Paul Randal

1. Everyone’s an accidental DBA (or database professional) – what’s your story? How’d you become a SQLPerson?

I used to work for DEC in the mid 90s – I was responsible for the VMS file system and chkdsk equivalent (plus some other stuff). We then started writing a replacement for NTFS that was completely transactional. We had the guts of it work in 30k lines of code. Then Compaq bought DEC and decided we were an expensive group to run (we were in Scotland, and an offshoot of the OpenVMS engineering group in Nashua, NH). They decided to shut down our group and Microsoft sent a bunch of people over to recruit us (eventually snagging 8 of the 30 engineers). I eventually had a choice of working on NTFS, COM+, or SQL Server – and I chose SQL Server. I like to remind new folks that *everyone* started off with zero knowledge about SQL Server.

2. What’s your favorite part of your current gig?

Working with Kimberly :-)

3. Complete this sentence: “If I could do anything else, I would…”

Live on a desert island running a scuba diving and underwater photography outfit with Kimberly.

4. Complete this sentence: “When I’m not working I enjoy…”

… too many hobbies! Scuba diving, traveling, reading, building electronics, cooking, for instance. I’d say my primary hobby is electronics. See my alter-ego’s blog at

5. Complete this sentence: “I think the coolest thing in technology today is…”

The internet. I remember back in school (in Scotland) a crossword competition in The Times newspaper for school kids. I *wrote a letter* to a professor in Chicago to get some help figuring the American Indian name for a lake. One month later I got my reply. Where would we be without being able to almost instantly search the corpus of human knowledge? And from any device?

A close second are solid state drives. They’re going to revolutionize high-performance computing.

6. Complete this sentence: “I look forward to the day when I can use technology to…”

… travel much more quickly than today. I don’t think teleportation will happen any time soon, but hypersonic, parabolic flight between two cities, touching the edge of inner space would be great. Seattle to London in one hour. I’d also love to be able travel into space.

7. Share something different about yourself. (Remember, it’s a family blog!)

I like sheep. In a family-friendly way :-)

Originally published .

One Response

  1. Don’t keep us in suspense. What was the American indian name fora lake?

    I’m studying Cherokee, and the Cherokee word for lake is Vdali

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