I have a new job, and lemme just tell you, it feels like my whole career has prepared me for this one.
I spent several years at UniFocus, a hospitality software company that relied on SQL Server. I honed my SQL skills, but probably more importantly, I managed a small team of programmers. I worked with executives to find out what they wanted to build, and then I turned those visions into reality with the help of a fantastic team. I worked under tight budget and time constraints, and I knew firsthand the importance of getting software shipped in the best shape possible.
During that time, I became more and more interested in the art of industrial design. I love beautiful software and hardware, especially things that make my job as easy as possible. I bought a microwave that only had two buttons (add a minute and stop) simply because it had such an elegant user interface. When Erika and I visited New York City, the first museum I wanted to see was the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. I really appreciate the art of good design, and working for a software company, I tried to implement good visual and workflow design wherever possible. I wanted to build stuff that people could use without a manual, stuff that would make people say, “Of course, how else could it possibly work?”
After UniFocus, I moved to Southern Wine & Spirits, a seven billion dollar wholesale & distribution company. I faced the database challenges of a large enterprise like dealing with armies of consultants, planning for disaster recovery, multi-terabyte data warehouse maintenance, implementing storage area networks and building whole infrastructures from the ground up. After Southern, I felt perfectly comfortable saying I was a Senior DBA, and not just because I’ve got some gray hair.
In the last few years, I’ve been mesmerized by the concept of building online communities since I started beta testing Flock in 2005. Flock didn’t just have a great design that I could appreciate, it also had this buzz, this exciting feeling, and their company employees actively participated in jump-starting their online community. This was the first time I’d seen a company fervently tending to their users, building and nurturing relationships in a way that worked with the Internet’s strong points. I “got it” in a way I can’t explain, and I was so interested that I continue to follow some of the Flock community creators to this day, like Tara Hunt, Chris Messina and Will Pate, and they’ve gone on to do all kinds of exciting things.
On May 1st, I’ll leverage my SQL knowledge, my software business experience, my love of design and my community fetish when I start as a database domain expert for Quest Software.
I’m tasked with staying very technical, knowing SQL Server inside and out, knowing how Quest’s products fit in, helping to improve products and sharing my knowledge with the community.
I certainly have my work cut out for me: SQL Server expands in new directions with every release, and Quest has a big product line to fill SQL’s gaps. I’m a real believer in Quest’s ability to make a DBA more productive, more reliable and frankly, more valuable to their employer, and I haven’t even used half of their SQL Server products yet.
And probably my favorite responsibility is helping to support the SQL Server community. From the moment I got involved with Quest as a customer, they’ve proven to me time and again that they’re serious about nurturing the SQL Server community, helping their customers, and sharing the wealth of knowledge. I’m proud to be in a position where I’ll be able to contribute more to that community and represent a company that really believes in it. Just look at the list of Quest Experts like Kevin Kline and Bert Scalzo, and you can see why I’d be honored to going to work at Quest.
Working with a great line of SQL Server products, building communities around them, and interacting with impressive people – I truly have my own personal dream job.
Kinda makes you wanna break into song….