Last fall I attended my third Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) conference. It was an awesome experience, as usual. Great topics, great speakers, great friends, not-so-great karaoke. Before the conference there was the usual Twitter buzz about who was going, the keynote speakers, who was going on the photo walk, who was going on the SQL Run, etc.
It was during one of these exchanges that I got a chance to electronically meet and get to know Joe Fleming (twitter). He’s from Michigan, I’m from Wisconsin, and we struck up a pretty good rapport. During these discussions we found out we had return flights taking off within 10 minutes of each other. I suggested we split the cab fare and ride to the airport together. He agreed, and we looked forward to meeting each other at the conference.
We never did meet during the conference. We texted back and forth the last day of the conference, and we set up the cab arrangements. A little while later we rounded up two more SQL companions, as they also had early morning flights. These two were Jes Borland (blog | twitter) and Erin Stellato (blog | twitter). Midwesterners all, each of us having early morning flights to Minneapolis, Milwaukee, or Detroit. That Saturday morning I had the cab pick me up at the Westin, and we headed over to the Sheraton for the rest of the crew. I saw Joe immediately in the lobby, and we introduced ourselves. A few minutes later Jes and Erin followed. It appeared that Jes was sleep walking and in desperate need of coffee. It was 5:00 am, after all.
Anyway, we all climb in the cab and head to the airport. I believe Erin paid for the taxi (well, perhaps her company did, thank you again, Erin). Who would have known what the future held for us four SQL friends/colleagues.
I believe Joe was first. At the time of the conference he was with Raymond James, a Financial Advisor/Securities firm. Earlier this year he tweeted that he had left Raymond James for Autodesk, presumably for greener pastures. Jes was next. Sometime before the conference she was a DBA/BI person for Kimberly Clark. I remember long ago when my then-wife was quality manager for Coca-Cola. We’d get free Coke and Sprite all the time. Jes? She got toilet paper. 🙂 Anyway, it was shortly before the conference that Jes had tweeted and blogged about leaving KC for Blue Door consulting, a small marketing firm based in Wisconsin. And, just recently, she told us all that she had left Blue Door to become a consultant at Brent Ozar, PLF. How exciting to be working for and with some of the best SQL minds anywhere. Erin soon followed, letting us all know that she was leaving her senior DBA position at Hyland software for a new opportunity at SQLSkills. Exciting times.
Three down, one to go. As I posted in the TSQL2sday blog, I have very little to do at work, and change was brewing. So, it is at this time I can announce that I, too, am moving on. It’s been a long process, but I have agreed to leave my DBA position at National Guardian Life Insurance to take a similar position with Madison Gas & Electric. They are starting over with their DBA team, and I feel blessed and excited to be a part of that. More servers, bigger databases, up to date technology, more responsibility, and, most importantly, SOMETHING TO DO.
So, I wouldn’t say we were the Four Musketeers or anything like that, but it is pretty interesting that the four of us who shared a taxi that early October morning in Seattle have all moved on to what we hope are better jobs, happier times, and greater opportunities. I knew Jes pretty well before the cab ride, and I had met Erin a few times as well, and consider her a good friend, and I was happy to finally meet Joe and get to know him for that half-hour cab ride back to the airport. He and I have kept tabs on each other through Twitter ever since then.
I would like to thank all of you, all of you in this big SQL Server family; for in a way, your tweets, blogs, postings, musings, etc., have all helped me get to this point. I must thank Joe Fleming, for he has been following my status on this career change on Twitter. He has helped me stay focused on what has been a long, drawn out process. A big thank you goes to Jeremiah Peschka (website | twitter), who conducted the technical interview sessions. And, last but certainly not least, a thank you goes out to Jes, who is always upbeat, encouraging, smiling and just a great friend to know.
I’ll let you all know how it goes. After all, this blogging thing is kind of fun when you have something to write about, and I really believe I’ll have just a little bit to write about at my new company.