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What three events brought you here?

I was tagged by Chris Shaw for this…  It’s an open-ended question that I could have a lot of fun with.  For instance, I could simply say that what brought me here was a need for a larger house, the need for a dedicated home office and a killer deal.  That’s what brought me to where I’m currently sitting as I write this blog post…  I don’t suppose that’s the intent, so I’ll do my best to share a bit of my history.

1.)  I was in marketing.  I did a lot of work with pulling data from an AS400, “importing” it into Access so that I could then “import” it into Word and mail merge direct marketing campaigns.  A lot of fun.  After having all of that fun, there came the day that I was introduced to SQL Server.  Not knowing any better, I thought it to be a form of Access.  Thankfully it wasn’t and thus began my career as a ‘geek’.

2.)  I did some bouncing around in the early years at companies such as MCI (WorldCom), Norwest (WellsFargo), Lucent(Avaya).  Do you see the trend there?  Every company that I went to work for was purchased by another company.  I thought to myself, there has to be a better way to life than going through these mergers / acquisitions etc… so I went independent.  Since that time, I have had a couple of stints being an employee at startup’s but by and large, I’ve been independent and I love it.

3.)  Being independent has upsides and downsides.  For one, I don’t have the traditional “boss”, instead, I have many of them in the form of clients.  This is awesome in a lot of ways, yet significantly more demanding in others.  It has allowed me the freedom to look for the type of work that I want to do and not worry about being on a certain project team or growing stagnant in a particular organization fulfilling a particular role.

Going forward I hope to expand my little business as I believe that I’m able to deliver quality better than most of the big consulting shops out there for less money overall.

With that said, if you are in need of some SQL Server help, I’d love to hear from you.

On an Island with no Umbrella Drinks?

I was tagged by Chris Shaw to answer this question.

“So You’re On A Deserted Island With WiFi and you’re still on the clock at work. Okay, so not a very good situational exercise here, but let’s roll with it; we’ll call it a virtual deserted island. Perhaps what I should simply ask is if you had a month without any walk-up work, no projects due, no performance issues that require you to devote time from anything other than a wish list of items you’ve been wanting to get accomplished at work but keep getting pulled away from I ask this question: what would be the top items that would get your attention?”

heh… well, in the event that my golf clubs didn’t make it, I suppose that I would spend a great deal of time learning more about the guts or internals of SQL Server. It’s a subject area that I’m very interested in, yet I find that the time to truly dig in is often cut short by work.

I would also spend a fair bit of time coming up with ideas for articles, blog posts and presentations. These are all activities that I enjoy and it’s one way that I can say “thank-you” to those who have helped me along the way.

Given enough time and concentration, I would write a tool that could take any schema and the data in that schema and build a true load test. Over the years I have encountered many clients who face the challenge of truly perf testing their environment prior to going “live”. Often, those who have invested the time and money into this activity find that the performance they experienced in the lab is different than in production… The reasons vary but I believe that I’ve seen it enough to be able to hit this pretty closely.

Wow, *if* I could accomplish all of that in a month, I’d pack up my laptop, flipflops and hit the beach. 🙂

Since I’m new to blogging, I’m not going to tag anyone just yet.

Search… Are you Lijit?

I’ve recently added a new button on the blog. You can see it in the upper right hand corner. It’s labeled “Search my Network”. Click it!

This is pretty cool actually. What it does is search my blog for your criteria and it also searches other sites that I’ve added as “trusted”. Sites include Microsoft’s SQL CAT team, SSWUG, Ted Malone’s blog, Brent Ozar’s blog etc…

Think about this for your own blog or website! Wow, to be able to direct your readers to information that you deem as trustworthy and accurate. It is the opposite of a Google search in that the results are quality based (based on them being “trusted” by you), versus quantity based (Google).

This clever technology is provided free of charge, minus the ad pollution, but hey, it’s free! The company name is Lijit, based here in Colorado at the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

A shout out to a great colleague and even better friend, Zach Conger for clueing me in.

SQL Quiz #4: Tagged by Chris Shaw


Chris Shaw asks a great question that I’m going to respond to.  Since this blog is all of two days old, I’m going to refrain from tagging anyone at this point.  Later tonight, be on the lookout for a technical post around partitioning and managing the partitioned indexes.

Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader.

I’ve personally had many great leaders in my career.  Oddly some of the guys that come to mind aren’t in the technical field at all. 

A few folks come to mind, one of them is a manager that I have had a couple of times in my career, Jeff.  As we speak, I’m currently doing an engagement for the company he works for and at the same time I’m ramping up my consulting company, working with several clients and trying to build out a practice.  The reason that I’d call him a great leader is that his advice, to date, has been invaluable.  It’s a type of advice that’s not always easy to recognize, however.  Many people that I’ve encountered in this life will “give” advice in verbal form.  One of the reasons that Jeff is listed is because his advice is rarely verbal but it’s in the way that he lives.  So, instead of the old “do as I say, not as I do” mantra, his is a quiet, understated and living example of leadership.

My father always used to tell me that if I chose to play sports, always play with people better than yourself, if you choose to go into business, work with people more successful than you.  Many of you have probably heard the same advice over the years and I truly believe that it rings true.  So, with that in mind, I’m going ask another question, now that you have been mentored or seen great leadership in practice, do you find that others look to you for that leadership now?  If so, how does that impact your conversataions with them and decisions regarding them? 

Heck, that’s a great question… I’m turning around and pining Chris Shaw again.

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