Hello, my name is Leah Erb.
I like data.
When data is faulty, misinterpreted, biased, inconsistent or otherwise corrupted, the integrity of applications and decision-making is threatened. Which is bad for all of us (except for those greedy folks who benefit from corruption.)
It is imperative that a high level of data integrity be maintained, even when it is inconvenient: while it’s being gathered, when it’s interpreted, and at every step in between.
With decades experience as a database manager (DBA) and programmer, I’ve witnessed how data is handled, how easy it is for data to be manipulated and made insecure.
As a data science student, I am striving to learn how to help ensure the highest level data integrity so applications and decision-making can be made reliable for the good of the world.
About this Blog
With this blog, I’m dropping breadcrumbs as I study Data Science (as well including Data Engineering and Analysis), and posting quick-reference tidbits of techie stuff along the way.
The dog logo at the top of this blog is a nod to my time as a dog blogger.
My professional background includes 25-ish years as an Oracle/MySQL DBA/programmer, 4-ish years as an freelance website designer/developer, and one year of sabbatical working as a trained investigator.
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 a contract basis for 6 months.
After the year was up, I was lured immediately back into the IT world at fast-paced 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.
Not long after, 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.
I am leveraging my experiences as a DBA, programmer, website developer, investigator and blogger to become a well-rounded data professional. I am striving to ensure the integrity and accessibility of data to people and organizations working hard to use data for good.