In the middle of last year, I left Quest Software. It was nothing against Quest – I loved what I was doing – but a better opportunity came up that I just couldn’t ignore. The Microsoft Certified Master program was changing, and I wanted the chance to be one of the instructors. I truly, passionately love teaching people about SQL Server, and I wanted to be part of the new generation of the MCM program.
The choice at the time was a no-brainer – I signed on with SQLskills as a consultant and trainer, and I went to work for Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp. They’re phenomenal people who I really enjoy spending time with because we share so many things in common. I cringe when I think about the number of champagne bottles that we’ve emptied in just six months – I’m fairly sure I’ve cost them more in champagne than I’ve made them in profits. We work hard and we laugh hard.
However, just like last year, another opportunity has come along that I just can’t ignore. I’ll explain more about my new gig here shortly, but in the meantime, I’d like to celebrate my SQLskills experience by listing the ten reasons I no longer work for Paul & Kim:
10. They refused to let me win a game of Blokus.
9. Paul kept calling my MacBook Air “your sticker carrier.”
8. Company meetings in the hot tub. ‘Nuff said.
7. They found out about my Richard Simmons costume.
6. Paul ran out of undocumented commands to show me.
5. We haven’t hired a junior employee, and I’m tired of being the water champagne boy.
4. Kimberly keeps cooking, and I keep gaining weight.
3. Erika doesn’t understand why I keep flying out to Seattle, and I can’t tell her about the free champagne.
2. I *still* don’t understand the source code for DBCC.
1. The sheep suit itches. A lot.
Update: The Biggest Reason I No Longer Work for Paul & Kim
is that I work with them now. I’m now part owner of SQLskills! What a heck of a way to start the year, eh? I’m still pinching myself, and not just because I enjoy doing that kind of thing. Our titles are:
- Kim – Founder/Owner
- Paul – Managing Partner/Owner
- Brent – Managing Partner/Owner
This came about because marketing is hard. I was chock full of ideas of things I wanted to bring to the table to help market SQLskills consulting and training, but those things take a lot of work and time. As a consultant, I only got paid when I was doing client work, so I couldn’t justify putting unpaid time in to do marketing. Paul and Kim kept hearing my crazy ideas about how to do marketing, and they finally got fed up. They were willing to make me part owner of the company if I’d stop talking and start unleashing my l33t marketing skillz.
This is awesome – now I get to work more without getting paid for it! Wait, on second thought…
No, really, we’re all wildly excited about what’s coming next. Every year, life keeps throwing me things I wouldn’t have expected just a year or two ago, and I trace it all back to one thing: community involvement. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, get involved, and take chances. This feels like the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, and yet the safest bet in the world.