How I got started in IT

I was tagged by Brent Ozar in his post Starting the SQL Journey where he talked about how he got started as a SQL DBA.  So here’s my story, in all its glory.

My first IT job was actually back when I was still in High School.  I was hired (along with a friend of mine) to upgrade our school libraries server from Novel to Windows NT 3.51 and to install a machine with supported by BNC and Ethernet (the older machines were BNC and still needed to be used, but they also wanted to use Ethernet for newer computers).  All of this was to support the card catalog software and to provide Internet access to workstations in the library so that students could have Internet access.  Pretty progressive for a public school in 1995.

My first professional job was for Earthlink Network, Inc (now Earthlink, Inc).  I started there in the Tech Support department answering calls.  I moved up into the Senior Tech Support group, then moved around the several different teams finely landing in the Call Back department.  Our job was to handle the calls that that the other Senior Support groups couldn’t handle, and to work with customers for as long as it took to get the problem resolved.

This group is where I really got my first introduction to databases.  All the scheduling of calls was handled via paper slips in an in-box on someones desk.  Needless to say we got over scheduled all the time which made for some unpleasant phone calls to customers.  I put an Access database together which would allow the other Senior Tech Support teams to schedule call back agents time for a call.  We even had scheduling in the system so that on days that we only had a couple of people working they could schedule less work for us than on days when we had higher workloads.

After this I became a database developer for the Tech Support reporting team.  Our job was to design and build apps which the call center group could use to improve productivity and to reduce costs, as well as produce and deliver reports to the management and executives.  We started with Access, but within a couple of months out grew Access, and moved to SQL Server 7.

I bounced around a few parts of the Tech Support department for the next few years always managing the same services and systems, always doing the same thing.  Just reorg after reorg moved our equipment and personal from one manager to another.

After getting laid off as the .com bubble burst I moved on to IT departments in various industries, from video game companies, home finance, auto finance, and social networking.  I’m fortunate enough that my current company allows me the time and freedom to do pretty much as much work with the SQL Server community as I want to.  Which I’ve been able to do a lot of over the last couple of years.

I’ve decided that I’ll tag a couple of friends of mine that I have met through the SQL Community.

Denis Gobo (Blog | Twitter)
Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter)


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