The Data Warrior

Changing the world, one data model at a time. How can I help you?

Relax – Try Chi Gung (Qigong)

The new normal – we are all pretty much in some sort of lock down due to COVID-19. Some are quarantined, some in with mandatory shelter-in-place orders, some trapped in a foreign country unable to get back home, and many, many people are now working from home and practicing social distancing.

This is a very stressful time for us all.

In the meantime, it is VERY important that we maintain our physical, emotional and spiritual health. A strong constitution helps us combat illness. A strong mind helps us keep a positive outlook.

Several decades ago, as part of my journey in the marital arts, I was introduced to the practice of Tai Chi and Chi Gung. As it worked out there was a class at noon a few times a week in the fitness center at my place of work. I found it to be not only a compliment to my Tae Kwon Do practice (which I taught nightly at the time), but also found it to be a great way to reduce and relieve stress in the middle of the work day. This let me return to me cube refreshed and ready to work the afternoon.

So with that in mind, I though it might be helpful for many of you to add this to your routine to insure you get a little exercise and relaxation every day.

What is Chi Gung?

For those that do not know, Chi Gung (or Qigong) is an ancient Chinese practice designed to calm and focus the mind, strengthen the body, and increase your overall energy level (Chi). It is practiced by thousands every day in China and all over the world for its health benefits. Often referred to as moving meditation, Chi Gung breathing exercises have been shown to have innumerable health benefits as the gentle motions aid in the flow of Chi energy throughout your system.

My Chi Gung Video

In the 20-minute video below, I will guide you through several easy to learn routines that anyone can learn. The movements are similar to what many have seen in Tai Chi, but unlike Tai Chi, the movements are for improving your health and have no martial arts or self-defense intentions.

In the video (recorded in 2012 in San Antonio, Texas at the JW Marriott) you will see me give detailed instructions and explanations of several Chi Gung “still stance” breathing meditations. I lead the group in doing Upward-Downward, Inward-Outward, Raised Hands Stance, Tai Chi Ball, Four Forms, and the Warrior Energy Form. Each of these moving meditative sets can be done individually or in the series as demonstrated, depending on your available time and fitness level. Do what you can to mirror my movements, but don’t push it too much.

It may take a few days to get comfortable with all the movements. Take your time and remember to relax. Be warned, you may find your quads a little sore for the first few days if you bend your knees as much as I do! 🙂

So take a break, go outside, maybe your backyard, a park, or even the beach, and try some Chi Gung. Teach it to your kids and do this as a family!

I hope you find this practice helpful for getting through these challenging times.

Stay healthy my friends.

Kent

The Data Warrior and Chief Technical Evangelist at Snowflake

Tips for Optimizing the #DataVault Architecture on #Snowflake (Part 2)

SETTING UP FOR MAXIMAL PARALLEL LOADING!

In this post, I discuss how to engineer your Data Vault load in Snowflake Cloud Data Platform for maximum speed.

Because Snowflake separates compute from storage and allows the definition of multiple independent compute clusters, it provides some truly unique opportunities to configure virtual warehouses to support optimal throughput of DV loads.

Along with using larger “T-shirt size” warehouses to increase throughput, using multi-cluster warehouses during data loading increases concurrency for even faster loads at scale.

Get the details –  Tips for Optimizing the Data Vault Architecture on Snowflake (Part 2)

Enjoy!

Kent

The Data Warrior & Chief Technical Evangelist for Snowflake

Tips for Optimizing the #DataVault Architecture on #Snowflake

Data Vault is an architectural approach that includes a specific data model design pattern and methodology developed specifically to support a modern, agile approach to building an enterprise data warehouse and analytics repository.

Typical Data Vault Design with Hubs, Sats, and a Link

Snowflake Cloud Data Platform was built to be design pattern agnostic. That means you can use it with equal efficiency 3NF models, dimensional (star) schemas, DV, or any hybrid you might have.Snowflake supports DV designs and handles several DV design variations very well with excellent performance.

This series of blog posts will present some tips and recommendations that have evolved over the last few years for implementing a DV-style warehouse in Snowflake.

Here is the first set of tips:Tips for Optimizing the Data Vault Architecture on Snowflake (part 1)

I hope you find this helpful!

Kent

The Data Warrior and Chief Technical Evangelist for Snowflake

Data Engineering Podcast – What is Snowflake?

A few months back I had the privilege of being interviewed by Tobias Macey on his Data Engineering Podcast show. This came about because Tobias actually Tweeted at me about wanting to do the interview! In this episode we spent an hour discussing the ins and outs of the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform. You can find it here. Hope you enjoy it!

Interview Outline

  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you start by explaining what Snowflake is for anyone who isn’t familiar with it?
    • How does it compare to the other available platforms for data warehousing?
    • How does it differ from traditional data warehouses?
      • How does the performance and flexibility affect the data modeling requirements?
  • Snowflake is one of the data stores that is enabling the shift from an ETL to an ELT workflow. What are the features that allow for that approach and what are some of the challenges that it introduces?
  • Can you describe how the platform is architected and some of the ways that it has evolved as it has grown in popularity?
    • What are some of the current limitations that you are struggling with?
  • For someone getting started with Snowflake what is involved with loading data into the platform?
    • What is their workflow for allocating and scaling compute capacity and running analyses?
  • One of the interesting features enabled by your architecture is data sharing. What are some of the most interesting or unexpected uses of that capability that you have seen?
  • What are some other features or use cases for Snowflake that are not as well known or publicized which you think users should know about?
  • When is Snowflake the wrong choice?
  • What are some of the plans for the future of Snowflake?

This is a great podcast series, so you might want to add it to your regular list!

Cheers.

Kent

The Data Warrior & Chief Technical Evangelist at Snowflake

Around the World with the #DataWarrior

Yup I traveled a lot in 2019. Mostly in my role as Chief Technical Evangelist for Snowflake, but some for family vacations (yes I do take those!).

Inspired by good friend Jeff Smith, here is my travel report based on Google location services. Surprisingly accurate (should I be concerned?).

While traveling this much can be taxing (especially on my family), it is a blessing to be able to see all these wonderful places and meet lots of wonderful people as part of my job at Snowflake, even if it means being a #RoadWarrior.

By The Numbers

  • 174 miles on foot!
    • There are more miles when I did not have my phone
    • This includes a great hike with my family all the way from Waikiki Beach to the top of Diamond Head and then back.
  • 2 miles by bike – I know that was in Berlin using an Uber Bike (a very neat and useful concept)
  • 14,450 miles by mass transit (cars, trains)
  • And then a lot more air miles!

Wow. That adds up to 7 times around the world for an estimated 173,475 miles! Yikes.

In 2019 I got to explore both countries and cities I had never been to before, as well as some fo my old favorites.

New Locales:

In the “never been here before” category:

  • Stockholm, Sweden – first time ever to Sweden! Even in January it was quite fun with lots of sites to see including the Viking Museum.
Vikings!
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Dublin, Ireland – actually got to go there twice!
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Lisbon, Portugal – LOVED the seafood!
Amazing fresh, cheap, seafood in Lisbon
  • Hannover, Germany
  • Stuttgart, Germany
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Australia & New Zealand – I had two separate 2 week trips down under and got to see quite a bit, plus catch up with some old friends I had not seen in over 20 years.
    • Sydney (2x)
    • Melbourne (2x)
    • Canberra
    • Brisbane
    • Auckland (2x)
  • Cleveland, Ohio – yup, never been there before. Managed a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with Jeff Smith).
  • Costa Mesa, California

Old Favorites

I did manage to also visit places in the US where I have bene before like Dallas, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Orlando, Santa Monica, Philadelphia, Honolulu (vacation), and Stowe (Vermont). I had LOTS of trips to San Francisco and San Mateo (where Snowflake HQ is located).

Outside the US, I got the pleasure of return visits to Rome (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE), Milan, London (2x), Amsterdam (2x), Utrecht (2x), Helsinki (Finland), and at the end of the year, a trip to snowy Montreal in Canada.

Me and Caeser in Rome
The Colosseum, Rome
Panini in Rome! What is Italia without food, gelato, and vino?

Where to next?

So where will I go in 2020? Stay tuned. The adventure continues…

Sailing on an America’s Cup boat in Auckland, NZ

Happy New Year 2020!

Kent

The Data (and Road) Warrior

P.S. One place I will be for sure in June is the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas where we will be hosting the 2nd Annual Snowflake Summit. We do expect it to SELL OUT again this year. Super Early Bird registration closes January 30th, so get your registration in today!

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