The second round of UnSQL Friday is here and the topic is so good I am typing while I eat lunch rushing to beat the deadline to get this in. UnSQL Friday was created by Jen of @MidnightDBA’s to provide an avenue for SQL Bloggers to focus on a non-technical topic. The topic is as follows:
“Read this blog, and then write whatever you want about Tech Giants. Be sure to mention in your blog that you’re writing for Un-SQL Friday, and link to this post. Oh, and have it up any time before the weekend (Saturday Jan 22) hits, mmkay?”
Jen said, to write about whatever I want so here we go! I am using this venue as an opportunity to say thanks to a bunch of people who have helped become who I am today. I will also explain how they fit into my definition of a Tech Giant.
There are several other people I could include but I have a deadline so I will have to find another way to thank them later.
What is a Tech Giant?
This definition is subjective and will be defined differently from blogger to blogger so here is my definition. To me a Tech Giant is someone I look up too within IT; someone who has helped me out; someone who is mentoring me; someone who is mentoring me without even knowing that they are mentoring me.
In no particular order here is a list explaining why these individuals peeps are my tech giants:
David Hoerster, Eric Kepes & John Hidey
David Hoerster, Eric Kepes & John Hidey: These are three stand up .NET developers who are highly involved in Pittsburgh .NET User Group and the Pittsburgh code camp for years. To this day I will always remember my first code camp four years ago. The next year they gave me my first public speaking opportunity. Every year the Code Camp in Pittsburgh gets bigger and bigger. This year there were two code camps with over 150 attendees. David, Eric and John showed me first hand how important it is to give back to your technical community.
Side Note: How the heck are none of these guys a Microsoft MVP? This almost makes me question the MVP program. I am going to do my part in correcting this by nominating them at the Microsoft MVP site.
Thomas LaRock aka SQLRockStar
Tom LaRock: Last year Tom asked the community if anyone wanted to have a mentor on his blog. I jumped on this opportunity and we have been skyping (is this actually a word?) monthly. His book (check out my review) and those sessions have shaved years off my learning curve moving from a developer to becoming a valuable Production DBA.
I finally meet Tom in person at the 2010 SQL Pass Member Summit. He introduced me to almost everyone in the community that week. It’s weird, in a way I feel like he is my older brother from another mother.
Tom also has a great blog. In my opinion it’s one of the most entertaining technical blogs out there because he does a good job teaching with stories. A perfect example is “Everything I Needed to Know about Waits and Queues I learned From the TSA.”
Side Note: Other than his addiction to bacon and being a Patriots fan he is a great guy! Can you tell I am a die hard Pittsburgh Sports Fan?
Brent Ozar: I ran into Brent virtually two years ago at the Pittsburgh SQL User Group. At the end of his presentation he challenged the crowd to start blogging. I found his intro to blogging series and gave it a try. A little later I was hooked. Brent made me a syndicated blogger at SQLServerPedia. People will see this blog post because he took a chance on a new blogger.
Its amazing how much time and energy he puts into the SQL PASS Community with his presentations and blog posts. His blog is a great resource for SQL Server, Professional Development, Speaking and Blogging. Did I mention that he also co-authored one of the best SQL Server books (its the image on the left side)?
Side Note: I am working on creating a VMWare Workstation image right now due to his blog post on “How to rehears a Presentation.” Brent, I will be shooting you some question soon
Andy Warren: The first SQL Saturday in West Virginia wouldn’t have happened without Andy’s help. Andy and I had several phone calls where he gave me the guidance I needed to make it happen. He helped me from the point where I wondered,can I make this happen up to the week of the event. Now, I have spoken at three SQL Saturdays and am adding another one to the list next week. I don’t think this would have happened without Andy’s support.
Side Note: At SQL PASS Summit I learned that Andy is referred to as the godfather of SQL Server. I am not sure why this is true. I will have to follow-up with more at a later date.
Justin Siebert: There is no way I am going skip the great state of West Virginia. And there is no one better qualified than Justin. He started his own consulting company to provide Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. He now does business with Fortune 500 companies. He is a big supporter of LAMP and is doing great things with WordPress. His website is a perfect example.
Once he found out I was interested in blogging he talked me into using WordPress. Justin gives me several tips on WordPress and SEO and has never asked for money. He also pulls me aside every once in a while to make sure I am focused on my goals and heading down the right path.
Side Notes: some people call Justin by his name. I call him the SEORockStar. Justin and I might be the only remaining die-hard Pittsburgh Pirates fans left in Wheeling (Yes the owner Bob Nutting also lives in Wheeling).