It's the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's time again for #TSQL2sday! It is the 42nd installment of this blog post series and the subject is not about the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything as I hoped it would be, but about the long and winding road that is our work life and which technologies were key to our interests and successes. In this blog post I'll talk about how I got where I am now and how SSIS played a major role in it.
About exactly 4 years ago I suddenly found myself out of a job during the financial crisis. I was an IT consultant with no specialization and little experience. Luckily I quickly found a new job through one of my ex-colleagues (always maintain your network people!) at a local BI consulting firm. I didn't know a thing about Business Intelligence (I had a bit of data mining and data warehousing in a course at university, but I can't really say it sticked), but fortunately the company was willing to invest in junior people. This is a really amazing thing to do, especially in times of crisis and I'm very grateful for the opportunity they gave me. So the first thing they did was sending me to a couple of Microsoft trainings. I followed one on Analysis Services and I was really amazed by the product. I took another one about Integration Services and I was ... not so amazed. I don't really recall why, but the product just didn't strike a chord with me.
A few weeks later I was on my first BI project and my first assignment was: make some SSIS packages. I dreaded the task, but trying to make the most of it I dove into SSIS. And after I made my hands dirty with it and got over the initial learning curve, I suddenly fell in love with SSIS! I saw the possibilities the product has to offer and what amazing stuff you can do with it and I lost all the prejudices I had earlier. After some time I really wanted to expand my knowledge on SSIS, so I had the idea of answering questions about SSIS on forums. Because you learn the most about a subject by "teaching" it. By chance I noticed the SQLServerCentral newsletter in one of my colleagues' inbox, so I thought: "Why not that forum? Let's try it out." I went to SSC, registered myself and started answering questions.
Fast forward a few years. I switched jobs in the meantime but still work quite a lot with SSIS. Thanks to my involvement in SSC, I got to learn a lot of interesting people in the SQL Server community. I started giving sessions at conferences about SSIS, writing articles about it, giving trainings about it and as of late, writing blog posts about it. In a way, my passion for SSIS made me what I am today (in a professional way I mean). I still love SSIS and I like very much what Microsoft did with it in SQL Server 2012, but recently I'm realizing writing ETL isn't the only thing that matters. I'm slowly diving into the front-end of the BI solution, which is very interesting to work with. Right now I'm learning more and more about SharePoint BI – PowerPivot and Power View – and my focus of blog posts is shifting in that direction. My next session I will give at an event will not be about SSIS, but about data visualization. In other words, I might be in yet another bend in the long and winding road that is my career in business intelligence. I'm very curious to what the future will bring...