I'll take a moment to introduce myself as well... I started working with Microsoft SQL Server before it belonged to Microsoft. In 1991 I was a Windows developer who built reporting applications using a Sybase back end. I did my own DB coding on my Sybase database server running 4.xx-System 10 on a $250k Sun 690 with 256MB Ram). My boss, cool guy that he was picked up a new fangled Intel based box (dual core 486 50Mhz with 64 MB Ram) and we installed Windows NT 3.5 and SQL Server. I loaded the database I was running on the Sun 690 onto this new box. When it outperformed the Sybase on the Sun 690 I knew immediately that I needed to look more into running DB's on Windows.
Yeah the early days were pretty rough, but I was impressed enough to take a job with MCS a couple years later. I've been with MCS for almost 13 years. During that time I've worked across the US and even across the world (US East and West, Jakarta, UK, Bolivia, Guatemala). I started in Phoenix and after three years moved to the BOOMING metropolis of Boise, Idaho. The only things I enjoy more than technology are the infinite outdoor activities I enjoy in Idaho. With my family I love to backpack, ski, snowboard, hunt, motorcycle, fish and sail. All of which can be done within 30 minutes of my home, and the last two we even do in our back yard. Living in a smaller metro geography does mean that I have to travel occasionally but the tradeoffs are more than worth the cost.
I attended the inaugural SQL Ranger training program in 2006 and survived... barely. I didn't really start to "give back" to the program until last year when I helped out on the 4 Ranger rotations. Later I, along with several others from MCS, helped re-configure the training for MCM. I'm still not full time with Per, but plenty dedicated to the program. As an early participant I have a huge desire to see it be successful for the community. With the help of MANY from the community, we've made some large strides from the early days of the training, and expect to hit our stride over the next rotation in March.
Anyone contemplating should definitely plan for a challenging yet overwhelmingly rewarding experience.
My motto in life is “work hard and play hard”. Each year I carve out some time to completely disconnect from technology. I head for the back country where I spend about 10 days rafting/fishing over a hundred miles of Alaska wilderness, some of the most remote areas in the world. There are no guides, no human contact other than my group. The experience requires huge preparation. The physical demands are significant, the weather and elements can be horrendous, and the physical risks are real (class 3-4 rapids, bears, no way out except down river). The reward however is incomparable. With the proper amount of preparation, huge physical effort, and unyielding mental tenacity, the experience is life altering. LIKEWISE, the SQL Masters Training program can be just as life altering if you are willing to take the steps to prepare, work you proverbial butt off, and endure the stresses of study and work that at times seem overwhelming.
Have you got what it TAKES to earn the MCM SQL 2008 Cert? Put your money where your mouth is and join us in March! Do the work and bring home a trophy you can brag about.