1. Everyone’s an accidental DBA (or database professional) – what’s your story? How’d you become a SQLPerson?
It was back in the late 90s and we were building on-line registration for the Air Force Information Technology Conference. The ’96 conference we used cgi-bin scripts written by a very brilliant Senior Airman (SrA) which outputted the registration information to text. In ’97 we wanted to do things better, and we moved to ASP and Jet. That led us to do a lot more coding in ASP, and the natural progression to Microsoft SQL Server. From the point I started working with SQL Server, even though it was 6.5, I was hooked.
2. What’s your favorite part of your current gig?
Probably the favorite part is I sit right next to the networking guys and in addition to routing/switching they are also responsible for perimeter security. We’ve spent a ton of time working together during my days as an infrastructure and security architect and one of the things you learn about folks is similar, but not identical, fields is they can bring a fresh take on a situation. This has helped both them and me as we can often discuss problems we’re facing, especially when we get “stuck” and the different perspective often leads to a new approach that usually leads to a very interesting solution.
3. Complete this sentence: “If I could do anything else, I would…”
… be a full time student pastor. I love working with children and youth and every time I do, it’s rewarding and I come away re-energized. They’re smarter than the world gives them credit for, they know more than they let on, and if you gain their trust, you start to see a glimpse of all that. For instance, something I posted to Facebook last night:
“These youth Bible studies often lead to interesting discussions. From the topic of legalism we diverged into alleles, genotype frequencies, recessive genetic disorders, and genetic mutations. We also managed to cover legalism, but one would never correlate the two.”
Keep in mind that I was working with junior high, meaning 6th-8th grade.
4. Complete this sentence: “When I’m not working I enjoy…”
… playing boardgames. There’s a whole lot more out there than Risk and Monopoly. A great resource is boardgamegeek.com. You can find me on there at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Toothpick+the+Ferret. I grew up playing Avalon Hill games and especially wargames. My first “real” boardgame I got when I was 6. It was a Napoleonics game called War and Peace.
5. Complete this sentence: “I think the coolest thing in technology today is…”
The advances that are being made to improve folks’ lives and cure/solve medical conditions. For instance, the work that’s being done with amputees or the discovery of prions with respect to diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disases”) and how the discovery of prions and knowledge of how they work are now being looked at in other degenerative neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
6. Complete this sentence: “I look forward to the day when I can use technology to…”
… effectively travel faster than the speed of light. Scientists are experimenting with this edge and claiming macroscopic violations of the speed of light in certain cases. Then there’s the whole idea of spacefolding, which has been around in science fiction literature for years.
7. Share something different about yourself. (Remember, it’s a family blog!)
I play flute. I’ve played since being put an introductory band class back in 7th grade and have stuck with it. I went on to play in high school and as a member of the Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes in college. Because of playing, I’ve had the opportunity to entertain folks such as former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, former senators Fritz Holling (Korean war vet), the re-enactor cast of the movie Glory the night before they interned the remains of the Massachusetts 54th Infantry at Beaufort National Cemetery. I’ve also had the rare privilege of playing for Medal of Honor recipients who belonged to the Washington Light Infantry and then interacting with them afterwards. That’s humbling.
Originally published .