I've been busy with a number of things; one of them is helping to prepare for the official Tribute to Jim Gray. There will be an all day gathering at UC Berkeley on May 31st (see here). This will include a general session (in which I am honored to have a small presentation) and a technical session covering many of the aspects of Jim's technical contributions to the industry. There's still time for you to attend if you can make it... please sign up!
As a part of the tribute, it was decided that a special edition of the SIGMOD Record would be published with papers matching the presentations done on May 31st. I helped wrangle all the papers together working with the presenters so this could come together.
So, I asked to present about Jim as a Mentor in Industry and that led me to write down my thoughts in a two page paper to be included in the special edition of the Record. I wanted to share that with you. It it titled: "Knowledge and Wisdom" and the abstract (and pdf) are below. I miss my friend...
Knowledge and Wisdom - by Pat Helland
Jim Gray was my mentor and friend for almost 25 years. Even before we met, he was changing my life through his writings. Jim continually and patiently nudged me to strive for more, accomplish more, and to pass these gifts on to others. He embodied those attributes that I most want to emulate.
Jim influenced those around him both by sharing in his immense knowledge and by listening and guiding. Even more, he created a community that fostered growth and sharing across competitive boundaries with a clear ethical compass. This paper summarizes my experiences with Jim's approach to nuturing and mentoring.