I am late for posting this in time for T-SQL Tuesday, but I thought I would contribute anyway. This month the topic is about your career path. My career has focused on SQL Server since 2002, but it was a long, winding road to get here.
I didn’t start out in technology at all; I began my adult working life in pharmacy. After getting to play with a TRS 80 computer in a class during my last year of pharmacy school, I became obsessed with computers. Programming became my hobby, and I learned several versions of BASIC (remember QBasic and GWBasic?) and took a C++ (Borland Turbo C++, anyone?) class at a local university.
Eventually, I had had enough of pharmacy and dreamed of becoming a developer. Remember when software came in boxes with multiple floppy disks and lots of reference books? I learned Visual Basic 4 and MS Access by going through all the books that came with them. I added HTML to the mix and began building web sites with the very first release of Active Server Pages. I never got the hang of Visual InterDev and built all the sites in Notepad.
I left pharmacy in 1997 and joined a consulting firm that specialized in small law firm support. I did a little bit of everything in that job including Word Perfect macros and Palm Pilot development. When the company had an extra voucher for a class at a local training center, they decided to send me for SQL Server training. That was SQL Server 6.5. I am glad I haven’t seen that bad boy lately.
Eventually, I found myself on a 6 month contract at the St. Louis headquarters of a large law firm. At first there was nothing much for me to do, and I was bored. When the work picked up and I began making friends there, I decided that I would like to stay at the firm. The tipping point was when I attended the department holiday party. We played made up group version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and I won. I didn’t win a million dollars, just a $25 gift certificate, but gained the nickname “Million Dollar Consultant.”
About a month later the firm had an opening for a SQL Server DBA. I jumped at the chance to advance my career and to stay at the firm. Luckily, I got the job. It was a fantastic move for me. I stayed at the law firm for eight years. I now work at a very cool company, Pragmatic Works, as a consultant.
My career has been unpredictable, but also lots of fun. Now I enjoy being part of the SQL Server community. I have never regretted my big career change for a second and have followed my heart ever since.