It was a humbling experience for me. To meet a guy who was at the very beginning of this so many years ago. Introducing: Petr Mikeska.

Patient Zero of Manta Tools is Petr Mikeska who wrote the first snippets of code back in 2005. He was working on a project for Société Générale and faced a data quality problem. Some parts of their data warehouse had different coding because of special Czech symbols, and it was creating a lot of mess among the piles of custom code. A budget was fully allocated for manual code review, but Petr and his colleague both tried different approaches to data warehouse automation. How did that go?

“Well, my colleague (name disclosed) tried to attack the problem in Python; that didn’t go very well,” laughs Petr. His solution worked initially, and the manual labor budget was used elsewhere. But after a few months, company developers made a huge mistake and uploaded a dev version of some software into the live environment. Everything imploded, and when the repair crew came, they used the original automation tool to fix all the damage the incident had caused.

Petr is currently in charge of Information Management. “I studied in Brno (the second biggest city in the Czech Republic, famous for its rivalry with the capital, Prague), but the academic environment was too much for me. I wanted to move to Ireland, but I got stuck in Prague. For how long now? Twelve years?”

And where does he see Manta Tools’ future? “Definitely a stronger focus on Data Governance and Quality Assurance. The ‘R’ in R&D already focuses on that, with all those white papers and stuff. And, obviously, more supported technologies would be great.”

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