My Life as an ACE…

I have been seeing a lot of chatter lately on twitter about the new ACE program recruitment and people showing a lot of interest in it. This is great! I can’t express enough how awesome this program is and encourage everyone to apply for it.

I am coming up on the closure of my active part of the Idera Advisor and Community Educator (ACE) program. Looking back at what I have done and accomplished in the last 9
months has been amazing. I have met and networked with people I never thought I would have, presented to people I never thought I would and I am learning new things that I never thought I would get the opportunity to learn. If you would have asked me a year ago, where I would want to be in 2012, I would have told you out of technology all together. I was getting to the point that I wasn’t enjoying myself and my work anymore. I felt like the life was being sucked out of me, mainly due to where I work. I was turning into exactly what I didn’t want to become; an average everyday DBA with no desire to achieve more. I had two major turning points in my career in the last year, the first being the SQL Cruise I attended with Tim Ford (b|t) and Brent Ozar (b|t) and the second, being selected for the ACE program. Since that time, I have found a new born energy and love for SQL that I never knew I had. In all actuality, I think I have learned more in the last year than I had in the previous five.

Now that my time as an ACE is starting to wind down, I thought it might be a good idea to
tell people who are curious, exactly what I have gotten out of this program thus far. Since its inception, I have had the opportunity to work with 5 other extraordinary people; people I might have felt were untouchable or unreachable in the past. I was not a tweeter, blogger, researcher or expert in anything (at least I didn’t think so). With the help of this program, I have gotten outside my comfort zone and forced myself to meet new people and try new things. I have never been afraid of speaking in front of people or making a fool of myself (as was evident with my SQL Cruise video). My philosophy has always been that you don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, but rather the best at finding the right answers. We wouldn’t be blogging and talking on twitter if we didn’t want to learn and better ourselves. There are only a few people in this community that I think DO know almost everything, but the rest of us are still trying to learn and keep up to date with the constantly changing technologies.

With the ACE program, I have been able to travel to different parts of the country to attend
and present at SQL Saturdays. Not all of us have travel budgets that allow us to get out to other parts of the country like this.  I have made a ton of great connections in many different states now. I have new SQL friends in Colorado, Utah, Washington, Florida and Oregon that if it wasn’t for this program, I would never have met. I have grown my SQL Family into something I am proud of and can depend on. I have a new found love and faith in the SQL community and what it stands for.

If you are on the fence about applying to become and ACE, I would be more than happy to
push you in the right direction. What is the worst that can happen? You don’t get the spot? You name is now in the pot for future ACE spots. The last year has been filled with a ton of new experiences and new beginnings for me. You will never achieve greatness if you don’t at least try!

Get in on the ACE recruitment period, you won’t regret it!

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