My mail to SQL Sentry that will win me (yeah, right) a free seat to SQL Skills training!

The amazing guys @SQL Sentry (  are giving away a chance to win a free seat to SQL Skills Internals and Performance training (check out the details:

Of course, I decided to give it a try, so I wrote to the guys; you can check it below:

“Hello there.

Now, last night at around 2:30 AM I stepped down of bed, as the little ones (we have two kids) kept kicking me in the head for far too long. Since I’m a hopeless DBA, the very first thing to do is to open the laptop and check on the emails. I almost fell down from chair when I saw Paul’s email regarding your offer. And I said to myself ok, I’m still asleep and dreaming, let’s read that again in the morning. Which I did. And there it was, the offer.

I so MUST HAVE to be there! Let’s see why:

I live in Romania, which, by all standards, had a strict comunist regime until 1989. While it was strict in regards with computers (we didn’t even have a word for computer), there was a plethora of underground illegal stuff, such as cable TV. This way we got introduced to good movies with hot chicks. Movies that immediately after the Romanian revolution (December 1989 the revolution, early ’90ies for the rest of the story) turned into even more good looking chicks. Of course, the entire gang fell in love with such angels. Even back then we knew that we had no chance with them, but at least we could try to get something similar in Romania.

By all standards, none of us were quite hot-shots, so we decided that the best way to pick up gorgeous girls is to have money – a truth that happens to be the same worldwide. It also happened that unfortunately all of us were raised to be honest, not to steal, all that jazz, so we realized that we would have to make a career that would pay enough money to stand out from the crowd. There you go, we got into IT.

This was a big mistake for several reasons: as everywhere else in the world, the true hot shots never go to work, ever; as they say, if you work, you don’t have time to make money. But the worse was to happen: we all fell in love with this new… thing, which was computers. Not to mention that back then the Internet changed it all (yeap, I’m that old, I keep telling that Internet and internet are not the same). So before any of us could realize what’s happening, we pretty much forgot about the movies and the hot chicks and got our hands dirty into all sorts of things, such as networking (myself included) and programming (myself excluded).

Fast forward a few years later, around the beginning of the millennia, most of us were working in the IT field (by the way, it is still growing exponentially in Romania). Now, there is an old saying: he who can do, will do; he who cannot, will teach. Of course, most of the gang members got to work, while I got to teach (as a technical trainer in various capacities).

Quick jump into 2008: I got a job offer as a database administrator in SQL Server. Does it have icons? Can I work with a mouse? Yes. OK, I’m in. It was back then when I fell in love with the damn thing. Then I got to read great blogs from great people, such as Brent Ozar and Paul Randal, just to name a few. Back then, I would have said that thanks to them, I kept my love for SQL Server growing.

Another quick jump into 2011: I got another job as a SQL Server DBA, but this time the mouse was the least of my worries. Just to give you an example: guys, do any of you know anything about clustering? None of us did. OK, you have three days to pick it up, we’re migrating all of our databases to SQL Server 2008 clusters. We did pick it up.

This year (2012) I got to TechEd Orlando, only to make a fool out of myself in front of Brent Ozar (if you check his presentation, he makes fun of me for asking for a card to show his card to my wife).

To conclude: while in 2008 I would have said “thanks to these guys…”, this year I’m saying “because of these guys…”. Because of these guys I still love the damn thing (SQL Server, that is). Because of these guys I’m still wasting nights, trying to pick up things on the fly. You cannot imagine the sheer joy and happiness of my wife when I have to work to replace and consolidate the database servers almost every week-end.

So, if it’s all because of “these guys“, why not let them handle me? At least in part? They made me forget my initial goal, of being a hot shot, and turned me into some sort of a weird kookoo, trying to do his best. Worse part yet; because of them I got again into training, blogging, and trying to help other people.

I absolutely need this course (and not only): it will massively shorten the path to great knowledge and less work. I’m planning to that ASAP; right now, the kids are still calling me daddy, but with the crazy hours that I have to put, I’m not sure it will be the case in the near future.”

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