Ok, so it’s a year and change.
In November 0f 2010, I was working at a small distribution company with the best group of people you could hope to serve (mostly), but with a limited technology environment.
Things that could be done so much better went undone, or done very inadequately, because of a technically stunted platform. Things that I was accustomed to having in my “windows Toolbox” for the past decade were regarded as “new toys” in the Linux/FOSS world that I was contained in. I can’t tell you how many times I ran into a fellow employee who was SO excited to have found some “new toy” in the Java API stacks that didn’t leave me thinking to myself (very, very, quietly to myself), “Cripes,… we’ve been doing that in Visual Studio for the past DECADE! We solved that problem ten years ago!”
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve continued to solve quite few pesky problems in Java, but they tend to be things like connecting to a arcane 20 year old aviation database product that nobody uses anymore except us. But most of our new development is in platforms such as Sharepoint, Hyper-V, VMWare, Failover Clustering, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Oracle, MS Office, etc.
I was not really in a position to make changes, and really, I would not have even had I the opportunity. The “old tech” was not challenging, nor “sexy”, but it did get the basic job done…. But only that: the “basic” job. It just wasn’t to the level of quality or performance that I was accustomed to delivering. I spent most of my time trying to reinvent wheels in Open Source tools that Microsoft chiseled out of the stones of the 1990′s. And making changes to the corporate philosophy was out of my reach.
So, I began by fantasizing. What could I do if I was willing to walk away from this GREAT company and step into MUCH larger shoes?
From there, (after a rather nasty split – and a completley unnecessarily nasty split at that) I went to Housing and Urban Development as a MS SQL Server DBA working on terabyte class servers with cutting edge technology. And at the end of that (it was a government contract with a clear end date), I ended up at an international airline company that had a fleet of Boeing 767s and 777s, as well as a compliment of Learjet 35s and 45s, and a Bombardier Legacy 600. And, I added $30k to my salary, and more than doubled my resume creds.
The stress level is higher because an international airline company is quite literally a 24/7/365 job. I used to have to quit sharp at 5:00pm. Literally. And, I must admit, I kinda got spoiled by that. But then again, I thrive on busy-ness, and I definately have that now.
So… wow! What a year has brought! All because Brent Ozar challenged me to take the next step.
Glad I did.