Category Archives: What Are You Doing?!?

Professor Cushing

My daughter is going to be a senior in highschool, but for a long time now, she keeps asking “Why aren’t you a teacher?”  Seems she and her friends liked the way I taught them how to roll sushi!  I’ve taught martial arts for years at a time, and I guess people liked the way I did it, because I always got a positive response.

She and I were on our way home one night from her friends, and as we were driving past the local community college, she brought it up again.  My Dad used to work near where I live now and had taught a class for a few semesters, so she wondered why I couldn’t.

“Why not?” I thought the next day.  I wrote to the Chair of the department to ask him about what credentials were needed to teach, and turned out he could grandfather me in as an adjunct because of my work experience.  We had gone back and forth over email for several days, but something clicked because we hit it off and I go to sign the HR paperwork on Monday to teach a Database Design and Development class in the fall.

Psyched/Freaked as hell, should be a lot of work, and a lot of fun.  Wondering if I’ll end up with students who are friends with my kids since some of them are going there.  Anyway, this is a reminder to everyone – you gain nothing by not risking anything.  Granted, I wasn’t risking much with an email, but here we are.

Wow!  Now I have to design my curriculum!!!

When you like where you work

I spent way too long chasing the title and the paycheck, only to turn around when I thought I had ‘made it’ to realize that I was miserable.  Job environment aside, I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, and as time passed, I was moving further and further away from hands on development.

Took some time, but with a lot of encouragement from #SQLFamily on twitter, a bit of belt tightening, and a move to a pure dev job, I finally felt like I was on the right path.  Thanks to the universe throwing me a seriously good bone, I landed in a job I like to do, working for people I respect both personally and professionally, and things are amazing.  The company I work for shares a lot of the same moral views, so instead of getting behind a company to help them succeed so I can keep my job, I can get behind the message and morals of the company.

I was visiting with some friends this weekend and they all kvelled at  my getting a position with such an amazing company.  I didn’t realize it until someone pointed it out – whenever I talked about the company or someone here, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Granted, I have been here less than two months, but I had a good laugh at the fact that yesterday afternoon, I was looking forward to coming in today.

We all deserve to be happy.  Like I said, I got REALLY lucky that this one fell into my lap.  The point is, look around at your situation.  I’m not saying that everyone needs to change jobs or be as drastic as I was.  Just open your eyes and look and see what  you’re doing and see if it makes you happy.  If not, what does?  And What would it take to get to that?  Is that realistic?

Good luck!

What was your path to SQLFamily?

So how did you find your way to where you are?  Are you an accidental DBA who now loves it?  Are you the IT Director who dabbles a little, but you started as a help desk person?  Or are you a BI Developer now and were writing copy for a magazine 5 years ago?

I’m always curious as to how people get into BI and database related development.  A friend of mine was a double Major at Rice University in French and Philosophy and is now a Venture Capitalist specializing in building BI solutions.  Me?  I got my degree in accounting and decided after doing bank reconciliations for 6 months, that I would either get a new profession or move to Madagascar and open a dive shop.  (Yes, I still want to open the shop, but maybe when I retire).

I was fixing the computers in the accounting department – defragging, installing new software, showing people how to do excel macros, when I got called into the IT director’s office.  He was pissed and started firing questions at me in what I didn’t realize was actually an interview for a 2nd level tech support position in IT.  Jumped at the chance, did regular help desk, 3rd level support for a Lotus Notes networking company (I know), moved into java and vb development, dove into SQL for an analysis position, got a dev job with C# and SQL, then onto BI when I saw what SSIS and SSRS could do, until Voila, I am an IT manager.

And I’m ready to get pulled into another Directors office and told that I HAVE to go into BI 🙂  Well, not going to wait for it – i’m building a small DW with some reports that will hopefully branch out into PowerBI and other parts that could lead me back into BI Dev full time.

How did you do it, and how would you suggest to someone if they’re trying to get into SQL Dev/DBA work?

Teddy Roosevelt is the man

I was listening to my daughter’s marching band director speak to the kids the other night to inspire them not only for the last few competitions of the season, but to challenge them in general.  He had a quote written on the board:

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Why do we sit around wishing for things instead of trying with every fiber of our beings to accomplish those things?  People have the tendency to look back instead of forward – what’s waiting out there for you?  EVERYTHING!  You’ll never get anything or anywhere by sitting there wishing or hoping.  You have to take the first step.

So here’s my challenge…I DARE you to be better than  you did yesterday.  Take a chance, hell, take a walk!  Just do something that takes you closer.  I’m doing it right now by writing at least one post a week.


What are you DOING?!?

Trying to post regularly, and one thing I’d like to try to track is my progress.  So what  have I been doing?

Reading Now: Kimball Group – The Data Warehouse Toolkit
Planning Now: looking at PowerBI and trying to connect to a test database at work.  I want to try to put together a pilot project to show what it can do and why we need to utilize it.

Reading Next: Practice material for 70-461
Planning Next: Continue work on datawarehouse.  Create script written, populate script to be designed.

Mentally/Emotionally: A friend told me that dropping off my son would be tough and that I would experience a lot of emotions.  He wasn’t kidding.  He also said that it gets better each day, he was right, but I have to say it still sucks. 🙂

Physically: Always hot.  Seeing Endo about thyroid.  Still teaching TKD twice a week, but could use some extra.

Question of the week?  What motivates you physically?  What motivates you careerwise/intellectually?