Robert Pearl

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

Started out in a small shop that used Access as the backend, and connected to SQL Server via ODBC. I was then at a software company working the help desk, when client\server was new. Not many folks understood it – including the client sales people who had to sell it! The engineers would get frustrated that they had to explain it over and over again, and complained it took too much time away from their development of next generation software. They found a young willing help desk analyst who absorbed it right away, and could explain it in layman’s terms to both the clients and the sales people. I then became the gateway between the engineers and the sales people. Killed two birds with one stone. Gave presentations to sales, and helped the clients configure the software on the backend. I was supporting Oracle, Sybase, and SQL Server. I was then hired to a VAR in a SQL Server only shop, and the rest was history…

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

My favorite part of the gig is being able to come in and assess a SQL Server environment, and implement solutions that automate their daily DBA maintenance and monitoring tasks that makes life a whole lot easier for the DBA\systems people. (That’s why I created SQLCentric!) In addition, I can identify performance concerns and make best practice recommendations that usually optimize their SQL Servers fast! I’m amazed how many companies have the same old performance woes and the look and satisfaction of a client after I’m done is totally fulfilling to me.

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

If I could do anything else, I would probably write political opinion, international intrigue or science fiction novels. That’s me.

I might also quit what I’m doing and open up a chain of women’s couture clothing boutiques. Hey, what’s wrong with living out my wife’s dream? She really has an eye for high-fashion, good business sense, and really talented at this. Of course, I’d just have to get used to working with women all day. :-)

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

I simply enjoy spending time with my kids. We spent all last summer visiting all the Zoos, Aquariums, Amusement Parks, etc. They love going places, as do I. The interest and smiles on their face brings me real happiness and reminds me every day what this journey in life is all about.

One thing, I particularly enjoyed was, that my then 8-year old son was able to be a part of my SQL life, and spent the entire day at SQLSaturday#59 in NYC. He set the whole table up, filmed the presentations, helped pick the raffles, and even went to the after party. He was totally into it, to my surprise, and glad he could know what the heck SQL is!

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

One word: GOOGLE. It doesn’t look very intimidating – a very simple looking textbox on the middle of the screen, is probably the most brilliant concept since the Industrial Revolution – since the advent of the Internet at least! The search engine has changed the world even more so that the car engine! Is anyone concerned about Google? Google is the world’s leading collector of personal information. Combine that with Google Earth, and you have world domination. The ability track and store information of every living human on earth and pinpoint their whereabouts in seconds! Could this be the Beast of Revelation? Ok, I’m only half-kidding – please refer to #3, if I could do anything else, I would …. write science fiction novels J Hmm, maybe an idea!

On the good side, Google, gives me the ability to research any subject about any topic, and gives me instant results. No more trips to the library. This is good for mankind.

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

To unlock the secrets of the universe! At the very least, to cure and eradicate some of these horrible diseases, and enable longevity. I believe this is very much in the realm of possibility.

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

I did think I would be something different, other than what I am today. I’ve become more introspective. I’ve come full circle from my father’s son, to my son’s father (and girls). It’s totally eerie how history repeats itself in many ways. I was to be a scientist, a lawyer, a philanthropist, etc. But now, I’m a DBA :-) – Seriously, I find myself struggling to make something long-lasting, to leave to my kids, to raise them well, and to enjoy what I’m doing while I’m still here.

Something a bit different than the 9-5 rat race they call work. I don’t want to be at the same job working for someone else for 30 years until retirement. Not that it’s not admirable, just not for my personality.

I need to be constantly engaged in something new. My ideas churn faster than I can execute them, and it’s frustrating not to. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

Originally published .

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