New Beginnings, New Adventures

Life, as we all know, is a journey. We start out figuring out the world. Trying to understand how to do basic things like eat solid food. Throughout this journey, we make goals, even if we do it subconsciously. When our parents start switching us from bottle to solid food, our goal is to survive, so we learn to eat solid foods. Our parents sat across the room from us and called us to come across the room, so we set the goal that we were going to get to them. So we crawled. Then we walked. Later in life, our goals get more difficult. Learning to talk. Learning to read. Some goals take longer to accomplish than others. Fast forward to our adult lives, we begin to have multiple types of goals, like personal, family, or professional.

I’ve had many goals over the years. Early on in my career, I had a lot of doubters. Those people, supervisors and coworkers, that didn’t believe I would ever amount to anything in the IT field. That frustrated me and pushed me to go above and beyond to be the best I could be at my job. Now that job has evolved over the years until I settled in to a career in data and analytics, specializing in Microsoft technologies. I still had that drive pushing me to be better, pushing me to be the best I could be. I wanted to learn everything I could. I wanted to be a professional that others looked at as a resource. I was able to get my start working with a great team at Elmira College with folks like Scott Lowe to start in a basic role of Report Writing. After a few years, and some self reflection, I realized that being the best isn’t what it’s all about. It’s also about using your knowledge to help others improve as well. That’s truly what makes you a great professional. So I started networking in the SQL Server Community and joined the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS). Soon after, I built up enough courage to begin to speak. I started traveling regionally to do SQL Saturdays and other conferences in Florida like Code on the Beach. Through the relationships I made in the community with people like Adam Jorgensen(b|t), Brad Schacht(b|t), Devin Knight(b|t), Brad Ball(b|t), Jorge Segarra(b|t), and David Ortiz(t), I learned the value of the community and continued to give back.

Those connections allowed me to meet others in the community and begin to build relationships in the community and eventually begin a career in consulting. I started my journey with Pragmatic Works in 2014. Over my time, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work on amazing projects and evolve my career. When I started I had some good experience in Business Intelligence, Big Data, and the DBA field. After just two short years I’ve grown.

A great evening at the 2015 PASS Summit
A great evening at the 2015 PASS Summit

I’ve architected multiple BI solutions. I’ve helped organizations build multiyear roadmaps for expanding their usage of Hadoop. I’ve assisted clients in upgrading and building out their data platform solutions. I expanded my career. I’ve worked with clients in Azure to bring their organization to the cloud, and in some cases, scale out their existing cloud solutions. I’ve built training classes and delivered them to students. I was able to go from a SQL Saturday presenter, who wasn’t sure if he was good enough, to delivering a pre-conference session at the PASS Summit last year with Brad Ball. I have been able to work with people that blow my mind, and I feel humbled to have done so.

TFD-Logo-400x398As I continued to grow, Tech Field Day entered my life. Tech Field Day is a premier showcase for technology vendors to show what projects they are working on and are bringing to the market.  They present to a panel of delegates who are influencers in different areas of IT, the presentations are live streamed. The delegates interact with the vendor during their sessions. I’ve had the great honor to be a delegate for Tech Field Day on multiple occasions.

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There comes a time in every adventure when it must end so that the next can begin. I have been given a great opportunity to join Microsoft, and I have accepted it. This begins my next new adventure, as I join the Premier Support for Developers team. I will be working with great people like Brad Ball(b|t), Jorge Segarra(b|t), Chris Price(b|t), Kendal VanDyke(b|t), and many more. It’s an opportunity for me to spread my wings, work with another great team on new and different projects and challenges, and continue to connect with some of the brightest minds in IT. With this opportunity comes the bitter sweet realization that one adventure must end for this new one to begin. I have had the amazing opportunity to work with some of the best consultants and best people the SQL community has to offer, while at Pragmatic Works. I’ve made life long friendships that I plan to keep forever. I will always be grateful for the opportunities Pragmatic Works has provided me, both personally and professionally.

Now on to this new beginning and the new adventures that await me. But first, off to the store to buy more coffee filters.