Mentor Me!

It was a hot sunny day, I was standing on a roof of a prison in Iraq in full battle gear.  The thermometer registered just under 120 degrees.  I was pouring sweat and reflecting on every decision I’d made up to this point which lead to this roof top…  Outside of the prison I saw a large truck which I knew to be a communications truck parking across the street, and when the door to the communications office opened I saw this massive cloud of cold air exit the vehicle.  It was then that I knew I wanted to work in IT.

Later that year I was working in our Operations Center and one of my more tedious jobs was updating 17 excel spreadsheets if something changed in 1 Iraqi Police Station…  I knew there was a better way to do this and Google lead me to databases.  It was one of those moments where I just KNEW this was the IT job I wanted.  Little did I know….

So after 12 years in the Army I received a bachelor’s in the closest thing I could find (MIS) and have partnered with Google up until now as my company’s sole DBA.  But I miss having that Sergeant above me guiding my learning.  Right now I’m reacting to every misstep I make, or that my developers makes.  I struggle to enforce best practices and guidelines because there has never been a full-time DBA here and everyone has always had ALL THE THINGS to do whatever they wanted.

I’ve been wanting, for all three years, to have a mentor, a Senior DBA, here to bounce ideas off of.  Someone to help me find what I’m looking for in Books Online.  Someone to say it is or isn’t possible.  Up until now I’ve been been able to find applicable blogs (and many more non-applicable blogs) relating what I need to keep the lights on, but I’m trying to drive us forward and incorporate better usage of our current systems.  That hasn’t been easy because there are constant fires, most of them don’t have anything to do with SQL but I get pulled in anyway because SQL is always to blame until I prove it’s not…


Paul we should sync up because I know that I learn better from a knowledgeable reference.  I want to learn how to first verify it’s not SQL, prove it’s not SQL, fix it if is, and even more I want to learn how to master the internals & how to more efficiently use and understand books online!  I’m also hugely interested in becoming a consultant, but I feel that I need to grow in my knowledge of SQL Server first.  I’m not looking for an easy button, nor a go-to guy for all of my work’s problems.  I’m looking for a mentor to help me develop my own process for becoming a better DBA & consultant in the future.


I hope we get a chance to work together!  Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself, and now I can tell everyone that Paul Randall read my blog!



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