Jonathan Kehayias is such a nice guy. After our recent perf tuning Immersion Event in Chicago last month he had an idea for each of us to pick someone who's attended a SQLskills class and offer general mentoring (career, technical, professional development – whatever) to them for a few hours a month for six months. After six months we each pick someone else. His thinking was that this would be a cool way for SQLskills to give back to the community outside of the purely company-related things we do like blogging and twitter.

I think this is a really great idea. Back when I was at Microsoft I did a lot of mentoring when I managed teams there, plus in the company-wide mentoring program between senior and junior people in different groups. It's very rewarding to provide completely altruistic advice to someone and watch them grow.

Furthermore, we all have had people help us with our careers so it's important to pay that help forward.

So we're doing it, starting today with me, Joe, and Jonathan.

Joe is going to mentor Luke Jian, who's attended our IE1 and IE2 classes in Chicago this year:

Luke Jian is a well-versed IT professional with over 15 years of experience in the development and implementation of pharmaceutical and healthcare systems, demand driven supply chain management, ERP systems and technical infrastructure design.

Luke's current role is Sr. Solutions Architect with Physicians Interactive a leading resource for healthcare information, medication samples and medical decision support tools. Luke's experience include managing the IT Operations of over 50 clinics,  Oracle DBA for a supply chain software company, Teaching Assistant and Trainer.

Luke holds a Masters degree in software engineering from “Politehnica” University  of Timisoara, Romania with concentration on relational databases and  is fluent in English, Romanian, French and German. He became a US citizen in June 2011, the same week as his first public speaking engagement at SQL Saturday #82 in Indianapolis.

Luke writes at http://blog.sqlpositive.com  and he can be reached at sensware@gmail.com or on Twitter as @sensware.

Jonathan is going to mentor Steven Ormrod, who's attended our IE1, IE2, IE3, and IE4 classes in Dallas, Chicago, and Bellevue this year:

Steven Ormrod has been working as a Database Administrator for an international purveyor of natural and organic foods for the past several years.  Recently, Steven accepted a position with a global provider of orthotics and prosthetics.  His environment contains hundreds of servers spread across three different countries.  Clustering and consolidation projects have been his primary focus.

He has an MCITP for SQL Server 2008 in Database Administration and Development.

Prior to working as a DBA he has been a software developer, system administrator, and a teacher.  He also spent a summer bartending and hitchhiking across Europe.

When he is not tinkering with technology, he enjoys cooking, traveling, and snorkeling. He blogs at http://sqlavenger.wordpress.com/ and is on Twitter as @sqlavenger.

I'm going to mentor Brad Hoff, who's attended our IE1 and IE2 classes in Chicago this year:

Brad is originally from WA and is working in TX as a Lead SQL and Oracle DBA for an international power development company and energy marketer.

Brad has a degree is in Electronic Engineering and his background includes Development, Network/Systems/SAN admin, and WAN/T-Comm.

When Brad's not working with SQL server, he enjoys philosophy, debate, brain-teasers, learning, anything that challenges his mind. He has a beautiful wife and an awesome 17-month-old son. He blogs at http://www.sqlphilosopher.com/wp/ and is on Twitter as @sqlphilosopher.

I'd like to congratulate these three guys and look forward to us helping them out over the next six months!