I can’t live without you, I can’t live without you SQL

By now you know I love Microsoft SQL Server. I get a lot of questions about how I got into database and why I got into database. One of the new people I am working with suggested I add the story to my blog. So here goes…

Life should be fun and money is a big part of life. I wanted to be able to work hard so I could play hard, but I also wanted to love what I did. I use the phrase all the time “When it stops being fun, it is time to be done.” Basically, when I don’t love what I do, I am miserable.

My first real job was as an Administrative assistant. I was terrible at it. I didn’t type well, hated writing memos, and dictation was a nightmare for me. The only think I really loved was when I got to do some mail merges (it was tables, I just didn’t know it yet) and changing the copier toner. You should have seen the day I opened the toner wrong and it went all over the mail room. It was such a mess. I would come home crying everyday because I knew I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t have fun with it. I finally decided that if I couldn’t love my job, I would get a dumb job to so I could go play more and call in sick when I needed a break.

I went to work at a call center selling long distance. I was good at it, and it was fun, but still not perfect. The fun part was the computer program we got to use. I learned it super fast and would help the IT guys test new upgrades. They were super nice to me, and one day suggested that I help train new people on the software we had been testing for roll out. After the training, working on the phone was so boring! The IT guys suggested I come work with them as a Business Analyst. I had no idea what that was or what they did, but it was a new adventure so I went for it. They had me learn Access and when I started pointing Access as the production database (because no one had heard of a snapshot reporting databases back then) it would slow the databases down. The awesome IT guys asked me to learn T-SQL. They gave me new tools and showed me a few things, pointed me to a few websites and it was like I had found the best chocolate ever! I continued to learn working as an Operations Admin and really loved learning SQL Server. I even started to dream in T-SQL. You can imagine my disappointment when I would wake up and my house hadn’t been cleaned by a T-SQL Query. Truncate Table dbo.Dust anyone?

Life changes and so did my opportunities, I worked as an Information Manager, Reporting Manager, and finally I got a gig as a DBA. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt like I had finally arrived. Little did I know that just having the title, wouldn’t give me all the answers. There have been a lot of moments of joy and may times my sweet husband has found me crying in my closet because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I can be loved by 99 out of 100 people in a room and will see that 1 person that doesn’t like me or thinks I am not good enough. I will focus on them and try to change their opinion. When that happens, I go back to what my dear friend Tara said when I was first starting out: “Andrea if they don’t like you, it is because they don’t know you.” I think that is true for so many people.

Today as I watched Brent Ozar, Kendra Little and Doug Lane answer questions about presenting, I realized that many of us don’t feel like we are good enough to teach someone else. We don’t have every perfect answer, but that is part of the fun of SQL Server. There is always more to learn, a different way to do something and someone you can help. There will be people who are mean along the way, but if we focus on our passion and forget the rest we can find joy in the work we do. As Pat Wright says: “When you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life.” My hope for you is that you find the thing that you love and make it work for you, so you never have to work a day again.

May you feel joy in the work you do today!

About andreaallred

SQL Server and helping people is my passion. If I can make someone laugh, I know I have made a difference.

4 thoughts on “I can’t live without you, I can’t live without you SQL

  1. Pat Wright says:

    Awesome story and well done for following your passion! We all need to be reminded that we all make mistakes and have to keep pushing.

  2. Brian says:

    Great story! Along the lines of how I got my start. Still wondering if I want to go the DBA route. Leaning towards BI architect.

    Have a great day.

    • andreaallred says:

      Thank you! There are a lot of people in the SQL community that would be happy to help you get a feel for your best fit. Try to find your local SQL PASS chapter. We are like a big family on twitter too.

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