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On Being the 2009 Exceptional DBA

By Josef Richberg,

What is it like being the winner of the 2009 Red Gate Exceptional DBA of the Year award?  Has it opened any new doors?  Has your career changed?  These are just some of the questions I have been asked since that time, and I would like to share the answers with you.

I entered the contest purely by accident.  I was surfing, as usual, and stumbled upon this contest about being an exceptional DBA.  I normally skip surveys and contests but looked at the questions and thought I should answer them.   I was curious to know if my idea of what makes an exceptional DBA was the same as someone else's. It was.

It  is gratifying to be the recipient of an award when you are selected for it by your peers.   I couldn’t cram for this or build anything to prove my skills; I had to put down on paper who I was and what my views were. I am just a person who feels that giving back to the community is vital. Learn something, pass it on.  Figure something out, pass it on.  The community that you feed will in turn feed you.

Previously, I had written for SQLServerCentral, sqlchicken.com/SQL-Universityand on my own blog; that was the extent of my writing experience. Since winning the award I have been presented with numerous writing opportunities, such as being asked to publish an article for Simple-Talk.  For some this might not seem very exciting, but I had never written a professional article before and many of these publications look for a more mature writer.  I was thrilled.  

My career has not changed, but that is by choice and new opportunities have been made available. A few recruiters have contacted me, noting that I had won the award and that they had opportunities for me.  I simply have no desire to move at this point.  I like my boss and the close knit group I work with.   I have the flexibility to write articles, attend conferences (health permitting), and grow as an individual.  Many colleagues at work, outside of my immediate group, have a new respect for me.  I have even found that management now listens to my comments with what seems to be a little more 'weight'.

As time goes on, there will be many more winners of the award, one per year.  I am proud to have won this award in 2009 and will remember this for many years to come.  I have my award on my desk and the immortal words of my son, which always brings a smile to my face and a warm glow to my heart: "Daddy, you won?  I am so proud of you."

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