T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party started by Adam Machanic (t|b). This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Ewald Cress (t|b). Everyone is invited to this party. Participation is easy. Each month, members of the community write a blog post about the topic presented and post it on the second Tuesday of the month. This month’s subject is to give a shout-out to people (well-known or otherwise) who have made a meaningful contribution to your life in the world of data. For me, that goes way back and there are so many that I want to thank.
The two people I am thanking helped me build my career base. They helped me get started, encouraged me to continue to grow, and showed me that I could do anything. There have been many others along the way who have helped me with my career in various ways, but Jan MacLeod and Nancy Donelan McCall were there to get me started.
In the Beginning
After high school and a couple of years of college, I could not figure out what I wanted to do with my career. Rather than continue down a path that I was not excited about, I took a couple of years off from college to figure it out. I got a full time job working 8-5 in an office. The job was not great but I learned a lot of valuable lessons. Here I worked with Jan; a person who really pushed me and helped me advance my career.
First and foremost, I learned I was smart. I had doubted my ability to be successful but this experience helped me see myself in a new light. I was not able to make any advancement in this job because I did not have a college degree. I felt that I was had a lot to offer the company but the HR department told me I needed that degree.
The other thing that I learned at this job was that sexism still existed in the workplace. The company that I worked for still had the ‘Good Old Boy’ mentality in place. The men were managers and had offices with windows; the women were administrators and office clerks and worked in an open office setting together.
Jan and I had a long distance friendship. We worked together but all of our interaction was via phone and company mail. We talked about the work environment and she was my strength. She understood the environment and saw my potential. She helped me build my strength to move forward. I had a second opportunity to attend college and she was behind me 100%. She pushed me to be better and rise above the current situation. Jan was the first person after I had moved out of the house to help me grow as a person and build my career. After all of these years we are still friends and I will always be grateful for the support and friendship she has provided.
Best Supervisor Ever
Over the years I have had many supervisors, but Nancy was the one who really helped me get started on my database career. I had some database experience in previous jobs, but Nancy was the supervisor who took a chance on me and promoted me to an Access DBA. She made sure I had the appropriate training and encouraged me to continue to grow.
It was also when I was working with Nancy that I got my first taste of SQL Server. We had an enormous data center built in Microsoft Access that needed a more robust system. Again, she made sure I had the appropriate training to take our system and my career to the next level.
Nancy taught me so much about databases and data structure as well as soft skills. And there were so many little things that I learned from her along the way. Individually, they might not seem like much, but together they were all invaluable lessons. She also has been one of my biggest supporters as I have continued to grow my career.
Some people say it is luck, some people say we make our future. Either way, I have had some great people in my life supporting me and my career decisions. There is not enough space to thank them all. These two were there at pivotal times in my life/career and I would not be where I am today without them.