This month the #TSQL2SDAY invitation comes from Kenneth Fisher (twitter). The T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blogging event that was created by Adam Machanic (blog|twitter) and is maintained by Steve Jones (blog|twitter). Kenneth Fisher who asks us to write about our first technical job. The invitation is in this post.
One summer, after my third year at the uni, I was working on my personal website with “funny pictures and jokes”. It was easy to do all of these static HTML pages manually when it was a small website, but when I started adding more and more content I ran out of time. I needed something more powerful. That was PHP. I could finally re-use my code and generate pages. However, the content was still in static text files. As it grew more and more I started looking into MySQL databases but had no idea how to tackle them. I used Microsoft Access before, but SQL was quite new to me. One day I went with my parents to the shopping mall, but it was a boring place so I went straight to the bookstore. I found a magic book called “PHP and MySQL - creating websites”. That was it, the only problem was it was way to expensive for me. I left the bookstore, my dad was just waiting outside and he smiled seeing me there. He got me the book. I spent my summer holidays learning about PHP and MySQL, when I got back to uni I had an Oracle course (or curse - don’t remember exactly).
My first technical job
The next summer, I decided not to come home for the holidays but needed a job to survive there on my own. I found a job posting for a “SQL programmer” at a small (almost) family-run company. Applied, as that felt like something I wanted to do (that’s what I thought at least). They hired three youngsters including me who were supposed to support customers’ MS Dynamics databases. I couldn’t code in anything but PHP, so was tasked with the SQL support on SQL Server. I loved it from the first minute. My experiences with MySQL were good, but the ease of SQL Server 2000 and Query Analyzer convinced me to SQL Server. My original plan was to be there at the gig just for the summer holidays, so I could back to the uni in October, however, it occurred that a person who interviewed me was leaving in September and they needed me to stay longer.I have been there for 18 months, doing SQL stuff every day. In my eyes - a dream job.
Second technical job
It was a difficult decision because I loved doing things with SQL, but there was an opportunity to join a big US corporation (I lived in Poland). That was a big deal because it was a big company, the team was in the US, and they required English (which I did not use at all in the past 4-5 years). The only thing I did not like about it was the “desktop support” role - I did not like to play with hardware at that time, I wanted to deal with databases, but hey, decided, I will take one step back and see if that helps me to grow professionally. Shortly after a big world crisis happened and all the projects we were supposed to work on were paused or cancelled. In the meantime, I started chatting with the only DBA in the office (all other folks were in the US). The urge to come back to the database world was so big and I started asking people if there is any way I could join him and the team. With help of all of them it happened and I became Database Engineer. Working mainly with SQL Server and learning how to do things in Oracle. It wasn’t the “SQL programmer” kind of job, but it was infrastructure. Building servers, migrating databases and all sorts of maintenance. My dream job :)
Since then I have always been working with databases, mostly SQL Server. My role names were different in each company, but I was doing the same kind of work.