T-SQL Tuesday #96 – Folks Who Have Made a Difference in my career #TSQL2sday


This months TSQL Tuesday subject is a shout out and high-five to those people who have inspired or made a contribution to my DBA life.

So here goes:

Before I started my career as a Database Administrator I worked in the motor trade for approx 12 years , I worked with some great people and gathered some valuable experience. I was given some great opportunities within the trade and it was great to achieve my ambitions and for this I would like to thank Aaron Whipps, Stephen George and Jonathan Bischoff , there are others but these three in particular believed in me and saw potential in me and were willing to provide me with the opportunities to achieve my potential for which I will be forever grateful.

During my years in the motor trade I spent many hours at home working on spreadsheets and lost count of the hours spent cursing my formulas that would return #NAME? or #VALUE! but one thing that I always found was that I had this burning desire to keep plugging away until I got it right! and one way or another (generally with the help of google) I would end up achieving the result.

I loved spreadsheets , I also loved gaming too so there was one time where i decided to put my skills to the test and write an excel spreadsheet which would calculate race results from a Forza racing league which I used to race in (back in the days when i actually had this sort of time on my hands! 🙂 ) The sheet would automatically calculate the results, show the current championship standings and points deficit complete with funky car pictures which I would upload to our forum once a week after race day , Geeky I know! but i Loved it!




Spreadsheets were not the only thing that I got a buzz out of with computers, I also used to enjoy fitting new upgrades and fixing general issues such as internet connectivity and speeding up the computer in general (or at least that’s what I thought i was doing!)


Whilst working in the motor trade I used to liaise with our IT Support team on a regular basis to raise issues when things went wrong, I remember feeling jealous that these guys could remote in and fix issues on our side, there were also times when I knew how to fix the issue but had to sit and watch them remotely fix it , I really wanted to know what it was like to be that IT technician remoting in!


Now I know the motor trade is not on topic but to me this was a massive contribution to the way I am today – it helped me discover who I am as a person and also allowed me to see my own potential, It gave me the confidence to pursue something that was very close to my heart – I.T.


I have already waffled on for some time, there is more but hopefully you are still engaged – Pssst the DBA stuff is coming….


The data career part:

After jumping in feet first and accepting a job as a First Line Support advisor for a considerable drop in pay, I worked harder than ever before – but the funny thing is it didn’t feel like hard work! I loved the job but I was hungry for more.


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.


I would sit there at lunchtimes with a SQL book open cramming as much knowledge as possible, I didn’t even know what SSMS looked like at this point! but it didn’t phase me – I kept pushing myself.

I had a great manager who was very supportive , this helped to keep me focused – Thank you Lindsay Rogers 🙂

I became very competent at my job and it was being recognized, it was a great feeling! a few months past and an opportunity came up for second line support.


I got the job!!


I was over the moon with the promotion – this meant that I would be able to be more hands on with SQL – a language that I had become very fond of!


I spent approx 6 months or so working in second line support using the same work ethic as before, I was known as the sad guy that does SQL in his own time (it was all jokes) but it didn’t phase me, there was this passion about SQL that just kept driving me to keep learning and push my limits, before I knew it I was starting to write some meaningful SQL.


That same SQL now when I look back is terrible! haha! but at the time this was progress.


I Started getting noticed for my commitment to learning and self improvement and this was encouraged by my supervisor at the time Carlene Nicol she encouraged me to keep working hard which really helped me at the time as up until this point I was having to self critique so it was nice to get the encouragement.


Before I knew it I was solving difficult issues and helping others on a regular basis, I became very knowledgeable about the product and it was a great feeling.

Along came the next opportunity, Third Line Support – this was the big one for me , I was even doubting applying until I decided that I would rather fail trying than to not try at all!  There was some tough competition from internal candidates , I had pretty much talked myself out of the position whilst waiting for the successful candidate to be decided.

To my surprise, I got the job!! this was the moment that changed everything! I was now as high as I could go on the Service desk and the best part was – I now had direct contact with the Developers!!




Without going into too much detail the next Year and a half or so would see me develop my skills to a point where I started learning more about the database side of things, I started toying with indexes and tuning queries which became really infectious! I loved it! I needed to know more! the more I learned about Databases the more I wanted to learn!


I was fortunate enough to spend the day with Matthew White , he was our Senior DBA at the time – He was a huge inspiration to me, he was very knowledgeable about his job and very helpful but the best part was, he had so much enthusiasm for what he did – he absolutely loved his job and had no issues explaining concepts with you, Thank you Matt your enthusiasm for your job and your vast knowledge inspired me to keep trying and keep working towards my goal to become a Database Administrator 🙂


Fast forwarding on some months I managed to land a position within the company as a Junior DBA! I was over the moon, this was my chance to do this for real!




This is when I met @dbadavidfowler (David Fowler) – David is a complete geek, he loves all things SQL but that is not the extent of his expertise he has some great experience working as a Developer. I would like to thank David for teaching me the right ways with SQL , he has shown me many many best practices and has never been too busy to help me out or explain to me exactly how something works! It is David’s enthusiasm and diligence that inspires me , Its great to be able to share enthusiasm about SQL but the best part of all is being able troubleshoot effectively which is something that I have always wanted to be able to do. It is also thanks to David that I contribute to this Blog! thanks for giving me the nudge to get my first post out there!


Fast forward About 5 months and I landed myself the Database Administrator role!


Enter the Real world of Data!




I want to take the opportunity to thank Kevin Feasel @CuratedSQL.com, it was the features on Kevin’s site that helped encourage me to write more posts, Thanks Kevin – Its a great website and it has become a regular lunchtime read.


And last but not least a big thank you to my Mum, Dad, Brother and my Wife and Kids , You believed in me when I took the gamble in changing career and always there for me during the positive moments but also the moments where I doubted myself!


Right I hope that s everyone!  I’m off to work on my next blog post! 🙂


Thanks for reading 🙂





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