Information, Technology & Consulting

Staff Profile: Elijah Gagne, Database Administrator

Elijah is a Database Administrator who joined the DBA team this past December for a six-month Structured Query Language (SQL) Server consolidation project. He recently redesigned the backup environment for SQL databases and is now building a cluster to consolidate the number of servers Dartmouth uses to run them. After the projects wraps up, he looks forward to playing a role managing Computing Services' Oracle database environment.

Elijah was named Exemplar Extraordinaire at the winter quarterly Computing Services meeting. "His attitude is always positive and he is always willing to jump in where, needed," said Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Ellen Waite-Franzen. "He is truly an excellent worker, team player, and service provider."

How long have you been at Dartmouth? Any positions prior to the one you now hold?

I started at Dartmouth shortly after graduating college, so I have been here for six and half years. I started at Dartmouth as a Computer Coordinator working in the Berry Machine Room. In 2008, I became a Junior Windows System Administrator, and I helped implement our on-premises Exchange system. In 2010, Dave Lester and I were moved over to form a new team called the Applications Infrastructure Group (AIG).

What did you do before Dartmouth?

I grew up in the area: Cornish, New Hampshire, and I went to Hartford High School in Vermont. During my senior year at Hartford, I took two math courses at Dartmouth. I then went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and earned a B.S. in Mathematics. Between high school and college, I worked part-time at the Staples in West Lebanon, NH for eight years.

What is your most memorable moment at Dartmouth?

I have been fortunate enough to take some undergrad Computer Science courses at Dartmouth. In the winter of 2011, I took CS 23, Software Design and Implementation. Our final was a group project where we broke into small teams. We had to design software to run on embedded Linux to remotely control a Garcia robot car. We also had to design a GUI app to run on Linux to control the car. My most memorable moment was racing the car against other teams through an obstacle course. The obstacle course was set up in Sudikoff, and we were given a map with various tokens we had to find keys for and unlock. My group chose me to be the driver and we ended up getting through the obstacle course the fastest—it was a lot of fun!

Most surprising little-known fact about you?

That I am in the Sigma Chi fraternity. I think fraternities/sororities sometimes get a lot of bad press in the media. Sometimes there is good reason for that, but from my experience, Greek life has a strong emphasis on working as a team, improving the community, and holding yourself to a high standard.

Where did you last go on vacation?

My last vacation was to San Francisco. It was my first time to California. SF is a great place; my wife and I had a wonderful time and will definitely go back. The highlight of the trip was an all-day guided tour of Napa Valley to sample wines.

What books are you currently reading?

I do not have much free time lately for pleasure reading. Right now, I am in an 18-month Master's program at Norwich University in Information Assurance. So, I'm reading a lot in textbooks, journals, tech magazines, and blogs.

Are you using any new apps? What are they and why do you find them useful?

I was not happy when Google decided to sunset Google Reader. However, Randy Baker let me onto an App called Feedly, which is actually much better. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative to Google Reader. I really like listening to music, especially while at work, and I have been a longtime Pandora user. However, I have recently started using Spotify and I really like how I can listen to specific playlists with it.

Do you have a twitter name and/or blog you'd like to share?

I have not been able to get into Twitter, but I have recently started blogging. I'm at http://www.elijahg.com/ and I try to make one or two posts a month that discuss solving a hard technical problem related to databases, email, or scripting/programming.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I like to play both tennis and table tennis. Most days you can find me in 4 Currier, Room 232 from 12-1pm playing table tennis. Anyone interested should come by and play a few games.

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Information, Technology & Consulting