They might have taken different paths running up to their nominations, but all three recipients of the Exceptional DBA of the Year award agree that the recognition has changed their lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined.
For 2009 winner Josef Richberg, the award opened doors to opportunities he would not have had otherwise:
"Being recognized by your peers is the highest honor one can receive. I have been given the opportunity to give virtual presentations, write (Simple-Talk), blog (SQL Server Central, SQLServerPedia) and network with a very large and supportive SQL twitter community. It is an unbelievable community that has become an extended family."
Recognition and offers
Tracy Hamlin, reigning 2010 winner, has become a board member of her local PASS group and started a new position a month after last year's award ceremonies at the PASS Summit.
"I had several people recognize me at the PASS Summit and the opportunity to meet so many new people. After receiving the award I had several new job offers and was thrilled to submit some SQL scripts for Red Gate's SQL Scripts Manager tool. The recognition has given me new confidence and the drive to accomplish even loftier goals."
Reaching another level
Dan McClain, the 2008 winner, experienced benefits that are still evident nearly three years later:
"It brings another level of 'wow' to my resume, like having a special certification. Since receiving the award I've made a couple of great job changes, done local speaking and participated in community events. It has personally increased my confidence level."
Make yourself an exception
All three past winners offer essentially the same advice to those considering a nomination for Exceptional DBA of the Year: Do it!
"If you believe you are an exceptional DBA, nominate yourself," says Richberg. "How else will others come to know you? If you believe someone else is an exceptional DBA, nominate them so they can become known."
Hamlin, who was nominated by a colleague for the award, says DBAs should not sell themselves short.
"I was so grateful to be nominated for the award, but inside thought I would never have a chance to win because there are so many amazing and well-known DBAs out there."
Raise the community
While the personal recognition is great, all three see the awards as a chance to create more visibility and support for the DBA community.
"Please don't hesitate to go for the award," says McClain. "We need to bring more awareness and resources to our local communities."