As you may know, we have a mentoring program here at SQLskills (the brainchild of Jonathan), where each of us can pick someone who's attended one of our Immersion Events in the past and offer to be their mentor for six months.

It's time to kick off the third mentoring session. You can read about the previous mentees below:

These sessions have been very fulfilling for us and all the mentees felt they've benefited greatly from the experience.

This time around it's just me and Joe who are mentoring. I'd like to announce the two mentees, with brief bios in their own words.

Joe will be mentoring Mala Mahadevan, who attended our IE1 class in Dallas in 2011, and then IE2 in Tampa this year:

My name is Mala. I am originally from East India and migrated to the US 17 years ago. I started my career with a degree in management but a programmer – it was well into my MBA that i realized I would be a poor fit in management :) One of the clerks in the school I worked did some programming on side – I found l liked this much better than my degree, so while most of my friends went on to more well paying jobs – I joined a small firm as a programmer – on Foxpro/dbase first, then on Visual Basic for a really long time.

Getting into databases was again a bit of an adventure – was working for this Fortune 10 company on Wall Street as a programmer. My boss was a DBA cum manager – often times burdened by too much work. I offered to assist him with some TSQL initially and got drawn into helping him on more DBA tasks. He got to rely on me more and we both seemed to like the arrangement. One night he was working late, went out for a break, had a drink too many, came back in and dropped a mission critical database. This was the days of Version 6.00 on SQL Server when there were no warnings, and the database was gone before he realized it. I was called in at 2 am,we restored it from backup and they only lost half an hour – but he was fired, and I was handed the keys of my first DBA job. I have loved databases (and SQL Server) and not looked back.

After 6 different gigs am now in a Production DBA job with a leading healthcare company. I am also very active in the community – have organized 5 sql saturdays and run the user group out of Louisville for 7 years now. I am comfortable but somewhat in a rut. I am somewhat out of touch with my coding skills and miss that. I have an MCITP on the dba track – and trying to do the developer track. With a full time job it is hard to stick to a study plan on a proactive basis, have made many and given up. I would like guidance to study more – more on the immersion event material (have attended two events so far and enormously enjoyed them but want to sink into the material deeper), also more on TSQL and all the new features it has. I know from experience that knowing more always opens up more doors although hard to say how and when. So the goal now is just to learn as much as possible.

(She's on twitter as @sqlmal)

I will be mentoring Edward Dortland, who attended our IE2 class in London this year, and then IE1 and IE3 in Bellevue in the summer:

Born and raised in The Netherlands.  Studied Artificial Intelligence at the University of Amsterdam but made the best mistake of my life to start working as a free-lance SQL programmer to fund my study.  Two years later I couldn’t resist and became a full time free-lancer.

Soon, my biggest client offered me a contract as a SQL consultant and I took it.  I had 11 years of fun working with sql 2000 till sql 2008 R2 and I spend a fair amount of time in Malaysia and India teaching the development teams about high performance SQL applications and setting up remote DBA teams for our European customers.

Currently working for Conclusion Future Infrastructure Technologies where I’m assigned at Prorail , the Dutch railway company.

In my spare time I love supporting Melisa, my girlfriend, with her passion 100 mile Endurance horse riding. We have 2 thoroughbred Arabian horses. Apart from that I’ll be fixing my Land Cruiser so I can get lost into nature. My last few seconds of free time go into wildlife photography, amphibians, reptiles, orchids, aquariums, terrariums, and cooking and wine.

Feel free to contact me on Twitter : @flipperSQL

Congratulations to the two mentees and we look forward to helping them out over the coming months!