When I joined SQL Sentry three years ago, I was the 14th person in the building. We occupied a much smaller and more crowded space in a different building then. But the community responded – in a huge way – by buying our products and supporting our growth.
Nick Harshbarger's Office circa 2012. It got better.
Today, we’re well over 50 persons and still growing so quickly that we expect to double or even triple in the next few years. That makes my jaw hang open in wonder. I can only imagine how exciting and thrilling it is for those who’ve been with SQL Sentry since its earliest days.
WHY SO MUCH GROWTH?
One of the things that appealed to me so much about joining SQL Sentry three years ago was that they were motivated by the same three things I was: mastery, connectedness, and ethics.
Mastery: everyone in SQL Sentry, from CEO Greg Gonzalez on down, are passionate about our technology and our technical skills. It’s serious business but only because we really are curious people who love to know what makes things tick. We want to know all about it and, in knowing, we can control the technologies that we’ve built our careers upon. Nothing reminds me more of this pursuit of mastery than when I witnessed my colleague Aaron Bertrand (b | t) speaking with an attendee at one of his sessions afterwards. The customer said "I wouldn’t dream of working at a place that didn’t have your tools”. I got goosebumps.
Connectedness: SQL Sentry seeks genuine and sincere interactions with the community based on mutual respect and a passion for our technology. We were all once DBAs at SQL Sentry and, in building up our own company, we set out to always treating customers like we want to be treated – fairly, without the hard sell, or pestering calls and all predicated on friendliness and helpfulness. I first saw this in action when I sat with Jason Hall (b | t), then our Director of Support, while he answered a support call. Not only did he solve the customer's problem. He spent an addition 15 or 20 minutes on the phone with them explaining the underlying SQL Server principles at work and how to modify their code for optimal speed. I'd never seen a company who was willing to spend as much time as needed to resolve a question with their own product, let alone the platform their product ran upon. Again, I got goosebumps.
Ethics: Finally, this company is founded on an ethical foundation where we strive to do what’s right for our customers. Here’s an example, we have at times encouraged customers not buy our products. Why? Because their problems were not solved by our products. Now, we believe our products are the best and that they offer outstanding value. But a single suite of products can’t solve every problem and we’ll be the first to tell you so. Here's another example – we publish our prices. That may not seem significant, but it actually is. I recall the first time I saw our VP of Sales, Nick Harshbarger (b | t), tell a customer "I've already given you my best price. You asked for that on day one". Wait a minute. Isn't everything negotiable? In fact, at some companies, you can get a better price for a variety of subjective reasons, such as it's end of quarter and the sales person isn't meeting their quota. We don't use quotas. We lead with honest pricing from start to finish. Sort'a like no-haggle pricing at a car dealership.
We want to exhibit these qualities. And as it turns out, YOU (our customers) respond to people and products based on these qualities. I get to see that responsiveness every day whenever our amazing SEs already on the team, Lori Edwards (b |t) and Scott Fallen (b | t) interact with customers. That, in turn, enables us to hire others who also epitomize these qualities.
That long preamble provides just a bit of context when I announce, with great pleasure, that we’re hiring TWO new sales engineers to start on Monday, August 10th: John Martin and Richard Douglas. (See Richard's post HERE).
John and Richard come to us with impeccable credentials, outstanding technology skills, and a long history of community activism and unimpeachable ethics. These gentlemen are among the best of the best. Their list of achievements and accolades are long:
– John and Richard are literally masters of SQL Server, with long careers as database administrators.
– Both actively support, from their own time, local user groups in the UK, SQL Saturday events, and large UK-wide events like SQLRelay and SQLBits.
– Both are internationally recognition as speakers at events like SQLBits, SQLCruise, SQLRelay, SQL Rally, and SQL Saturday.
– They both have sterling reputations as talented customer-facing staff at Microsoft and Dell Software, respectively.
– Wicked senses of humor.
Now, you may have noticed another thing John and Richard have in common. They’re both from the UK. And as I’m sure you figuring out, hiring two of the SQL Server talents across the Atlantic from our US operations says a lot about our customer base and our growth.
John and Richard are foundation for the dynamic growth we’re experiencing in the UK, Europe and beyond. While our past growth has been explosive, our future growth is entirely dependent on the quality of our team. We are incredibly excited to have such talent joining SQL Sentry. Their skills and enthusiasm will make a measurable difference for our customers, our community, and for our company every day. And, as we continue to grow around the world, John and Richard act as our vanguard and flagbearers to share their knowledge and mastery at more community events, connect more often with our community, and drive more value and innovation back into our products than ever before.
I am so excited about what the future holds for John and Richard. And I hope you are too. Please join me in welcoming them to the SQL Sentry family!