Motivation is the first step

On my 18th birthday, I weighed 180 pounds, I had a 32-inch waist and I was as healthy as you would expect of an 18-year-old. On my 50th birthday, I was 285 pounds, I had a 43-inch waist and I was on 5 different medicines. I’m going to be 55 in a few days. This morning I weighed myself at 174.4 pounds. My waist is 31 inches and I am no longer on any medications.

The author Feb 2018, July 2018, and Feb 2019 (Photo: Author)

In this post, I want to describe my motivations, my methods, and some general thoughts around losing weight. …


This is not a which is better clickbait post. Those posts are pretty stupid as the definition of “better” is completely dependent on what your needs and budget are. This post is a review of my (a long-time database guy with plenty of AWS experience) findings after 90 days immersed in GCP.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

90 days does not give anyone enough time to cover the entirety of the Google Cloud Platform. I’d be lying if I said I had even looked at all of the features in 90 days. …


When you are working with a database, you will frequently need to extract the DDL of a table so that you can use it later or maybe modify it and create a new object. Almost all the databases I have used in the past have multiple ways to do that.

BigQuery is a bit lacking on that from my perspective. Yes, if you use the BQ command, you can run a BQ show and get a description of a table.

bq show my-dev:tabs.cust_address

And get these results:

BQ Show Command Results (Photo: Author)

You can also run the command with the schema option and see the…


I am a long time user of AWS. I started with AWS when the only services they offered were S3 and EC2. I was using it when they added block storage (EBS). Fun days!

Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash

I moved to a new company in December 2020. My new gig is using the Google Cloud Platform which I have never used. I am finding that it compares pretty well with AWS. AWS has more services but it seems like GCP is integrated a bit better.

Anyway, I am still getting used to the names of all the services. I am spending most of my…


I don’t like writing, I like finishing

Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

I started writing when I was a kid. I have written off and on all my life. I can’t count the number of stories, articles, blog posts, etc. that I have started and not finished.

Theoretically, I could count those that I did finish. They all exist somewhere and I could gather them up and count them. It would be in the thousands, I think. I bet the ratio of started to finished is probably 10 to 1.

Most of the finished writings have been in the last decade or so. Before that, I mostly didn’t finish anything. …


Choose your own DIY future

Photo by Josefa nDiaz on Unsplash

Dear self-taught programmers, coders, and developers — you have the advantage. Never doubt it.

I’m not just talking about the money advantage although that is a huge advantage. You might have had to buy a few books but you aren’t 10s of thousands of dollars in debt. The money and time advantage is a big one.

But I’m talking about something else.

I have been programming for a long time now. I’ve gotten to do all kinds of interesting jobs. Not only have I been a developer, I have also been a DBA, data architect, data modeler, DevOps and more.


Using the PYPL and TIOBE programming language indexes

Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash

So, you have decided to become a programmer. You’re ready to start your learning journey but you aren’t sure what language to start with.

If you look online at forums, facebook, and boot camps, it’s all about web development. HTML, CSS and Javascript. Web development is a good choice because there is so much growth on the internet and you really can’t go wrong with the basics.

But if you want to do something a little different, try choosing a different language. Get off the beaten path and mix it up. …


Skills that are AWS related but not AWS specific

Photo by Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash

There are several paths you can take in AWS. You can be a solutions architect (designer type), a developer (who uses AWS), or a sysops (CI/CD, version control, scheduling, scripting). There are also specialties like big data, security, etc where you do everything on AWS.

There are commonalities on all of those. So besides knowing the specifics of those jobs, there is some basic experience that will apply to all. You can learn all of these pretty quickly at a junior level but becoming good at any takes time.

As a…


Understanding the Data in Relational Databases

Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash

A data type defines the type of data that can be stored in the column of a table or variable. In programming, everything starts with variables. In a database, everything starts with tables and columns.

Some languages let you change data types on the fly; in one case you might store date data and then ten lines later, store a number.

SQL is not so forgiving. Because the database’s role is the management of data and because data integrity is paramount, data types and type checking are major components of a relational database engine.

As you will find when using…


Coding as an easy way to gravy-train

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I like to read various boards related to programming, self-learning, etc. Learning new topics related to programming, as well as mentoring, is a passion project of mine. I love programming and helping others improve. And that leads to this post.

Someone had a question. I paraphrase, “I don’t really like computers but I was thinking about becoming a programmer. They make good money and I have heard it is easy to learn. Is this a good career change for me?”

There are four items I want to speak to in that question. …

Lewis Cunningham

Writer, coder, & data architect. Likes to develop software, mentor others, get certifications, and write. Not necessarily in that order.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store