It was about a year ago today when we launched the Postgres episode over at Tekpub, and it is some of the most fun I have had building software. I even joked about quitting SQL Server for Postgres. Fast forward 12 months…it was less joking and more foreshadowing.
While getting ready to write this post, I saw the following exchange between some .NET AppDevs talking about the .NET culture.
Right, now I’m wiser but too heavily invested. Either I or the platform has to change, I’m lazy, hoping its not me :)— Demis Bellot (@demisbellot) March 7, 2013
Demis is a .NET AppDev I love and truly respect. I really relate to his fear of change by way of being “too heavily invested” in the Microsoft ecosystem. As someone who has been administering SQL Server for 10+ years, it is comforting and easy to hold on to what I already know. That being said, Demis and I do have one difference – I have decided to be the change in my situation.
I have always felt that DBAs need to care more about their data than about their platform. I plan to really put that to the test in a few days. I’ve quit my luxurious and well paid job as a SQL Server DBA and will be going full time on Ruby and Postgres. I’ll likely be taking a pretty decent pay cut, taking on more responsibility and having to learn a lot more… and that is ok. It’s not the lazy route, but I feel it is the most rewarding.
This should not be taken as a slam on SQL Server. It is a really good database, but I want something that keeps pace with web/mobile and doesn’t involve me interpreting corporate licensing matrices. I want to build and ship software with talented people, not spend an AppDevs worth of salary for features like basic data compression. I want to give my apps some nice JSON love and SQL Server seems to still think XML is the future.
Lastly, SQL Server is also really focused on 3+ year release cycles so at least I won’t be worried that I’ll be falling behind. In fact, playing with Ruby and Postgres has kept me ahead of SQL Server and ASP MVC. I got to shove my donuts in my face while my fellow SQL Server DBA’s were trying to figure out sequences in SQL Server 2012.
So in short, SQL Server… it’s not you, it’s me. And I’m cool with that. I’ll have to work a little harder, but it will be on my terms not yours. So long, and thanks for all the deadlocks.