Hello, my name is Leah Erb.
About this Blog
With this blog site, I’m dropping breadcrumbs as I develop Alexa Skills, Data DevOps tricks-of-the-trade, and other fun stuff.
My professional background includes 25-ish years as an Oracle/MySQL DBA/programmer, 4-ish years as a freelance website designer/developer, and one year sabbatical as a trained public investigator.
I am currently helping a startup called Smarticles by developing custom Alexa skills. “Our mission is to support the SocioEmotional Well-being and Conversation Skills of kids by engaging them in activities that strengthen how they manage their feelings and communicate with others.”
Starting in 1988, fresh out of college, I began my professional career as an Oracle database administrator and programmer. I’ve been both a consultant and an employee in a variety of industries, supporting full life-cycle development of database applications on multiple platforms. I enjoyed automating redundant tasks, documenting systems with quick-reference visualizations, strategizing architecture, and drilling-down to troubleshoot obscure issues.
Early on, I promised myself I’d take a sabbatical after 10 years of working. That is why, in 1998, I took a year off, graduating at the top of my class at Seattle Private Investigations school. While working several private investigation gigs, I volunteered with public defenders (Society of Council Representing Accused Persons), where I was subsequently hired on contract for 6 months.
After the year was up, I was lured back into the IT world at fast-paced, bleeding-edged HomeGrocer.com.
Website Designer/Developer Freelance
Fast-forward more than 10 years, I again took a sabbatical. This time as a dog travel blogger (LetsGoDog.com). To build my blog site I learned WordPress, HTML/CSS and PHP. I studied visual design, SEO best practices, Photoshop, and content development.
Before long, our local hospice needed their website redesigned, so I volunteered to do that in WordPress. It was a rewarding project, working directly with the website owners. I then launched a freelance business called Erbinweb.com. But I knew I wanted to return to data someday soon, so I jumped into learning Python and R as well.
Now, I am leveraging my experiences as a DBA, Data DevOps developer, Alexa programmer, website developer, investigator, and blogger to become a well-rounded Data DevOps / Alexa developer professional. With an appetite for learning, I endeavor to ensure the integrity and accessibility of data to people and organizations working hard to use data for good.