Credit Karma: The Best Place I Have Ever Worked

I have enjoyed an absolutely wonderful 37 year career in IT – which took off and has never stopped since I went to work for Oracle in 1984 and entered the “modern era” of computing – which started with the SQL Relational Database. I was the 127th employee – before Oracle went public and when Larry Ellison interviewed everyone. I was the Oracle DBA on the first system that Marc Benioff used at Oracle – and knew him then – (Marc later went on to build Salesforce), and I also worked with all of the original Oracle Kernel developers. After Oracle I worked for Gupta Technologies (SQLWindows and SQLBase) and lived in London and taught classes all over EU – Helsinki and Nokia many times, but also in London, Nante, Paris, Berne, Geneva, Zurich (actually Zug), Amsterdam, Munich and Augsburg (Siemens). I also worked for PeopleSoft and after that had my own contracting business for many years). Before the “modern era” – I worked at Kodak (Octal Assembler programmer on the Kodak Park OS) and Lockheed – COBOL on LOSS – Lockheed Online Storage System (what a great name for a disk operating system).

But I have never worked for a company that truly cares like it does for its people like Credit Karma does. I also have never been so motivated to do good things for the company in return. This is a story about my first “product” that I have developed as opposed to the hundreds of “apps” that I have designed and built.

Without going into details – this week I demoed a product that I designed and coded using MySQL, Google BigQuery and GCS, Flask (Python REST API), and React – my first Web App front end written using that Javascript Library. Its an Enterprise Data Dictionary that includes support for Data Security, Data Quality and Data Lineage. It competes with products that sell for several hundred thousand dollars and competes very well. I built it in one quarter, and when I hit the wall with React (this was my first React app), I hired a young React expert – and my oh my – did the product take off. While designing the UX and UI and coding in React, I met another fellow who also had lived in Rochester, NY and who was a Ham Radio Operator when he was a teenager. He is just a few years older than me and he is also a Javascript expert (Jim), and so in my efforts I certainly did not build this by myself, and I had wonderful support from my immediate managers. As the song goes “I got a little help from my friends”.

The big news is that I had to demo the product to two of CK’s founders, and the demos went exceedingly well. There has been talk of CK Open Sourcing this product – so the future looks bright indeed.

This project is right up there with making Honor Roll and being a co-organizer on VK0EK. Its one of those “milestones” in your life that if you are lucky, you get to experience. For me personally, this is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest, or say doing a DXpedition on Bouvet Island – where after all odds you finally make it.

In fact, it’s clear to me that this accomplishment is an order magnitude bigger and more important than DXCC Honor Roll or VK0EK.


I’m “experienced” enough to know how to enjoy this moment – its wonderful.

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