Recently I was recommended to take part in the “Digital Generation” article in a very popular magazine in the Ohio Valley. This was my first invite to participate in a magazine so I was all in. The article profiled several people in the community and explained how digital technologies impacted their lives. I was shocked to find out I was the only IT Pro selected for this article. We have a lot of great IT Pro’s in the Ohio Valley so this makes the invite extra sweet.
For fun I am including the published profile and the questions I answered. If you enjoy the clip below and are intersted in how technology has improved Wheeling buy a copy.
Q: We need some basic information: Name as you wish it to appear in the article, Birthplace, Occupation (if willing to share) and Current city of residence.
A: John Sterrett is proud to call Wheeling, WV home. He currently resides in Elm Grove, but was born in Glenwood Springs, CO and moved around a lot as a kid while his dad worked in the oil and gas industry. John was raised in Bakersfield, CA and went to four high schools in Farmington, NM, Dallas, TX and Houston, TX. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. In his professional career John has had jobs as a software developer and database administrator at Deloitte, highschoolsports.net and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Q: Describe in detail how the digital revolution has affected your life (were you asked to participate in this because of an online business, job, social medium, meeting spouse online, was this the reason you moved to the area, etc.).
A:In 2006 I moved to Wheeling, WV to work for ScheduleStar, the company that ran highschoolsports.net, as a software developer. I learned a lot about the dotcom industry. I did well and had a great time. I will always remember Adolph Santorine bringing in investors and introducing me as his Senior Developer.
Recently I have leveraged new technologies and social media to progress my career, professional and personal life more than I would have ever imagined. At work I rely on Twitter to connect, share and learn from database administrators around the world. I can immediately solicit advice to solve problems that arise. I use my online blog to share what I have learned with others in my field. Twitter, Facebook, and blogging also help get the word out about events hosted by the Greater Wheeling Chapter of AITP; without them it would have been impossible to attract professionals to our first SQL Saturday event, a free conference for SQL users hosted in Wheeling last spring. SQL Saturday brought in 75 attendees, 9 speakers for 13 sessions. In my personal life, we rely on Skype to connect with our family members who live all over the country. It has allowed our parents to share in our excitement as my wife’s pregnancy progresses. Frankly, it’s amazing how much technology is changing how I do things and connect with people. I am constantly plugged in and I’m not sure how I would function without technology.
Q: Tell us how you stumbled into this? What were you doing before this impacted your life?
As a software developer and database administrator I relied on the internet to read about new technologies and innovators within my field. About two years ago I noticed many of my peers were using Twitter and blogging to communicate their ideas and problems. I want to be the best at what I do and beginning to Tweet and starting my own blog followed naturally as I aimed to strengthen my own presence in our field.
From my early youth I have always been interested in computers and despite my parents warnings not to touch our new computer I quickly became the family computer expert at the age of eight; I’ve been hooked on technology ever since. I later taught myself how to develop software by reading books at the public library and used my mother’s business phone at night to run a bulletin board system before the internet became mainstream.
Q: What would you be doing or where would you be if it were not for the digital impact on you life?
A:Without Twitter, Facebook, Skype, message boards and blogging I would still be working with technology but I wouldn’t be as efficient or as valuable as I am today. These technologies have given me a voice in my community and without them I might be the typical IT geek stereotype, a quiet guy with some computer skills who keeps to himself. I would probably need to limit my participation in my professional community because I would have to spend significantly more time, energy and money to promote and attend fewer activities.