One of the things you have to adjust to when moving from Germany to the US or back is the number of vacation days. I had a hard time explaining to friends and family why I - with a Ph.D., work experience, a contract with 28 vacation days and plenty of public holidays - would accept a position in the US with only 10 vacation days and few holidays. After arriving in the new place, it took a while to figure out how to live with fewer vacation days (and the secret behind it).
Now, after moving back to Germany and suddenly HAVING to spend 30 vacation days a year it also requires some mental changes. You have to plan ahead and decide when to take vacation because you don't want to end up in November with two months off in a row (which does not work anyway). Having vacation days can be hard.
In the past, I got to hear discussions about how efficient different societies or workplaces are and different speed of work, why in some countries there is more or less vacation, and different strategies on how to deal with it. That's not what I wanted to discuss today.
I was reminded about the vacation discussions over the last week when we compared the DB2 9.5 and DB2 Cobra performance for a customer warehousing workload. Many queries completed on Cobra in only 80% of the time it took on DB2 9.5, some even only needed 30% of the previous time. The improvements can be attributed to the compression of temp tables and indexes, local index support for range-partitioned tables and general runtime enhancements. I was and I still am impressed with the results. And it got me thinking about what that customer and its employees could do as a consequence of the outstanding results. They could either do more in less time now or enjoy some additional days off. What would you do...?