Archive for August, 2008


I once worked in a corporate environment where three letter abbreviations were used as a mechanism to confuse management. The EDP (Electronic Data Processing) department went on and on about IPLing. Whatever it was, an IPL seemed to fix everything – these guys were obviously genuises. I desparately needed to know so I could do it too! Disappointed I was when I found it to be Initial Program Load (or a common reboot in PC talk).

ETL is something everyone seems to know about, do in their spare time and think nothing of it. So Extract, Transform, and Load is all about updating your local database with data collected from somewhere else. How come it has taken me 30 years in the game to know this? – and what else don’t I know?

To make matters worse, 30 years later the TLA has extended to the FLA (or 4LA if you want to really impress) and beyond ..

BTW – I have had it pointed out that candid confessions of ignorance like this can be career limiting. I am not bothered by this, but if you are, please continue to nod knowingly when someone throws the next TLA at you.

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