I’ve been blog tagged – you might be next.
Jan 9, 2008 / By Paul Vallee
I was blog-tagged by Doug Burns – his post is here: I *hate* chain letters ….
I hate them too, I literally never pass them on no matter what vile fate that condemns me to (so far nothing has happened so maybe those are idle threats). But this one includes a chance to talk about myself without seeming too self-involved, and there wasn’t even a threat of eternal damnation if I don’t do it. So let’s proceed then!
8 things about me that aren’t common knowledge:
- I was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which is just south of Detroit, Michigan. I celebrated my thirteenth birthday in Montpellier, France, where my entire family relocated for a year. I moved to Ottawa for school when I was 17, and lived in Minneapolis Minnesota for a year in 1996-97 where I worked for a great company called Pragmatek. I am a French-Canadian, but my English is unaccented. Unless you count my outrageous Canadian accent, eh?
- I was 17 years old when I started my university education. This has everything to do with how much I hated high school, and nothing to do with me being “smart”. Even though I hated high school, I was voted most likely to succeed at my graduation ceremony to my incredible shock and embarassment. Since that award is by any definition a popularity contest, I am still and always will be puzzled as to how that happened.
- I’ve always loved UNIX or UNIX-like operating systems, and UNIX servers. No, seriously, from a young age. When I moved to Ottawa for University, my father co-signed a loan for me (around $3500) to buy a used Sun workstation for my dorm room (this was an upgrade from a CP/M box, guess which!). Everybody else had PCs. I traded in that Sun for a NeXT a few years later.
- My heroes are Carl Sagan who more than anyone else inspired in me a sense of wonder and awe for the universe we live in, and ingrained in me a deep love for science and the scientific method; and Steve Jobs, who more than anyone else inspired in me a sense of appreciation for excellence, appreciation for genius, and the importance of generating passion and excitement in your work (that excitement and passion must always start with yourself.) That’s a favourite Steve Jobs article linked there, which was especially influential to me.
- I am a sucker for a good analogy. I think with them, I love them, and I use them all the time when trying to explain or convince. My staff and customers tease me about that continuously.
- My first real Oracle exposure was in a project on Oracle 5. Not because that was current, it was incredibly obsolete already (I’m talking about 1993 here!). But it was what we had. That and a current version of SAS. We wrote most of our stuff to SAS. I started working with Oracle in earnest in 1996, doing a huge Oracle 6 to Oracle 7 migration on VMS.
- I was 25 years old in 1997, when I co-founded Pythian. At the time, we had to bundle Internet services and VPN hardware (and even leased-lines) with our services since our customers typically didn’t already have Internet. My how times have changed.
- We post family pictures here. That beautiful family is composed of my partner of 12 years Nicole, my 3 year-old son Felix and my 16 month old daughter Clementine. I’m going to wrap this post up and go home to them now.
So… now who to tag? I think I’m going to spread this out somewhat from the Oracle-only blogosphere. I’m not sure about tagging 8 people – can that really be how it works? Here goes…