… I emigrated to the United States. I boarded a plane in Glasgow with my (then) wife Sylvia, bounced in Amsterdam and then landed in Seattle, entering the US on an H1B visa after almost five years of working for DEC/Digital. We arrived in temp housing a block away from the Microsoft Campus late in the evening, and I started work in Building 1 with the SQL Server team on Monday, February 1st 1999. My first task was making the integer conversion code in BULK INSERT and bcp go faster. Microsoft was nice enough to pay for my Green Card, making us Permanent Residents on Valentine’s Day 2002, and I naturalized as a U.S. citizen on April 3, 2012.

Fast forward 20 years from 1999 and here I am today running SQLskills with Kimberly (left Microsoft on August 31, 2007), with an eldest daughter studying at U.C. Berkeley to be a trauma surgeon and the other daughter a junior in high school. (Sylvia is still here too, in case you were wondering, naturalized, remarried, and we’re good friends – the girls are lucky to have her as their mother.)

It’s been a pretty wild ride over the last twenty years, but I wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world now.

Thank you to Microsoft for bringing me here, and thank you to the United States for accepting me as a citizen.