One DBA's Ongoing Search for Clarity in the Middle of Nowhere


Yet Another Andy Writing About SQL Server

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving to House of Brick

Starting Halloween Monday I will be a Technical Consultant for House of Brick Technologies.

To everyone out there saying "Didn't you just get a new job?" I say yes, but this is a unique opportunity with a company that is the leader in our field in this area if not the country.

As many of you know, I recently (about two months ago) left the internal First National Bank of Omaha IT department to go to work for First National's technology hosting company First National Technology Solutions (FNTS). This happened due to a combination of factors related to personnel and types of work, but was functionally a lateral move inside the First National infrastructure from one business unit to another.  FNTS is starting to ramp up their database services offering and I was the first DBA (other than my FNTS boss who was formerly my FNBO boss) brought on board.

Then the phone rang.

A high school friend (that I hadn't seen in 20+ years but whom I had recently offered career advice to when he sought me out 6-7 months ago) was calling; after not taking another job on my advice he had gone to work for House of Brick, and HoB was looking to expand. 

"What made you call me?" I asked.

Apparently the HoB management had gone online on LinkedIn and generated a list of potential candidates, and then had passed it through their current employees to see if anyone knew anyone on the list, and my friend had spoken up.  Was I interested in talking to several of them over lunch to hear what HoB does and consider whether I might be interested?

I had heard of this type of Social Networking situation before - where your social media contacts (Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/etc.) expose you to career opportunities that would never have existed otherwise - but this is the first time I had ever seen it happen to me (or anyone else I have worked with) - it was pretty amazing.

A lunch and a formal interview later and both sides were sold; House of Brick is a star in the SQL Server, Oracle, and VMWare consulting world with a team of DBA's already in place doing the work FNTS is just starting to get in to, with clients all over the country, and the work (SQL upgrades, migrations to VMWare, etc.) sounded amazing.

Several people have asked me - aren't you concerned about burning bridges with First National, and aren't you concerned about the effect on your resume of only being somewhere for a couple of months?  My response is that I wasn't looking for a job - I was set to work at FNTS and help them build their database area - but there are times in your career (and in life in general) when the phone rings and you have to answer - because the caller won't call back.

There are a few of my technical peers that get it without lengthy explanation, and one of them put it very clearly: If you didn't take this you would wonder about it and regret it for the rest of your career - this is the big leagues (or as close as it gets in Omaha, NE).  {-:  As I have told my boss at FNTS, this isn't anything against FNTS and I wasn't searching this out, but it definitely feels right to move onto an existing team rather than being the initial employee in the area.

The only flaw in the design is the 20-25% travel with HoB (compared to 0-0.000001% travel now) but I know we will make that work - this is the right thing for my career and since my career supports our family it is therefore the right thing for our family as well.

Do I think I will be the next Brent Ozar (B/T) or Thomas LaRock (B/T)?  Not really - but you never know!

1 comment:

  1. Andy,

    Nice blog post. Thanks for the comments about House of Brick's position in the industry. It is really because of the awesome people that we are blessed to work together with. We are all excited to have you on board.

    Nathan Biggs
    CEO, House of Brick Technologies