Introducing DCL Mic Drops
The Department of Customer Love (DCL) is Looker’s all-knowing support team. Yes, they're actually called that. They’re kind of the brains behind this whole operation! You may have talked to them via support chat or on a ticket, or maybe even in the Looker Community. Talking to DCL, I frequently have thoughts like “How is this person so smart?” or “Wow, why didn’t I know that?” It turns out that they religiously commit that bevy of knowledge to a secret internal knowledge base that’s never before seen the light of day…
Starting today, every month a different member of the Department of Customer Love will take 5 of their favorite internal knowledge articles and declassify them, for the entire community to see. They’ll also give a little peek into their life and who they are, so you can say hi the next time you see them on chat.
This month, we’ve got
Izzy: Hey Luka! Thanks for being the first DCL analyst to “drop the mic”. To start off, could you tell us how long you’ve been at Looker?
Luka: Little over two years now, kind of crazy.
I: Looker years are basically dog years. For the rest of the world, could you define what it means to you to be on the DCL?
L: To me, a DCLer is someone who’s simply really committed to helping customers. Whether it’s a result of their empathetic nature, out of curiosity, or a mixture of both, everyone on the DCL will readily stick their fingers into that scary pit of uncertainty, dive into complex issues where they don’t know what’s in there, and dig their way back out.
I: That was my favorite part of the job! So, what’s your favorite kind of Looker question to dive in and troubleshoot?
L: I really like git stuff, git is really cool. Oftentimes version control/git conversations are theoretical and involve thinking about the customer’s entire setup, what they want to accomplish, and then recommending a workflow. But git can also get really complex technically, where a git branch gets corrupted, dev doesn’t match prod, a merge messed up production code so we have to try and revert changes, etc.
I feel like it is one of those areas where you start with a really broad scope and once you narrow the scope down typically will end up at one specific area of issue origin. Whenever troubleshooting git I always imagine a tree diagram, where the root is the initial problem reported and each question/piece of clarification leads to a number of different scenarios/branches. Complicated but fun to dive into!
I: That’s funny, since Git was the one thing I never felt super comfortable in when I was on the DCL (and still don’t). I’ll page you next time I need a hand. Total curveball: If you opened a restaurant, what would its gimmick be?
L: That’s a great question. I do a lot of cooking, my favorite thing to do is just different variations of rice. I would build a really small, like Izakaya style Japanese bar seating restaurant where you get drinks and get served different styles of rice. Across all cuisines and cultures— Just Rice.
I: What’s the last Table Calc you wrote, and what does it do?
L: A subtotal table calc, basically a window function table calc that does a group by and gets you subtotals.
Interviewer note: This table calc is explained in one of the Drops at the end of this post!
I: I ask this question a lot, some people like it and some don’t so no pressure. What’s your favorite word to use to describe data?
L: Like Dashi (forms the base for a lot of soup stocks in Japanese cuisine), data forms the basis for our cuisine that is life.
I: Alright Luka, it’s time for the final question… Why’d you choose to release these specific articles?
L: I’ll just touch on one, the first one: How to determine if a PDT regenerator is “hung”.
This is a great article because it touches on a lot of different areas in the product where you can help troubleshoot the issue. It also has a diagram/flowchart, which is super helpful for determining multiple pathways that culminate in just two options. You really learn a lot about System Activity along the way which is really great for just admin troubleshooting purposes, so I think it’s a great article to release customer facing.