A little Hungarian (or pseudo-Hungarian) notation is a nice touch to get us started, I think...
...and this blog will contain things I think about, questions I have, and thoughts about answers to these and other questions. It will also contain numerous typos (as I have not yet discovered the spell-checker) and the occasional double entendre - and maybe, just maybe, some humor.
Your responses are encouraged! Initially (at least), I am not moderating user comments. I do this for two reasons: 1) I like free speech and I'm prepared to deal with the consequences for now; and 2) If someone is so upset as to rant about something I have written, this is probably as good a place as any for them to do so.
Let's start with the history of Andy Leonard, part 1. I was born... wait, not that far back - we'll just skip to the technical highlights. :)
I learned Motorola 6800 machine code the summer I turned 12. That was a few years ago - back when we used to carve our own ICs out of wood. By the end of that year, I was coding in BASIC.
As a hobbyist programmer, I endured years of derision from professionals and peers for "not learning a real programming language." The simple truth was and remains: I've always liked BASIC.
I learned Visual Basic as VB 2.0 was being released and have stayed with the language as it moved into the realms of 32-bit development, classes, and native compilation.
At the time of this writing, I use VB.NET 2003 and 2005 beta for development work and play. Why? I still like it... probably for the same reasons I like chocolate ice cream.
I - like many of you - became a DBA completely by accident. Until very recently, I would not even refer to myself as a DBA (... my opening line at the first interview for my current DBA job: "I don't consider myself a DBA." I'm not kidding.). The first clue that I may, in fact, be a DBA came at the 2004 PASS Summit in Orlando. I told people my job was to tune a 1.6 TB SQL Server 2000 data warehouse so 90 users could write ad hoc queries and then witnessed aghast expressions on the faces of folks whose names I had been reading on TechNet for years.
I can - and likely will - share more about the methodology employed to tune the aforementioned data warehouse in this blog. The secrets to my success lie in my engineering background... digressing a bit:
Programming was a hobby until the 1990's. My trade at that time was electronics technology, which still brings immense enjoyment when I have the time to breadboard. I was lured into manufacturing by the opportunity for more challenges (money) and found a new home in industrial automation. It was here that my hobby became a profession.
After a few years in industrial automation, I decided to strike out on my own. I wrote one of the first completely web-based manufacturing execution systems (MES) and formed a business to market it. Things went well with the business for about five of the six years it was active. Suffice it to say that a general decline in the manufacturing economy created less opportunity for more challenges.
I re-entered the workforce as the tech bubble was collapsing, so it made sense to get certified. The MCSD got me enough second interviews to justify the expense. Plus, heck, I like having letters after my name.
I was born in Virginia but now live and work in Jacksonville, FL. The weather's nicer here - plus I'm a beach person. The coolest part about living in Florida (besides the hurricanes) is calling my brothers back home during the Fall and Spring and asking about the weather up there. They hate me. And since they're all bigger than me I can never return.
So, that's my opening post. Comments? Questions? Bring 'em on!