Getting over the Hump

I hope to give you a little background on myself in the first few posts as well as catch you up to speed on where I am today and how I got here. While this may not seem technical a sense, I believe that’s important for those who are embarking on the journey from the beginner mindset. Everyone has been there at one time or another, and the more resources they have the better chance that something will click.

After sitting in the IT World for so long and becoming someone who knows a little about a lot, I decided it was a good time to become the guy who knows a lot about a little. Having a wide range of knowledge has its advantages, but if you really want to excel in your career it helps to have at least one primary focus. One thing that you are as good at/or better than anyone you know. If you are not there and you are working on it, then that’s the same thing. Personally, I felt that it was time to try and become a SQL DBA Master and that’s how I started the journey.

It was a blessing in disguise that I was asked to look over a problem that had been occurring with SQL Server 2000 at my new job. I had not done any work with performance tuning, and my experience with SQL Server involved creating the database and items lower than that. I really dove into the deep end with a passion, and found that this was something that I enjoyed doing. I learned some things the hard way, but that is how it goes sometimes. If you haven’t experienced a moment where you realized you “don’t know it all” then I welcome you to have a moment and come back in a few minutes. I had found the area that I wanted to pour myself into and try to become the best I could be.

I had been holding onto the 70-431 Self Paced Training Kit from Solid Quality Learning for several months trying to set goals only to see everything else get in the way. Never mind the fact that I had a young child and pregnant wife so my responsibilities were many. It was real easy to put the book aside and play with my little boy. As I stated in my earlier post, the ebook from Brad helped get me over the hump. It was time to put in the sacrifice to become an exceptional dba. For me, that meant putting a great deal of effort to learning from the 70-431 book and getting ready to take the MCTS : SQL Server 2005 Implementation and Maintenance exam. I also determined that it help me a great deal to go ahead and pay for the testing fee and set a date in the near future to take the test. If an emergency came, I could always move it back if I had to. What I found that is even when an emergency(a death in the family and a flight back from Florida the day of the exam) came, I was still so passionate about getting this under my belt that I went ahead and took the test and passed. Getting that first certification was a big deal for me since it gave me confidence and the energy to move forward. Throughout this whole time, I was dedicating 2-3 hours a night to studying and trying to learn. For someone with ADD and a terrible memory this was a huge step for me. In my opinion, this journey takes sacrifice. It takes learning how to manage priorities in a way that I could have never imagined myself being able to do. It means making a committment and being ready to stick to it. I hope that I can one day inspire someone the way that Brad’s ebook inspired me.