It’s T-SQL Tuesday time and this is a good one. Read the invitation and proceed.
Who Influenced Me?
I’ve been working SQL Server for a long time. Since 1991, in fact, and had held 4 jobs as a DBA or developer by 1999. I was comfortable with the platform, and had actually published some articles in early 1999 for a small UK journal. My career was going well and I felt very comfortable with the platform (v6.5 in my company) at that time.
As a developer, I knew T-SQL well, and was still learning things from reading articles, but there weren’t many SQL problems I couldn’t come up with some solution for. As a DBA, I knew the tricks to keeping a large, busy instance running, including the DR tricks to ensure my restores worked well on new hardware.
I was lucky enough to get my company to fund a trip to the initial PASS Summit. I went, along with my wife and infant son, to visit Chicago. We went to Comiskey Park on the last ,day of the baseball season, braving chilly weather along with about 1,500 people to watch the White Sox. I’m not sure my wife has been to a game since…
In any case, my main memory of that event was being the basement of some hotel in downtown Chicago. There were a few rooms in use, and we packed into see sessions on various topics. One was delivered by Kalen Delaney, @sqlqueen, who was perhaps the person I saw as an amazing speaker and teacher. I’d read her Inside SQL Server 7.0 book, anticipating an upgrade. I was delighted to see her speak, and perhaps more thrilled to shake her hand and get an answer to a question.
That was quite a highlight in my career.
Since then I’ve seen Kalen speak many time, and we’ve become friends. I’m always glad to get a hug and a few words with her, but each time, I remember that early, semi-awestruck time when I met her.
She’s inspired me, both as a data professional and a teacher.
If you ever get the chance to meet Kalen, take a moment or two with her. You won’t regret making the effort to introduce yourself and ask a question. I know I haven’t.