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

T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that is started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject.

This month the subject is “The Long and Winding Road”. If you want to read the opening post, please click the image below to go to the party-starter: Wendy Pastrick (Blog | @wendy_dance).



After I skipped the last few T-SQL Tuesday posts, I saw the topic Wendy suggested for this month. That’s an interesting one, so I’m kind of back again…

One particular sentences that stuck with me, was “Let’s make these stories about the tech and how that has led you down a certain path”. A few months ago, I blogged about leaving my former employer. There I got a change to discover a bunch of new technologies and discover what I really wanted. But the path started earlier.

During my first internship, I started working as a desktop support engineer and help desk employee. This meant I needed to install, replace and fix PC’s, phones, network, etc. After the first internship (6 months), I stayed with the company as a part-time employee. Then I decided to stay there for my second internship of 6 months, which I filled working as a system administrator.

When I was still busy with exams and finishing my education, the company asked me to stay with them. They had an interesting role in mind for me: SQL Server consultant. At that time, I’ve never wrote a single query (except a few trials in my database classes at school), but I accepted the offer. The learning curve was pretty steep, but I managed with the help of my wonderful colleagues. My first experiences with SQL Server were very interesting, and it really triggered me to learn more about it, even though it was SQL Server 2000 back then.

After 2 years I got the opportunity to start as a .NET developer within the same company. Because several colleagues left, there was a high demand for software engineers. So with no knowledge of ASP and VB, I started to discover this new world. After a few months, I moved from ASP to ASP.NET, from VB to C#, and eventually worked with WCF, Silverlight, NHibernate, etc.

After 2.5 years of being a software engineer, I came back to the database world. I can’t explain why, but I missed something in my daily job that I had before. When searching for a new job, I found a company that seemed to fit my ideas of a great company and a huge challenge: multinational, young team, great colleagues, lots of learning opportunities, etc. There I started out as a BI- and SQL Server developer, and I found what I was missing in my previous job: data!

One thing I’ve learned after this wide variety of jobs, is that I love databases and data. In my current job of DBA I can combine the 2 things I love the most: data and technology. As a DBA I’m not only responsible for keeping the databases alive, but also for data quality, database performance, etc.

So this is the ultimate job for me, at least at the moment. But if I ever change jobs, I’m definitely not leaving the SQL Server world! Not only because I love working with databases and data, but also because of the wonderful community. At first I didn’t know what to think about the “SQL Family”, but now I know it practically IS a family. The people have the same issues as you, the same interests, and they love to help you out. So I’m never going to leave that behind again!

T-SQL Tuesday #38 – Standing Firm

T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that is started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject.

This month the subject is “Standing Firm”. If you want to read the opening post, please click the image below to go to the party-starter: Jason Brimhall (Blog | @sqlrnnr).



This month I thought about skipping T-SQL Tuesday, because I didn’t thought of a story to tell you. Certainly after my previous post about my targets for this year. Standing firm was something I connected to these targets, until today.

I can’t give you full details about the current situation right now, but trust me if I say it’s not pretty. When I started thinking about targets I want to set myself, I thought about my future. The next 10 years, I saw myself sticking with the same I do now and love: SQL Server development. Then some things… well… changed… Unfortunately, without informing me.

To get back to this months topic, I decided to stand firm for myself from now on. In the past it happened several times, that I accepted things that I didn’t believe in myself. Things that were decided without asking or informing me, and that I let happen in order to keep the peace. But that changed this week.

From now on, I decide what I want, and not what others expect from me. I’m even more determined to succeed as a SQL Server professional, and to show certain people I AM qualified for specific tasks.

This might be hard, and unpleasant for some people, but it’s my future. I want to become an author, a speaker, a person to go to if you have questions, and so on. But I don’t think I can accomplish it if I carry on like this…

So If you help me accomplish one or more of my goals from my previous post, let me know. If you can help me find a new challenge, I’d love to talk to you about that! I need all the help I can get from my #SQLFamily! :)

T-SQL Tuesday #36 – What does the community mean to you?

T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that is started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject.

This month the subject is “What does the community mean to you?”. If you want to read the opening post, please click the image below to go to the party-starter: Chris Yates (Blog | @YatesSQL).



If I think about the SQL community, and about the people behind it, I think about a one-liner of John F. Kennedy:

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country

Personally I think this also counts for the SQL Server community. Don’t just ask what the community can do for you, but it’s especially important what you can give back. At many times the community helped me with difficult challenges, and solved problems with me. This happened mostly via Twitter, because of the quick communication by members all over the world. If it isn’t Europe that’s awake and helping you out, then it’s probably an American that’s helping you solve problems.

One of the things that really surprised me, is the people that answer your questions. One of the first things I did when discovering the SQL-community on Twitter, was asking a stupid question which I thought everyone would ignore. Not a big enough challenge! But I was really surprised: within 5 minutes I had 5 answers back!

Digging deeper after that, I always try to help people whenever I can. And doing that actually feels better then being assisted by 1000’s of community members. Helping somebody solve an issue is way more satisfying then solving your own issues. This is something I completely didn’t expect.

And yes, sometimes you’re actually criticized by your colleagues. The thing I remember most, is posting one of my very first serious blog posts to #SQLHelp. Without thinking about it, I tried to promote my blog a little, since I try to become a serious blogger. Not a minute later I received a mention: “Please don’t use #SQLHelp to promote your blog”. Okay, I could have anticipated that.

But a few days later, I discovered who actually told me not to do that. It was no other then the great mister Brent Ozar! WHAT?! Brent Ozar? _THE_ Brent Ozar? Apparently even the “big shots in the business” still feel connected to the community. That’s one of the great examples of why the SQL community is such a great group of people. Nobody feels “good enough” to support the community, and help out his/her fellow members.

So that’s when I discovered the true power of Twitter and the community. Even the biggest names in the business use Twitter, and they don’t hesitate to answer your questions. Even if it are really “low-tech” or stupid questions.

Thinking about the topic of this month, I’m actually starting to get a little sad as well. Just last week there was an event called SQL PASS Summit 2012. This event is held every year and gives SQL developers, BI developers, DBA’s, etc. a chance to catch up on new technology and with their colleagues. The sad part: I wasn’t there!

I’d love to meet some of you I talk to on Twitter in person, and catch up. For example: Brent Ozar (Blog | @BrentO). I’d love to see if he’s really that crazy if I’d meet him in person. And is Rob Volk (Blog | @sql_r) really that “Evil Genius”, like his reputation precedes him. And don’t forget the always funny and entertaining Rob Farley (Blog | @rob_farley). Don’t underestimate this mans humor! Watch some of his sessions online, and you’ll know why I would love to meet him in person. And there are many, many more of you I’d like to see in person for a change!

So like I said: I’d loved to have been there with you, and hopefully I can attend next year. Not just for the people there, but the whole experience, new technologies and the community.

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