March 23


During the last decade, competition in the Teradata environment got much more intensive. In this article, I will argue why this happened and what you can do as a freelancer to improve your personal financial situation.

In the begin of the Teradata Data Warehouse area, about 15 years ago, projects have been mostly focused on significant achievements. It was usual to bring together a team of experts, each of them offering comprehensive knowledge in the field of data warehousing. A typical team member was an experienced data modeler, business analyst, developer, performance analyst, project manager and much more. A small project team was able to execute a complete data warehouse startup on its own. Daily rates were great.

With the stock market crash in 2000, the burst of the high-tech bubble, things started to change. What I observed during the last decade is a snowballing specialization of data warehouse team members. The driving force behind is cost reduction. One may be tempted to assume that it is cheaper to have a project team put together from one data modeler, a bunch of developers, one or two business analysts and one project manager.

As we all know, there is a hierarchy of this roles, especially about rates clients are willing to pay.

Triggered by increasing pressure on daily rates, especially developers had to become cheaper because they are the most necessary resource in any data warehouse project. The need for more affordable developers led to the situation that quality followed the rates down. Today we have reached a point where anybody who knows SQL or any ETL tool appears skilled enough to be part of any data warehouse project.

A typical project team today has some as-cheap-as-possible developers, taking over even the data modeling tasks, and project managers without profound knowledge in the area of data warehousing.

I may sound terrible, but upon a second glance, this situation offers great opportunities.

Many projects fail as a result of this approach. If you can provide overall expertise in data warehousing, great opportunities are available for you! Don't be just a developer. Don't be just a data modeler. Don't be just a performance specialist…you have to combine all these roles in one person.

A holistic approach to the development of your Data Warehousing skills is not peculiar at all, rather, it is the excessive atomization of skill sets that appears artificial. Compare it to learning a language: You have to become a good reader, listener, speaker, and writer all in one person and most jobs that need proper commands of a language would seek a holistic learner. Who wants a perfect reader that is utterly incapable of expressing himself verbally in plain language in even in controlled and familiar situations?

There are plenty of projects available awaiting you to bring them back on track. Significant money is made, and companies are still willing to pay fair daily rates.

Don't get caught in the price spiral!

Roland Wenzlofsky

Roland Wenzlofsky is a graduated computer scientist and Data Warehouse professional working with the Teradata database system for more than 20 years. He is experienced in the fields of banking and telecommunication with a strong focus on performance optimization.

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