Employee Highlight: Josh Chastain


SpringML: What is your current position at SpringML?

Josh- My role is a Senior Data Analyst. My focus most of my time here has been on data integration – taking data from a variety of sources (Oracle, Netsuite, csv files, Salesforce, etc) and aggregating that data into datasets for processing in Einstein Analytics. I have also done some dashboard development in Einstein Analytics.

I interact with customers regularly to get feedback on my development and gather

SpringML: What’s the first thing you do when you come into work and last to wrap up the workday?

Josh- My routine stays pretty consistent. First thing in the morning, I review emails and action items from the previous day that I need to continue working on. I try to start the day with a prioritized list of things, although that list changes drastically throughout the day on many days. 

I try to end my days by logging my hours and noting what I completed throughout the day and what I need to circle back to the following day. 

SpringML: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Mentors are such an important part of life-long learning.  We’d love to know who you’d like as your mentor as well as any tips they shared.

Josh-  In work, generally I look to anyone who knows things I don’t as a mentor. Additionally, a mentor to me is someone who has a unique and experienced approach to problem solving. I realize there are many things I don’t know, and it’s easy to look at solving problems in certain ways. I have looked up to most of my team leads and managers as mentors in these regards.

SpringML: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Josh- Honesty and confidence go a long way. If you can approach a client engagement being honest to yourself and your client, and speak with confidence, it goes a long way in the success of the engagement.

SpringML: What are 3 words to describe SpringML?

Josh- Welcoming, Helpful, “Can-do attitude”

SpringML: What was your toughest challenge while -working on the project at SpringML?

Josh–  My toughest challenge on any project is quickly getting an understanding of the business behind the project. This allows me to gather the necessary data in a timely fashion. As Prabhu mentions in his podcast , getting the data correct solves many issues and allows analysis to move more quickly. It also prevents many problems from ever occurring at all. Having the right data from the beginning lets us ask the essential business-focused questions right away and get meaningful results.

Often, it is a challenge getting the key stakeholders all together at the same time to determine as a team what data points need to be gathered. Likewise, once that is done, the next challenge becomes how do we get all of those data points in one place and where will they live.

SpringML: What do you like most about the work you do in the Salesforce team?

– The thing I have grown to enjoy the most is the data integration experience I have obtained. It gives me a sense of fulfillment to take data from a csv file or a database, combine that with Salesforce data through an ETL process and then provide that as a dataset to Einstein Analytics. 

SpringML: Is there a certain technology that you prefer working with when integrating data?

– One thing I find interesting is the different technologies that exist out there. They all have their distinct differences and use cases. They all want to be a one-size-fits-all software (and some are in limited cases), but generally, there are preferred uses for each one. What we use is also limited to what our clients have available or are willing to purchase.

I just completed a project using Heroku Connect and Heroku Postgres. That was fun to learn the Heroku stack of tools. The ease and speed of learning within that system were excellent. Often software developers treat errors as an afterthought, but even the error notifications in Heroku were evident and easy to understand and fix.

Heroku is one of those that is not a traditional ETL tool, so it has limited use cases in that regard, but for our data integration with Salesforce, it was a fantastic tool.

SpringML: Best vacation you’ve been to?

Josh- One of the best vacations was a long weekend to the Pacific Northwest. We spent two days in Seattle, WA, and two days in Vancouver, BC. Both cities were fantastic and easily walkable. Two of the many highlights were seeing the “Fremont Troll” in Seattle, which is a massive sculpture carved out of rock underneath an interstate, and hiking in the North Cascades on our way north into Canada.

SpringML: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Josh- I have many interests outside of work and technology. I enjoy woodworking, hiking/backpacking, playing guitar, reading, most house and car repairs and spending time with friends and family. Even when watching tv, I have taken up knitting.

Josh Vacation Pic
Josh Family Pic

SpringML: How do you find a work/life balance?

Josh- Working from home as needed is an incredible perk of this job. It saves commute time and allows my wife to work because I can be home when my kids get off the bus. So far, I’ve been able to mostly “turn off” work-related tasks in the evening and on weekends to have time to focus on family and friends. It is convenient to get sucked into working all the time when working from home, but I’m easily reminded by my family that they need my time, too.