The Three Things that Brought Me Here

I've been asked to explain three major events that brought me to where I am today. That's a tall order for me, since I view everything as a continuum of multiple small events. But there are some "seminal" events that tend to either show or dictate a further direction, so in the context of working with technology in general and SQL Server in specific, I'll mention a "pivotal" three things that I believe brought me here, working on and with SQL Server.

1. It's Spock's fault.
Like many - perhaps most - technically-inclined folks, I'm a science-fiction geek. I read Jules Verne and the older sci-fi masters, and then on to the newer things. But it was, of course the "old" Star Trek that I really loved as a child. We were quite poor, but we had a black-and-white TV that someone gave us and I didn't miss an episode. I especially liked Mr. Spock, the "Science Officer" on the show. I saved, scrimped and did without to buy a small computer book which explained electronic circuits, and learned to build a computer. I hooked it up to the BW TV, and a cassette recorder. From there I built a program or two in assembly.

2. The wild blue yonder.
Because I grew up poor, I had no money at all when I left home at 18. I had been working wince I was 13, but that was just to basically take  care of myself. So, with no immediate prospect of sleeping indoors, I decided that I would try my hand at the military services. I knew I wasn't tough enough to be a marine, didn't think I cold handle being on ship for a long time, and wasn't sure about the army. My uncle (a marine) described the Air Force as "a business that kills people. You wear a suit, stay on something called 'base', and you send the officers off to fight instead of the other way around." That sounded good to me.

While I was in the Air Force (in one of those "business" roles) they began to install the first PC's. I jumped in, and earned the strange title of "Special Assistant to the Base Commander for Small Computer Affairs". Hey, I don't write this stuff, folks, I just report what happened. Anyway, I was able to basically serve as a computer consultant. I came in to an office, evaluated computer needs, ordered them, installed and configured the hardware and software, and then taught the other airmen how to use them. Lots of fun.

3. (the Emporer's theme from Star Wars)
And of course what really brought "here" is Microsoft. I was a SQL Server MVP, had authored five books on SQL Server, presented for Microsoft and ran the Tampa (Florida) SQL Server user group for a few years when they made me an offer. At first I refused, because they wouldn't let me live in Florida. I really like Florida. Anyway, they explained for that role I really needed to be here in Seattle. So relented, moved up, and promptly ran into someone who lived about three miles from my house in Tampa - wait for it - who had EXACTLY the same role I had at Microsoft. (not that I'm bitter. No, not me.)

And so here I am. As I mentioned earlier, I think it's less about "big" events, than it is about the hundreds of decisions we make each day that make us who we are.

So what about you?'re it.

Comments (0)

Skip to main content