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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

I Start!

I originally titled this post "I Quit!" but decided that doesn't set the proper tone and definitely does not match my feelings about the upcoming transitions in my life. "I Start!" is much more appropriate! 


I've tendered my resignation from the position of Manager, ETL Team, Data Management Group, Molina Medicaid Solutions effective Friday 14 Jan 2011.

"There I Was..."

In 2008 my consultant billable-days - the metric I use to determine how business is going - dropped from 20 / month to 2 / month. I made good money as a consultant, but not enough to live on 2 billable days per month. So I climbed into the cube.

I contacted and met with Ben McEwan, a manager (at the time) with Unisys. I'd met Ben a year earlier and enjoyed an instant rapport with him. We talked, haggled, interviewed, and negotiated for a few weeks; and I agreed to go to work for Ben. That's an important distinction: I didn't go to work for Unisys, I went to work for Ben.

For those who do not recognize the name, Ben wrote the book from which I learned Transact-SQL: Teach Yourself Transact-SQL in 21 Days. For two years, Ben mentored me in business communication, strategic thinking, management, game theory, and SQL Server. He said he would do that when we talked, and learning from Ben was the reason I accepted the position. In fact, this was so widely known that when Ben resigned from Molina Medicaid Solutions earlier this year, I was instructed to immediately communicate my intentions to upper management. They wanted to know if I was also going to leave.

Working for Ben was a pivotal experience in my life and career. Thanks Ben!

Adam Machanic and From Zero To SSIS

Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic), one of our gracious hosts and my primary point-of-contact here at, contacted me earlier this year about delivering SSIS training for his company, Boston SQL Training. I'd been working on a course called From Zero To SSIS and this was the perfect excuse to update it to SQL Server 2008 R2. So I took some vacation time from my day job and delivered a three-day version of the course at the Microsoft Training Center in Waltham Massachusetts in October.

I had a blast!

Preparing for this delivery was a serious kick in the seat of my pants. Adam and I worked together to put on the class, and I learned much about the details of such an endeavor. Adam's transparency with me, advice, and flexibility resulted in a successful delivery of From Zero To SSIS. This got me thinking it was time to make the transition into full-time training and consulting.

Thanks Adam!

Andy Leonard Training

I decided to deliver the five-day From Zero To SSIS course in December 2010 - and to do it in Farmville Virginia. I took more vacation from work to deliver the training. But that wasn't the important part. The important part was this: The advertising for that course brought several inquiries for training, mentoring, and consulting opportunities.  

I started thinking "What if...?" while following up on the inquiries. As ever, I was transparent about my current situation - that I would be leaving a full-time job and would therefore need to coordinate the transition. I found those with whom I spoke willing to work with me and refreshed by this transparency. As a result, I was able to establish Andy Leonard Training in November 2010 with work queuing for Q1 2011!


If you're interested in learning more about SSIS I offer training and mentoring services. If you're looking for some help building an SSIS project or technical team, I offer consulting services. You can reach me at



This set the stage for some radical changes in my plans for 2011. I can do more community stuff, for example (like SQLPeople!). There's more, but I will save that for future posts.


This is a tip-of-the-iceberg post. There's a lot more going on in my life, community, and work. It's challenging me on every level: spritually, intellectually, emotionally, technically. I'm excited about these changes and challenges, and look forward to 2011!


Published Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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Luke Hayler said:

Congrats Andy!

Good luck with the new venture, am sure that with your skills and your network you will not be short of opportunities!


December 30, 2010 7:07 AM

Michael Crump said:

I said this on Twitter, but wanted to say it again. Congratulations! I always believe that you should go where your heart takes you. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

December 30, 2010 7:07 AM

jonmcrawford said:

That's great, congratulations! But....dammit! ;p

December 30, 2010 7:55 AM

Matt Greenslade said:

Recessions divide the leopards from the lambs. Be confident of your success because its clear that you have a lot to offer.

December 30, 2010 8:36 AM

Ben Thul said:

Congratulations!  It might be time to change your "About andyleonard" blurb. :)

December 30, 2010 8:47 AM

John Sterrett said:

Congratulations!  I am excited for you. I am glad we got the chance to meet in person at SQL Saturday in DC.

December 30, 2010 11:09 AM

Jack Corbett said:

Exciting times Andy.  I'm sure you'll do well.

Wish I could take your course and perhaps in the next year or so I will depending on my circumstances.  

December 30, 2010 11:24 AM

Jeff Rush said:

Congrats on the change Andy!

I look forward to tracking your success!

December 30, 2010 12:04 PM

Ralph Wilson said:


Let me add my congratulations, as well!  

You tempt me to start thinking along the same lines. ;-)

December 30, 2010 12:59 PM

Tim Ford said:

Andy, this is fantastic news!  I am consistently proud to call you a BFAM!

- Tim

December 30, 2010 5:52 PM

Mark Shay said:

Congratulations and best of luck on your future endeavors!

December 30, 2010 11:28 PM

Dan English said:

Just found out that you left Unisys from my buddy Aaron Lowe today. Interesting and that explains why you are out and about training now:) Congrats and best of luck, I am also a very big fan!

May 4, 2011 9:01 PM

andyleonard said:



May 4, 2011 10:10 PM

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