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What three events brought you here?

Recently Paul Randal posted What three events brought you here? He bascially ask "what three life-direction-changing-events" have brought you to where you are today?

Which is a very interesting question that comes up from time to time at the 'After Event' for the Jacksonville SQL Server Users Group.  I'm always interested in people's stories of how they became DBAs.  While most of the stories I hear are of Accidental DBAism, the details of the story are never the same and are very intresting. 

After reading SQLRockStar's blog (Thomas Larock)  I thought I shoud list my three events as well.


Event 1.  My father's interest, a lifelong event. 

Pop is an 'Engineers' engineer.  He can read an electrical schematic like nobody’s business, build anything, and fix anything.  If he doesn’t know it, he just needs a little reading time and a technical manual.  Dad was in the Air Force for 22 years so I grew up in 'on base housing'.  Have you ever over heard little kids bragging about their dad?  Mine's a cop.. Mine's a fireman..  Enlisted Air Force kids do it a bit differently and the measuring stick was what their dad knew and what their dad could fix, from a washer and dryer to the family car to jets and helicopters.  

Craig Gleason 1982 @ Kirtland AFB in New Mexico 
[Show above is a photo take in 1982 of my father leading a team of technicians who are fixing a Jolly Green Giant helicopter.]

I was very influenced by my Dad's interest in the following areas: aviation, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and technology gadgets in general.  When I left home, I joined the US Navy and worked as an avionics tech on S-3 Vikings stationed out of Cecil Field in Jacksonville.  My values and intrest are that of my fathers.  Even my brother is a DBA.

[Shown below is My idea of a *BIG date* for my future wife in 2001: a day flying gliders.]


Event 2. First Coast Medical Group and Frank Nosalek

When I left the Navy, I took a job working as a network administrator for Frank Nosalek, who was the IT Director at FCMG.  He had built a massive IT Knowledge base within Access 95.  He opened my eyes to power of a database by keeping ALL the information IT Support needed in his database.  He taught me one of the greatest and simplest truths.  "A company lives and dies by its data".  Bad data = bad business decisions = failed company.  That was my introduction to databases.


Event 3. The University of North Florida

UNF's Computer Science department hired a very brilliant and young teacher who made our senior project very scary.  Design and Implement an On-line School System using PHP and Mysql.  UNF didn’t have a Php class and our exposure to databases was limited to two classes, Database 101 and database 102.  Our teacher told us that 1. On line, multi tiered websites were the future and 2. in the 'real' world, if you can't adapt to the current technology, you will be left behind.  No one will hold your hand and spoon feed you the knowledge.  He provided all support needed for the project managers portion of the class but, when it came to the technology, he made us "go figure it out" for ourselves.  The result was I taught myself 'mysql' and I haven’t stopped making myself learn about databases since.


Just as Paul did in his post, I'm going to tag a few of my friends to 'go next'.

Brian Knight,

Patrick Leblanc,

Mike Mollenhour,

Jorge Segarra


 I'd like to know "What three events brought you here".

:-) Scott Gleason

Categories: SQL Server
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