This month’s T-SQL Tuesday topic is SWAG. What is the best T-SQL SWAG you have received? Usually, when I go to SQL Server events, I pick up the things that are useful like luggage tags or something fun for my grandson to play with. Of course, I have several Idera rubber ducks and picked up several foam rockets from Bridgewater that are fun. I even won a $200 gift card at a SQL Saturday a couple of years ago.
The best swag I ever received was .Net related. The story behind it means more to me than the actual item. Many years ago, 1996 to be exact, I went to work part time for my brother who has a computer shop in the town where I grew up. He had the only Internet service in town at the time and hired me to help start developing and hosting web sites. We had no idea where to even start, but we knew that we wanted the sites to be dynamic and database driven. I understood how to create an HTML page with links, tables, and images and started searching the web to figure out the rest.
My main source of information back then was Carl and Gary’s Visual Basic home page. Today social media makes the world seem very small as we connect to people near and far. Back then, it seemed crazy to me to reach out to these famous VB gurus, but I did it anyway. Being ignored by Carl and Gary was the worst thing that could happen. My question to them was, is there any possible way to use VB to create dynamic web sites. Much to my surprise, Carl and Gary responded. Look into Active Server Pages they said.
By January, 1997, I had created my first ASP site. This site was for a local real estate company. The site included a search for the houses and administrative functionality to maintain the information. I have always wondered if the site was one of the first dynamic real estate sites. Of course, it has long been replaced by a corporate site.
The experience I received in just a few months developing ASP sites allowed me to go to work for a consulting firm full time and leave my job in healthcare. I'm sure that the Y2K demand for developers helped me make the transition as well.
Fast forward a few years and I was a database administrator in St. Louis. Since I had started out as a developer, I kept track of the VB user group and went to the meetings from time to time.
I found out that Carl Franklin, the Carl from Carl and Gary would be in town to speak at the user group meeting. Of course, I had to attend and tell Carl thanks for the advice I received back in 1996. That night I did get to tell Carl that his advice helped me change careers from healthcare to IT in 1997. I ended up winning a .Net Rocks hoodie that night. So, maybe it is not the most exciting SWAG anyone has ever received, but it represents to me one of the many people who have helped me get to where I am today.