Want proof that passion can lead to purpose? Look no further than Melody Zacharias, who has propelled her love for all things data into becoming a database and hardware architect—and one of the world’s leading experts in Microsoft SQL Server.
Yet, Melody didn’t exactly start her working life in a data center. In fact, she first studied quantum chemistry in her home country of Canada, before launching a career as a chemist. It wasn’t until she was introduced to databases in the early 1990s that she returned to school to expand her knowledge of computer science.
Dabbling first with databases like MySQL and Oracle, Melody turned her focus to Microsoft’s SQL Server. Honing her skills in the financial industry, she rapidly built a reputation as an expert in the field of banking software and data migration. This led to her being named a Microsoft MVP in the category of data platform and winning Rookie of the Year for Canada in 2016. From there, she co-launched a consulting company, specializing in end-to-end business intelligence solutions tailored to the needs of banks and credit unions.
Sharing Her Knowledge and Passion With Pure
But after nearly five years of successfully growing her business from a startup of three to 20 full-time employees worldwide, Melody sought greater work/life balance with more time for family and giving back. So, she decided to sell her portion of her business and joined the Pure Storage team as a senior Microsoft solutions manager. That year she was also awarded and still is a regional director for Microsoft. The program recognizes the world’s top technology visionaries for their proven, cross-platform technical expertise, community leadership, and commitment to business results.
At Pure, Melody plays an instrumental role in enabling customers, and partners to see the value of Microsoft on PureStorage. She evangelizes the simplicity of Pure Storage and Microsoft product integrations while deepening the partnership between the companies. When not helping others get the most from SQL Server, with an all-flash storage platform that brings speed, availability, simplicity, and cost savings, she devotes time to serving the community, where she was previously on the board of directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) and continues to speak at SQL user conferences worldwide.
If that wasn’t enough, Melody is also a prolific author, writing blog posts for Pure Storage, as well as currently working on her fourth book. Her published works include SQL Server 2019 Administration by Microsoft Press and Voices from the Data Platform—a compilation of stories from women in tech who have overcome challenges and hardships.
Check out some of her published works
Supporting Women in Tech
Rising to high levels of success as a woman in an industry historically dominated by men, Melody has long felt the need to help aspiring female technologists and is actively involved in Women in Tech—an international non-profit organization focused on closing the gender gap and enabling women to embrace technology. With a focus on creating safe, supportive environments for women in tech, she continues to champion this cause through a variety of efforts, including teaching at conferences, teaching young girls coding classes and blogging.
While technology dominates much of her day, Melody also has a rich, full life outside of work. Family life includes two daughters who are currently university students, as well as overseeing a hobby farm with 17 sheep, two cows, three horses, and 400 chickens. Yoga also plays an important role in Melody’s life. A certified yoga teacher for nearly 20 years, she teaches a variety of private classes, including yoga on horseback classes!
When asked what motivates her at this stage of her career, Melody is quick to answer. “Technology and kids are what excite me about the future. And Pure is thankfully part of this, as the place where I can share my expertise and passion for data.”
“Life has no remote,” explains Melody. “You have to get up and change it yourself.” And without a doubt, Melody embodies this proactive philosophy by continuing to evolve and always staying true to her passions while continuing to focus on helping others.