T-SQL Tuesday #150 – My First Tech Job

This month’s #tsqltuesday is hosted by Kenneth Fisher (b|t), who wants us to share stories about our first tech job (or first job ever if it makes for a good story).

My first job ever was delivering a magazine door-to-door in one neighborhood. It doesn’t actually make for a good story as it’s pretty bland and boring. Except maybe for how when I got my first paycheck (which was a measly 50 shekels for one morning’s work), I was so excited that my hands literally trembled and I had a stupid grin on my face that I couldn’t get rid of for the next hour or so (it’s stupid, I know, but come on, I was barely in high-school at the time).

I imagine that wasn’t very interesting, so I’ll tell you about my first real job (which was indeed a tech job).

My first tech job was, as a matter of fact, in web development. Specifically in ASP3, also known as “Classic ASP”. I was actually a decent self-taught webmaster, if I may say so myself.

Webmaster as a hobby

I first started teaching myself web development around the year 2000. The reason for that was that I had a need to create a “homepage” for a short animated web series that I was making at the time, called “Damnation“. It was essentially a fan recreation of the prologue story to the classic “Doom” games (there was in fact such a prologue, in case you didn’t know 😅 and also yes, I was a total geek even back then). The series was created using Macromedia Flash (this was long before it was bought by Adobe), and I also eventually created a sort of story-driven recreation of the first Doom map. It didn’t go far beyond that.

Both of these creations still exist to this day on the Newgrounds.com website, so you can check them out here:

Anyways, I started with simple HTML and JavaScript that I learned using websites such as WebMonkey and W3Schools, and gradually complicated things by adding dynamic content to my website, which I initially implemented using Macromedia Dreamweaver for the GUI, and Microsoft Access as its “database”.

After that, I got curious and started digging into the ASP3 code generated by Dreamweaver, reverse-engineering it, and learning more and more about ASP3.

Eventually, I spent a few years being the webmaster of a website hosting “abandonware” games for download, called “DarkGreen HQ” (it no longer exists except in the wayback machine).

Ah, those were the good old days. I learned a lot during that time, and that experience landed me in a good tech position in the army when I got enlisted later.

Web developer as a job

For various reasons, I do not consider my time in the army as my first “tech job”, even though I got paid and gained experience as a SQL Server DBA. That’s because army service is mandatory in Israel, so it’s not like I really had much choice in the matter.

However, an opportunity presented itself to me during my service when a colleague was looking for a web developer for a side gig. I offered myself up, and that’s how I landed my REAL first tech job.

I developed numerous commercial websites for multiple clients, which turned out pretty well actually.

DBA as a career

None of those websites I built were long-lived, though, since this was right at the advent of Web 2.0 and .NET technology. My experience as an ASP3 developer was quickly becoming outdated and irrelevant.

I didn’t really have the time nor the motivation to continue learning new web technologies and object-oriented programming. However, I really enjoyed my work as a SQL Server DBA, so I decided to focus on that as a career path.

That has led me to where I am today, at Madeira Data Solutions, as a Senior SQL Server DBA (among other things 😄).

Bonus

By the way, I still continued messing around with Macromedia Flash as a hobby for a while even after that. You can check out two of the games I made available on my GitHub account (those that I was able to salvage from the pits of history, anyway):

  • Apollo (space shooter inspired by Battlestar Galactica)
  • Death Race (inspired by the classic arcade game of the same name)

Even though I abandoned these hobbies long ago, these experiences will forever hold a warm special place in my heart.

I hope I managed to warm your heart a little bit as well 😁

2 comments

  1. I was going on another nostalgia trip today and your blog came to mind again. I first discovered it 2 years ago after replaying Damnation, even commented under a post back then to remind you people like me still remember your game, haha:https://eitanblumin.com/2020/02/11/t-sql-tuesday-123-life-hacks-to-make-your-day-easier/

    What a coincidence that I found this post just one day after you posted it!

    I’m glad you’re still fond of your flash creations from those magical, early days of the internet and that you’ve managed to build a succesfull career. I myself managed to land my first real tech job at the end of 2020 as a software engineer in logistics/warehouse automation and I can confidently say that all those early flash games, especially the sci-fi ones like yours, played a huge part in me getting interested in science and technology and pursuing it as a career path.

    Wish you all the best for the future, Eitan!

    Liked by 1 person

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