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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

An Abbreviated History of Andy, Part 1


After Paul Randal (Blog@PaulRandal) tagged him in a post about the three events that brought him here, Brent Ozar (Blog - @BrentO) tagged me in his cleverly titled You may ask yourself, How did I get here? 

So. How did I get here?

1. Christy

I recently read an article about how some relationships help the people in them realize their potential. There is support for each other's goals and dreams, encouragement and freedom to pursue them. There is evidence that this support enables partners in such a relationship to achieve more than they would have without the relationship. (If someone can find this, please comment!)

When I read that I tweeted "This happened to me!" Christy supports me like that. Christy rescued me. She has faithfully supported and encouraged me, and I'm so in love with her I can't breathe without her. She's my other self.

Christy is my best friend. If I have a question about a thought or plan, I can (and do) talk to her about and get sound advice. She's a fantastic wife, mother, cook, blogger, and everything else.

2. My friend John.

When I was 10, my folks bought 3 acres of land between Blackstone and Amelia Virginia on which they placed a three-bedroom mobile home. Our neighbors were aging and one of their sons, John, retired from the US Air Force and moved back home to take care of his parents.

John was an electronics technician in the Air Force. When he came home, John bought and built a Southwest Technical Products M6800 computer kit. Although I cannot find an image of it, John first built a Motorola 6800-based trainer. For those unfamiliar with the term, a trainer is a microprocessor with bare-bones I/O. In this case, toggle switches for input and LEDs for output.

John saw I had an interest in what he was doing. He was a natural mentor and asked my parents if he could teach me about computers. They agreed and in May 1975 I began learning Motorola machine code. That Fall I learned BASIC.

John changed my life.

3. Brian Knight (Blog - @BrianKnight)

Shortly before Christy and I were married, I moved to Jacksonville Florida. After we married she joined me and we lived there for three and a half years. Stevie Ray and Emma Grace were born in Jax, and we still have good friends in the area.

While in Jacksonville I held three positions. The last was DBA manager at Allstate, where I worked for Brian Knight. I met Brian via email when I signed up for the Jacksonville SQL Server Users Group. Brian advertised a job opening at Allstate through his mailing list and I applied. I did not get the job but I did a decent interview, and Brian hired me when another position opened a month later.

I read somewhere most authors receive 70 rejections before their first acceptance. When Brian was working on the Professional SQL Server 2005 Integration Services book, he needed more authors and asked me to contribute. I was honored! Participating in that book project was a lot of work, but it changed my career.


I'd say those are the three most influential reasons that brought me to this place in my life. And Brent, my military experience would be fourth on this list.

I tag Joe WebbJessica Moss, and Jorge Segarra.


Published Friday, January 22, 2010 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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Brent Ozar said:

Ha!  I didn't know whether or not you'd been in the military, but I had a hunch.  Seems like whenever I meet a Southern gentleman who knows his sh*t yet remains humble and friendly, they've been in the Armed Forces!

January 22, 2010 8:52 AM

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