Posts tagged Meme

Meme Monday — Favorite PASS Memory — Shared Experiences

Tom (Blog|Twitter) Asked about our favorite PASS memories for this months post.  With all that I have going on trying to get the Schedule out for this years Summit, I hadnt planned on writing anything this month but I just read Grant Fritchey’s excellent post and it struck me that I really should write about this one.  You see, one of the most interesting things about his post was I actually remember about 90% of the things he mentions. 

My favorite PASS memory isnt actually a single memory at all, its actually the conglomeration of all the SHARED experiences I have with all the hundreds(?) of people that I have gotten to know rather well over the years.  One of the most important things about our community of SQL professionals that I can never seem to put into words are those “Shared experiences”, they are what makes us unique.  Some first timers will listen to the conversations and think “what in the world is so funny” or “really, did that actually happen” or more likely, “what in the heck are they talking about” and I can see that there would be some intimidation factor with that but, the reality is you just have to jump in and start making those shared experiences of your own.  While some of my favorite shared experiences are from 2004-2006 that doesnt mean that I dont have some great ones from 2010 with people I had just met.  My point really is those experiences (which un/fortunately become memories) whether made at the Summit, a SQL Rally, SQL Saturday, or a local UG meeting are the things that actually tie us together as a group of professionals.  Sure, we all talk SQL and geek about it but, without the shared experience factor we’d all just be names behind posts on a Newsgroup/Forum which wouldnt be nearly as much fun!  

just choose one

If I had to list a single memory though it would be from 2004, where it all started for me.  You see I had just met Pat Wright, and Tom Larock and somehow they convinced me to attend the early morning (7AM If I recall) PASS volunteer session.  Im not an early morning person AT ALL so I definelty felt some peer pressure to go but, I can honestly say sitting in that session hosted by Wayne Snyder has probably changed my professional career as much or more than anything else.  Wayne is a very dynamic speaker and he had us all believing we could change the world, or at least the SQL portion of it.  I really miss those sessions, and wish we could find a way to ressurect them because this introvert would have never become involved with PASS had it not been for that 1 single session (and the encouragement of Tom and Pat) Thanks to the 3 of you for that!

99 problems and the disk aint one

Its Meme Monday again and this time Tom has picked an interesting topic.

How many problems do we all see in our shops that arent related to disks?  Since disk related issues would normally be my #1-10 I guess Ill have to start at #11

11. ESX misconfigurations

12. Old DBMS Version requirements from vendors

13. Bad DB design

14. Active Directory

15. Network connectivity/configuration

16. JAVA

17. Security architecture & design

18. Vendor Code…

19. Overly complex solutions to satisfy edge cases

This is my list of 9, What are yours?

Ill go out on a limb and tag 3 people

Lori Edwards, you havent written a blog post lately, consider this your invitation

Pat Wright

Andy Leonard

How did I get here?

There’s a meme going around that I thought I’d take my turn at answering.

Better late than never I suppose, Work always seems to have a way of getting in the way of posts like this!

It all started with a CAT3 cable

It all started on a dark night in the middle 90’s, I was enrolled in college sitting in my dorm room trying to connect my brand spanking new Pentium 133mhz computer to our college network so I could partake in what was at that time a huge LAN group playing Warcraft/Diablo/Duke Nukem.  The problem was no one on the campus apparently knew how to connect to the network, yes it was a smallish campus.  The only piece of guidance that could be found was in the welcome doc.  “Network connectivity can be established in the bookstore”  after contacting the bookstore and procuring the required 10baseT network card (~175$) they basically said, take this wire and plug it in the wall, everything else will work automatically.  Well, even today we know things rarely work that easily.   The cable that was sold to me by the bookstore was a regular phone cable because apparently the bookstore managers didn’t know any better, it wasn’t their fault though since the public campus network was less than a year old at that point.  Somehow I spent enough time trying to get the correct table that I was lucky enough to get hooked up with the “campus nerd” who happened to live in the dorm 1 floor above me.  He set me straight, told me where to get the required cable and handed me a scribbled list with the required connection info.  Many late nights and much tinkering later I was successfully connected.  Being the natural tinkerer I shortly figured out all about the network and what it took to get win 3.1 and 95 connected.  Shortly, I became the “campus nerd” and when it was apparent to me that I was naturally inclined with computers, and not so much with coursework I wasnt inerested in, I quickly gave up school and began bartering computer work.

Then there was a book

A short while later I had landed a job as an all around network guy.  I was doing everything and anything for a relatively small business.  One day my boss proudly announced we were going to be getting a new server with a Database (SQL 6.5)!  Apparently we had outgrown our existing business systems and the decision had been made to install what was essentially a combined financial/payroll system.  A few short months later, in the middle of a payroll processing cycle our SQL server decided to do what SQL 6.5 did quite often, it got corrupted.  Since I had a grand total of 4 months experience in SQL a consultant was called in and she fixed our problem.  More importantly she brought with her a copy of the latest and greatest SQL book and as luck would have it, she left it behind.  For the next 6 months I studied that book inside and out.  A “database geek” was born

Finally, a chance meeting

In 2004 I was attending my first precon (given by Kimberly Tripp) at my first PASS Summit when I was looking for some lunch and happened to sit with 2 guys, Pat Wright and Tom Larock that are to this day two of my closest PASS friends.  There is little doubt that the experience of meeting these 2 and attending the volunteer “roundup” lead by Wayne Snyder has had a profound impact on my career (this blog is a testament to that impact).  A “volunteer geek” was born.  Being a volunteer for PASS and participating in the SQL Server community has taken my skills up at least 2 notches, for that I am thankful.

These are the technical moments of my life that led me here, since I’m nearly the last one to answer this, I thought id go ahead and tag my friend Pat Wright since I noticed he hadn’t answered yet.  Otherwise, I have enjoyed reading everyone else’s paths to a very similar outcome!

Photo Courtesy of Darren Hester

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