Today, I embark on a new adventure – I’m starting at a new company. I’ve left a company where I was the sole DBA managing about 15 SQL Servers and going to one where I will be one of two DBAs managing approximately 600 servers. I’m excited about the challenges managing so many servers will bring. I’m also excited about the new things I will surely learn there. Over the past two years, my SQL knowledge has increased incredibly. Most of my new knowledge came bit by bit, from reading blogs here and there, from reading SQL forums and Twitter. Somehow, the cumulative amount of knowledge I have picked up seems to have reached a critical mass. This was really driven home to me when, during a recent interview, there was only one question I didn’t know the answer to (“What is a live lock?”). There is a still a lot for me to learn and I in no way think I have all the answers, but I am surprised how much I do know.
One of the reasons my new employer gave for hiring me over his other candidates was that I had a quest for learning more. During my interview, I mentioned some of the blogs I read and the fact that I was planning on attending a local SQL Saturday event. And this attitude wasn’t something I was just putting on for the interview. I really do love learning more about SQL Server. And I can trace that desire to learn more directly back to the SQL Server online community. From blogs by the folks at SQLSkills.com to tweets on Twitter with the #sqlhelp hashtag, I’ve come to know how much SQL Server can do and I want to learn more about how it works and how to make it work better. My education has come from complete strangers, random people out there on the internets who have given me a fair amount of help. I started this blog as a way to try to give back to this community as well as to learn more myself. I may not be succeeding in giving back much – after all, there is already a ton of good information out there – but I have succeeded in furthering my knowledge.
With this change to a more enterprise-scale position, I feel that I have finally taken the reins of my career and am steering it in a direction I want to go, as opposed to just being swept along. I first started working with SQL Server back when SQL Server 7.0 was in beta. At that time, I was working as a hardware engineer (my degree is in electrical engineering). I got a call from a person I used to work for and he asked me if I would be interested in becoming a software developer working with SQL Server. The job included a move across the country, which I wanted, so I accepted. So began my SQL career – not so much a decision that “Yes, I want to learn more about this SQL stuff,” but more of a “Sure, why not?” Fortunately, it turned out that I like SQL Server. I have changed jobs a couple times since then, but this is the first time I am switching jobs purely for the challenge and learning opportunities a new job presents. It’s exciting and I think it is only possible because I have reached a certain level of knowledge and experience with SQL Server. I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone in the SQL Server on-line community – people who volunteer their time to answer questions for free, help others, and share their knowledge. Thank you.