T-SQL Tuesday 59–My Hero

Today’s T-SQL TuesTsql Tuesdayday is being hosted by Tracy Mckibben (t|b) and he has invited us to talk about our heroes with it being Ada Lovelace Day and all.  As Ada is created with being the first programmer and this topic got me thinking about firsts in my family.

My grandmother came to the United States in the early sixties looking for a better life for her family.  She left behind four children who would join her over the next four years.  She worked as a maid to a family in Connecticut and earned $50 a week–$45 of which would go back to her family in Costa Rica.  Those efforts led the family here, where my father earned his bachelor’s degree from BYU and then later earned a masters from Clemson University; the first in the family.  She continued to work until her body would not let her and always encouraged us to do our best.  Her sacrifices those 55 years ago led to all the blessings my family now enjoys.  Grandma is one my heroes.

Of course, I would not be able to pursue independent employment as I know it today if it weren’t for my family–especially my wife who has supported me and my sometimes crazy whims.  I am grateful for their support and am glad I have a partner for all eternity. 🙂

Also, I need to give a shout out to Andy Leonard, who helped start the Richmond SQL Server Users Group.  Before we even knew what PASS was, Andy was there with a group of folks in Richmond talking shop and his even though he hasn’t had direct interaction with the group for some time, his influence is still felt and the core leadership team are involved because of Andy’s example.  The opportunity to belong to that group has been all the difference in what I have been able to do professionally.

T-SQL Tuesday #34: Help! I Need Somebody!

Tsql TuesdayAs I am really just starting to blog on a regular basis, I thought this T-SQL Tuesday topic on someone who has helped you would be a good first topic to write about in this wonderful SQL community.

I took two database classes in college and I can still remember saying to myself–“I will NEVER be a dba.”  I was actually on track to become a network admin and was studying for my CCNA.  It still makes me laugh when I think about it.

My first job out of college was with a company called IndigeTech, which is now part of CodeX, Inc.  At the time IndigeTech was a small consulting firm and I was their internal IT guy and I had the privilege of working under the tutelage of José Castaños.   José taught me several important things

  1. How to find answers to questions I didn’t know.
  2. How to form good questions so I could get information from other people.
  3. Don’t evade work you don’t know how to do.

All of these points have played a role in my career development and I am so grateful I had challenging experiences early in my career so I would be willing to take on more challenging assignments later.  Isn’t that how we learn best–by solving a problem?

Two others I should thank are Robert Pollard, who convinced me to apply for my first DBA position, and Paul Oster, who told me I should go to our local SQL Server users group meeting.  He kept pestering me to go and I haven’t missed many since.  🙂