of doing/accomplishing for the SQL Server community so far in your career?

Melody: I think I am most proud of the work I do on diversity. I have put out a book on diversity, spoken on panels for diversity and tried to highlight in particular Neurodiversity at the latest MVP Summit. My reach is still small but the content is important to me, so I am excited to continue where I can in this area.

Mohammad: What non-technical/non-fiction book/s would you recommend? If you only read technical books…what do you recommend?

Melody: I would recommend Becoming by Michelle Obama. It is a good reminder to us all that who we are is because of where we came from and how we got there.

Mohammad: For someone who’s career focus has been on one aspect of SQL Server (i.e. Database Engine), do you think it would be wise for them to become a “jack of all trades” by starting to learn, SSRS/IS/Azure, etc. or remain focused on their area of expertise? In another words, which would you say is more valuable? mile wide / inch deep or inch wide / mile deep?

Melody: This is the age-old question and when mentoring people I get this a lot. My answer has not really changed over the years. Do and learn about what you love that will make you happiest. If it is wide then wide is best for you, it is deep then deep is best for you. Do what makes you happy and success will follow.

Mohammad: Lastly, I really believe in not only learning from your mistakes but, if possible…learning from the mistakes of others. What is your biggest mistake? If you could go back in time, is there something that you regret not doing? And if so, what?

Melody: In terms of big mistakes, I once shut down an entire banking system on day 2 on the job by clicking the wrong button. At the time, I felt terrible, but now I can just laugh about it. It was a silly set up and too easy to do by accident. I apparently had not been the first to make that mistake either.

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