I’ve been blog tagged – you might be next.

Posted in: Technical Track

I was blog-tagged by Doug Burns – his post is here: I *hate* chain letters ….

I hate them too, I literally never pass them on no matter what vile fate that condemns me to (so far nothing has happened so maybe those are idle threats). But this one includes a chance to talk about myself without seeming too self-involved, and there wasn’t even a threat of eternal damnation if I don’t do it. So let’s proceed then!

8 things about me that aren’t common knowledge:

  1. I was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which is just south of Detroit, Michigan. I celebrated my thirteenth birthday in Montpellier, France, where my entire family relocated for a year. I moved to Ottawa for school when I was 17, and lived in Minneapolis Minnesota for a year in 1996-97 where I worked for a great company called Pragmatek. I am a French-Canadian, but my English is unaccented. Unless you count my outrageous Canadian accent, eh?
  2. I was 17 years old when I started my university education. This has everything to do with how much I hated high school, and nothing to do with me being “smart”. Even though I hated high school, I was voted most likely to succeed at my graduation ceremony to my incredible shock and embarassment. Since that award is by any definition a popularity contest, I am still and always will be puzzled as to how that happened.
  3. I’ve always loved UNIX or UNIX-like operating systems, and UNIX servers. No, seriously, from a young age. When I moved to Ottawa for University, my father co-signed a loan for me (around $3500) to buy a used Sun workstation for my dorm room (this was an upgrade from a CP/M box, guess which!). Everybody else had PCs. I traded in that Sun for a NeXT a few years later.
  4. My heroes are Carl Sagan who more than anyone else inspired in me a sense of wonder and awe for the universe we live in, and ingrained in me a deep love for science and the scientific method; and Steve Jobs, who more than anyone else inspired in me a sense of appreciation for excellence, appreciation for genius, and the importance of generating passion and excitement in your work (that excitement and passion must always start with yourself.) That’s a favourite Steve Jobs article linked there, which was especially influential to me.
  5. I am a sucker for a good analogy. I think with them, I love them, and I use them all the time when trying to explain or convince. My staff and customers tease me about that continuously.
  6. My first real Oracle exposure was in a project on Oracle 5. Not because that was current, it was incredibly obsolete already (I’m talking about 1993 here!). But it was what we had. That and a current version of SAS. We wrote most of our stuff to SAS. I started working with Oracle in earnest in 1996, doing a huge Oracle 6 to Oracle 7 migration on VMS.
  7. I was 25 years old in 1997, when I co-founded Pythian. At the time, we had to bundle Internet services and VPN hardware (and even leased-lines) with our services since our customers typically didn’t already have Internet. My how times have changed.
  8. We post family pictures here. That beautiful family is composed of my partner of 12 years Nicole, my 3 year-old son Felix and my 16 month old daughter Clementine. I’m going to wrap this post up and go home to them now.

So… now who to tag? I think I’m going to spread this out somewhat from the Oracle-only blogosphere. I’m not sure about tagging 8 people – can that really be how it works? Here goes…

  1. Christo Kutrovsky
  2. Yasin Baskan
  3. Radoslav Rusinov
  4. Sheeri Kritzer
  5. George Trujillo
  6. Craig Mullins
  7. Adam Machanic
  8. Ronald Bradford


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About the Author

As Pythian’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul leads this center of excellence for expert, outsourced technical services for companies whose systems are directly tied to revenue growth and business success. His passion and foresight for using data and technology to drive business success has helped Pythian become a high-growth global company with over 400 employees and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Paul, who started his career as a data scientist, founded Pythian when he was 25 years old. In addition to driving the business, Paul is a vocal proponent of diversity in the workplace, human rights, and economic empowerment. He supports his commitment through Pythian’s hiring and retention practices, his role as board member for the Basic Income Canada Network, and as a supporter of women in technology.

4 Comments. Leave new

Howard Rogers
January 9, 2008 8:06 pm

It would have been a really good idea to stop after sentence 1 of your second paragraph.
Well, OK: there’s nothing actually wrong with sharing any number of personal things.

But it’s truly unpleasant to then perpetuate this nonsense by forwarding this thing on.

This pyramid spam is ruining OraNA as a source of anything newsworthy.


Howard, I think you’re largely right. It’s far too much too fast. It would have been more fun if you could only tag one person. I’m not emailing any of those; if they notice great.


Howard Rogers
January 9, 2008 9:30 pm

Actually, I just noticed that you are about the only one where the thing is bearable -because you don’t feed the entire post, just the first line or two. It’s the bazillion ‘me too!’ posts that are dozens of lines long that are driving me nuts right now!

Whoever invented this pastime deserves to be strung to a rock on a beach and have his nether regions nibbled by guppies for a month. Or something!


I’m glad I’m not the only one fed up with this virus. At first I thought I was being miserable and po-faced, I’m not a clubbable guy so recoil from this stuff.

This virus actually spread through the Sun blogging community oh about a year ago. It made stop reading sun feeds for ages – It was useless and it’s not got better.

It really puts the 0 into web 2.0.




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