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PASS is in a unique position to provide career development guidance and assistance to the data professional community. Many of the PASS Summit attendees are senior people with successful careers. However, this does not reflect the career development of most of the data professionals within the SQL Server community. Many SQL Server professionals started as “accidental DBAs,” “part-time DBAs,” or “did a little BI work.” Very few people have any idea how to have a successful career as a data professional. I would like to help PASS become the first resource SQL Server professionals use for career planning and development.
Forums help with immediate technical problems. The PASS Summit and other events provide technical training. Recruiters let us know what immediate personnel needs require filling. I would like to see PASS provide true career guidance. Among the resources I would help develop are:
- Better job and task classifications and descriptions
- Example skill sets for Junior, Intermediate, and Senior data professionals
- Salary surveys linked to the above skill set matrix
- Career planners to help guide both technical and non-technical development as a SQL Server data professional
I feel this is an area that PASS can uniquely serve, given its position connecting the community and the industry. I believe this resource will do more to make PASS the first choice for career development for a SQL Server data Professional.
Back in 1992, I was living in Tuscaloosa, AL. I started my SQL career by implementing a project using SQL 4.2. (before that, it was Dbase and Clipper). BOL was just Book (singular and dead-tree only), and it wasn’t very thick. Nobody close by was using this product, at least nobody close enough to meet and talk to. Help came from the community, specifically NNTP newsgroups. I would never have survived that project without community assistance, especially from the MVPs. My involvement with the SQL Server community started with that experience.
Eventually, I started answering some basic questions, mainly as a way to take the load off the “real experts.” I figured if I could answer some simple questions, maybe they would have more time to answer my hard questions. That is when I really started learning SQL. Teaching, like writing, imposes a whole new level of discipline on learning.
After moving to Atlanta in 2000, I became aware of and active in the local SQL Users Group (AtlantaMDF). In 2003, I was awarded MVP for the first time. Again, I owed my success to my participation and involvement with the community. In 2005, I joined the leadership team for the Users Group, and in 2008, I took over responsibility for speakers and sponsors. I also emcee the meetings when I am in town.
I learned a lot in my first year appointed to the board, both about myself and about PASS. I feel I am more qualified than ever to help guide PASS to meet its potential to be a world-class professional organization.
- 1992 – First SQL project (Steel Mill production data recording and reporting) using SQL Server 4.2
- 1998 – Joined Randall Publishing (now Randall-Reilly publishing) in Tuscaloosa, AL, as Database and Development Manager
- 2000 – Moved to Atlanta and joined small startup as team lead for Database and Installer development
- 2001 – Senior DBA at Headhunter.net, which later merged with CareerBuilder.com
- 2002 – Began attending AtlantaMDF and became aware of PASS
- 2003 – First awarded Microsoft MVP
- 2005 – Joined leadership team for AtlantaMDF
- 2007 – Joined Intellinet as Senior Consultant
- 2008 – Assumed responsibility for speakers and sponsors at AtlantaMDF
- 2009 – Promoted to Principal Consultant - Intellinet