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!

SQL Heroes – Thank you for the inspiration

The plan is for this to be a technical blog, but before that can happen there are people that I need to thank for inspiring me to get this far.  There are so many people that I would love to include here, but I had to pick a select few.  To everyone else, *big hug* and thank you for being there for me.  I love how we really do become a big family as we help the community to grow.

Pat Wright – Thank you for pushing me to present at the SLC Users Group #slcsql.  His passion for SQL Server and helping others be better is evidenced in the amount of time he dedicates to our group.  He is always willing to give good and useful feedback and helps everyone to feel welcome at the group.  He also took the main picture on my blog and is an incredible photographer.  Thank you Pat for sharing your passion and helping me feel included in this great community.

Buck Woody – From the first time I walked into one of Buck Woody’s classes he has been one of my favorite people.  He is friendly and so funny.  I know that I probably threw his whole class off by having the “noisy blonde in the front” but he was still kind.  I am always thankful for the classes he posts and his constant commitment to teaching others.  Buck makes people feel like they are the most important person in the room which is a talent that I am striving to learn. Thank you Buck for always being so kind.

Brent Ozar – He may not remember this, but a few years ago I cornered Brent and asked about how to network and present and how to get my name out.  He was really helpful and spent time introducing me to people.  Because of his ability to talk to anyone, I pretended that I could talk to anyone at this most recent PASS Summit and I met so many people!  Brent is so much fun with costumes and that is one of my favorite things so I love that I can now merge my love of costumes with my love of SQL.  He is willing to answer my silly questions and help me better understand what I can do to be better.  Thank you Brent for your confidence and letting me borrow it this last summit.

Matt DeWitt – This list wouldn’t be complete with out my very first mentor. Matt believed in me when no one else thought I could be a DBA.  He would take time to point me in the right direction and help me correct the small and very large mistakes I made along the way.  He has been my emergency DBA contact for when things blew up and I didn’t know what to do.  His patience with me has been limitless and I am so thankful that he didn’t give up.  Thank you Matt for believing in me.

Now I come to you, kind reader.  Thank you for being here and please help me continue to improve.

Have a magical day!