I am a few weeks late getting to this but here we go. Paul Randal tagged a few people including me with this challenge to state what 3 events got us to where we are today. Here is my story:
I suppose the first event was when I decided to join the United States Marine Corps almost a full year before I graduated high school. I wanted to get into electronics and I wasn’t properly prepared for college so I decided to get my education in the military. I graduated top in my all my classes and was able to choose my final school which was one of the only component level technical tracks in the Marines. This is where I got my initial interest in so called personal computers. The first one I owned was a TI-99 which had a whopping 4K of memory and used a cassette recorder for the hard drive. I slowly migrated to newer, faster, better computers etc. over the years since then but this was my start in my technical and professional career.
While electronics was my bill paying career I started to learn various forms of programming languages on both Unix and Windows platforms and mostly related to databases. It was mostly a hobby and pretty much everything I learned about programming to that point was self taught with non paying or personal projects but the fascination grew more each day. When MS released Visual FoxPro 3.0 I started to really get into that tool. I was actually hooked on it and got pretty proficient at it as well. I was becoming less and less satisfied with my current job and the fact that I had to constantly atone to customers for features promised to customers that we had yet to develop. I saw this as an opportunity to venture into consulting doing something I loved such as programming and still have some control over which projects I worked on and promises made. Eventually the projects required a more enterprise level database and that led me to SQL Server.
The final event that really shaped my career was when I became a Microsoft SQL Server MVP back in 2001. The direct access to the SQL development team and the inside access surrounding the next versions of the product was simply invaluable in my growth of the knowledge related to SQL Server. With this insight I was able to perform my duties as a SQL Server performance and scalability consultant with confidence and skills that may not have been gained as quickly without it. Sometimes we just need to take advantage of breaks such as these to get the most out of your situation. I believe this was instrumental in getting me to where I am today.