SQLPam's Blog


A little about me?  That is a tough one at the moment.  I have always defined myself by whatever job I had at the time.  Currently I am between jobs – which has played with my identity.  So I guess it is back to basics.  I am woman in, at minimum, her mid-life who has seen a lot of changes over the years.  I grew up using old computer parts to make jewelry and other make shift items to pass time with.  My father was an FE Specialist with IBM.  So from the start I have been in the shadow of computers.  I swore I would never go into computers and yet here I am, almost 30 years into a career in IT.  I did not go into hardware which was my father’s expertise – but into software.  Dad said it was to satisfy the need to tell something what to do and know it would be done.  I thought it was just a temporary thing to get money to pay for nursing school – but I fell in love and there was no turning back.

I started on – of all things – Commodore Business computers.  I spent 2 years building water utility systems while personal computers were fighting it out between CPM and MS-DOS.  I played with both, actually sold both.  I worked on “portables” that boasted of weighing less than 30 pounds.  I carted equipment around in my first car that required my boss to take out a special insurance rider because the equipment was worth more than the car.  It was a crazy time of transition and in the end I opted to go a more traditional route and went into the IBM mini market place and programmed in RPG and COBOL. 

When needed by an employer, I changed gears back to the PC environment which started my 15 year love affair with the various versions Fox/FoxPro and VFP.  Most of that time was spent coding for Workers’ Comp Medical Bill Review with one company that kept changing hands.  While working on my last VFP assignment, I was offered the opportunity to move to SQL and HTML – I jumped on it.

As I explored SQL, I found barriers that I needed guidance to overcome.  In my search for guidance, I found the local SQL User Group.  Over a 3 year period it hit or miss – at first – missing more than not.  As time went on I found myself at the meetings more than not.  One night, the then president approached me and asked if I wanted to attend PASS Summit.  It seems he had a free seat and would give it to me if I would take over the leadership of the group.  Little did I know what that one discussion would bring.  I discussed with spouse and boss – both of which were very supportive – so I took the trade.  My boss paid travel expenses and was very proud to have the UG leader as an employee.  That was 2006.  I am still the chapter leader of the Tampa Bay SQL Users Group.  In 2008, I assisted Wes Dumey in organizing the first SQL Saturday Tampa.  It was the second SQL Saturday to happen.  I have since then been the lead organizer for the annual Tampa event.  I deeply value the SQL community, locally and not so local.  These people have become a second family.  One that is at times easier to deal with than my first extended family.  Thru it all my husband and son continue to support my involvement.  So often you will see them with me at local events.

Somewhere along the way, I got back together with my high school sweet heart and we ended up married.  We have been married for almost 20 years now.  We now have a high school aged son.  So I have added the role of wife and mother to my other roles.  After losing my father, somehow I ended up my mother’s sometime care giver.  As I get older, so does she and her needs are more urgent than in the past.

My blog will be an eclectic assortment of ramblings about SQL, the SQL community, the activities to organize and participate in the SQL community and my family.  After having only 2 jobs in over 20 years, I am now looking for my fourth in 2 years.  Some of that was contract – so by nature transient – but it is a really different place for me to be.  Join me on my quest as I learn who I am to become.


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