SQL Vacation 2018: Tech Goes to Work in Burlington, MA
After Route 128 was built, Burlington, MA, changed rapidly. From 1955 to 1965, Burlington was the fastest growing town in Massachusetts. In fact, in a five-year period, its population tripled. If that isn't impressive enough, the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop was filmed in Burlington's mall.
If you are visiting the Burlington area, you should check out Woburn's Public library (about 15 minutes outside of Burlington), which looks like a small castle. And Burlington really shines through its nature preserves. You can go hiking, or birding if that's your thing, at the Landlocked Forest. We can't leave out Mary Cummings Park, one of the great public parks of Greater Boston. The park was formed by property left by Mary Cummings in 1930 “…to be forever open as a public pleasure ground.”
Vladimir Ivanovich is the leader of the New England SQL Server User Group. He gave us a sneak peek into his life in the SQL Server community.
When did you begin your professional career?
I graduated Clark University’s Computer Program in 1998 and started working as an application developer the same year.
What’s a normal week at work like for you?
I split my time between “monitor and react” and “architect and improve”, with greater emphasis on projects and architecture. I strive to mentor the team, share knowledge, and engage my co-workers in presenting at company events and at user groups.
What was your first IT or computer project that added value?
My first project out of college was letters and printing automation for the clinical case managers' office at the hospital where I worked. It used to take two people almost 4 hours a day to print the letters and labels and manually match them. With some VB code and MS Access database, the process was automated to selecting the date range and clicking the “print” button. This allowed the clinicians to spend more time with patients and improve the quality of care.
What sort of career do you think you’d pursue today if you hadn’t chosen IT?
I would probably continue my healthcare career. Before becoming a database professional in the USA, I had practiced medicine in Minsk, Belarus.
When did you come to the area?
We immigrated to the United States in 1994 and settled in Massachusetts.
What made you decide to help as a volunteer leader?
I have been a member of New England SQL Server User Group since late 90s. I have learned a lot over the years, have met great people, and made life-long friends, all through the group. I started volunteering at SQLSaturdays and helping with the user group meetings several years ago. In 2017, the group leadership asked me if I could help a bit more and become an organizer. We have a great leadership team (Taiob Ali, Robert Padilla, Deborah Melkin, John Moore, George Walters, and Paresh Motiwala) and share the responsibilities. This makes my job much easier and brings more value to our 2,100+ members.
What is the IT community like in your town?
The Boston area has a vibrant high tech community. We are fortunate to live and work in the area with some of the best colleges and universities in the world and hundreds of tech and financial companies, all concentrated in Boston proper and the suburbs. We can take advantage of attending dozens of user group events each month, within a one-hour commute radius: Microsoft Burlington (NESQL, Boston BI, North Boston Azure, and New England MS Developers), Boston/Cambridge (BostonSQL, Boston Azure, and many others), New Hampshire (SeacoastSQL), and Rhode Island (RI SQL).
What do you enjoy doing in the area?
New England offers a wide variety of cultural, historical, and outdoor activities. We frequently go to museums, concerts, and shows. My family enjoys hiking, biking, going to the beach, skiing, and snowshoeing. I have been a volunteer soccer coach in my town for the past 9 years.
What do you recommend visitors to your town do on their own #SQLVacation?
If this is your first time in the Boston area, you may want to walk the Freedom Trail that leads to many historical sites. Taking a Boston Duck Tour is another way to enjoy the sites from the land and water. When we host family and friends who have been to Boston area before, we take them to Cambridge, Rockport, Gloucester, Salem, and Cape Cod. The White Mountains and the Lakes Region of New Hampshire are not far if you have a car. For museum lovers, I highly recommend visiting the Glass Flowers exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. I believe that this is one of the most unique exhibitions in the world and cannot be seen anywhere else.
This year, my co-workers surprised me with a bobblehead in my likeness, which I actually don’t hate. You could win one, along with a bunch of other SentryOne goodies, by entering our 2018 #SQLVacation contest. Visit the SQL Vacation web page to learn more about the contest, as well as the next stop on the SQL Vacation tour.