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Archive for May, 2013

T-SQL Tuesday #42 – The Long and Winding Road

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This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Wendy Pastrick (b|t) and the topic is change in our work lives. Thanks to Wendy for hosting and to Adam Machanic (b|t) for putting this installment of T-SQL Tuesday together.

Fifteen years ago, I was working in a bookstore at the University of Illinois-Chicago. I’d graduated a year earlier with a degree in history. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I was confident it didn’t involve grad school or retail.

In November of 1988, I enrolled in the Computer Career Program at DePaul University. The program was geared to turning non-technical people into mainframe programmers. It had been around since the early ’80’s, but saw a surge in enrollment during the run up to Y2K. After three months, I was certified to code in COBOL and JCL and these skills landed me my first real job*.

Where I started out...

Where I started out…

I spent the next seven years writing code for the mainframe and learning to work with DB2 databases. I was fortunate to learn from a number of extremely talented programmers and DBAs during that time. I got my first exposure to internals as well, a love that has stuck with me to this day.

In 2007, a position opened on the SQL Server DBA team at my company and I made the switch. Once again, I was fortunate to work with a number of experienced and talented people who took the time to teach me what they knew.

About that time, I started attending the local PASS user group and began to meet others who were as passionate about databases as I was. I went to my first Summit in 2009 and this year will be my fifth. I am continually amazed at the willingness of PASS members to share their experience and knowledge. I took over the Chicago SQL Server User Group (b|t) last July with Aaron Lowe (b|t), and it has been great. I’ve presented at three user group meetings and two SQL Saturdays in the past year. Meeting members of the local group and getting the chance to work with other chapter leaders and mentors has expanded my horizons.

In October of last year, I started a new job at a new company. It has been a good experience, and though there have been challenges I am working to view those challenges as opportunities.

Going forward, my plan is for my path to lead me to expanding my knowledge of SQL Server. I want to keep presenting to share what I know with others. The path I’m on has given me an opportunity to grow personally, professionally and intellectually, and I want to provide those things to others.

Where I am today...

Where I am today…

* A job where I wasn’t paid hourly