Meet the Aries Team: Mike Flanagan, Senior Database Administrator

Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?

I joined Aries in 2009 after being a freelance consultant for 15 years.

How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?

Working with various clients, both small and large, has exposed me to different perspectives. Seeing first-hand how a 15-person business uses technology compared to a 500-person business allowed me to see technical issues from many different viewpoints. I use my experience to help visualize and implement better approaches to technical challenges within Aries and our products.

How do you stay up-to-date with trends in your field?

I am a voracious reader of all-things tech, as well as devouring online training. I have been doing this my entire career!

Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.

I work in the Aries Operations department, which includes a strong group of people across IT and DBA. Our teams are led by Aries’ Director of Operations, who has been invaluable in both his management style as well as his knowledge of IT and SQL. My colleagues on the DBA team have been a pleasure to work with and we are proud of the fact that we have had Zero turnover in our department. Even after twelve years with the company, I am one of the newer hires in the department. I work closely with both IT and the Aries Engineering department as needed.

Describe your typical workday.

I start my day between 6AM and 7AM, beginning with checking emails for any urgent issues that may have arisen during the evening. I am primarily responsible for our production data servers and their health, so I constantly monitor performance and resource utilization.

What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you enjoy most about working for Aries?

I enjoy looking for ways to improve performance in our data environment. Since our app is heavily data reliant, a small change to the speed that the data can be served to the application can result in a very noticeable improvement to our clients. I love making an impact – tuning our app to complete a data request in seconds when it was previously reported to take several minutes is very satisfying.

What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?

I have three non-tech books going right now – Energy and Civilization A History by Vaclav Smil, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, and The Energy Disruption Triangle by David C. Fessler.

 I listen to a wide range of music all day, every day – classic rock, Motown, metal, jazz, funk – whatever I’m in the mood for! Each night after dinner, my wife and I will binge-watch some television series. We just finished “The Vampire Diaries” and have moved on to the spinoff “The Originals.”

Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.

I love music. For the past 15 years I have run live sound for a few bands, as well as recording in my studio. The live sound gigs are gone now and probably will not return any time soon, but I am still recording and loving it!

 Also, we moved to New Hampshire three years ago to a property with 18 acres of land. We decided to try our hand at farming and have grown from a few chickens and ducks to many chickens and ducks as well as goats, pigs and rabbits. It is hard work but it is good to get outside and away from the computer for a while!