I started my Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) journey at Redgate.
With a drama degree and a background in customer service, special needs teaching and skiing I joined the “SQL division” at Redgate as a sales person in 2010. I quickly learned that you only talk to sales people for two reasons:
- The sales person is an expert in their field that can offer genuine, informed advice.
- The sales person is a poor negotiator who is likely to give you a discount.
If neither of those statements are true it becomes very difficult for the sales person to hold the clients’ interest. In the words of Grant Fritchey “DBAs hate talking to sales people because they don’t know what they are talking about!” If I was going to earn my salary at Redgate I very quickly needed to skill up.
I learned to code. I started a code club. I started my second degree in Computer Science during evenings and weekends. I read blogs. I read books. I joined the developers’ code katas. I joined in during “Down Tools” week. (Redgate’s equivalent to Google’s 20% time.) I attended conferences.
Most of all, I listened to my customers. I was in a fantastic position to learn about real development teams and their problems. Each customer would describe their database delivery problems and I was able to spot the common patterns. I could see the same problems cropping up in organisations of different shapes and sizes all around the world.
I also learned how some companies were able to fix those problems and I was able to share those lessons with others. I did this during the course of my work but also, through Redgate, I discovered vibrant and welcoming SQL and Continuous Delivery communities who encouraged me to share the knowledge that I was gaining even further through speaking and blogging at community events.
In actual fact. I never enjoyed selling. When you graduate in 2008 with a drama degree you take any job you can get and sales seemed to pay an OK salary. Truth be told, I never got enormous satisfaction from selling licences. I was just fortunate that I fell into a role with an amazing employer and through them discovered a passion for solving technical problems and making peoples’ lives better. The problem just happened to be DLM and the people just happened to be database developers and DBAs.
Over the course of a six year career at Redgate I was able to take on various roles within the sales and development functions and I was able to interact with users in many capacities: selling, marketing, research, UX, pre-sales, consulting, training, blogging, speaking, developing software, mentoring. But in the end I decided to leave Redgate.
I wanted to be a full time consultant. I wanted to help people to solve problems more than I ever wanted to sell licences. That’s why in 2016 I started DLM Consultants.
To read the next chapter of my DLM journey – start here.
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