Almost 10 years ago, SQL Sentry software was in its infancy, and was still used exclusively by our hosting business (now Peak 10). I remember clearly bringing the entire hosting team together one afternoon to watch a webcast on query tuning... a webcast put on by none other than Kevin Kline (b|t). At that point Kevin was already one of the most active and visible people in the SQL Server community, but I'd never heard him speak. I recall being impressed by the quality of technical content as well as Kevin's seasoned presentation skills... and this was back when webcasts of this type were not commonplace. Kevin was ahead of the curve. Several people in the room were more networking or hardware-focused, but Kevin was so good at distilling complex subject matter down to easily digestible essentials that even they left with new query tuning skills.
I didn't meet Kevin until a few years later when he came to Charlotte to present at a CSSUG meeting. I must admit I was a little nervous and maybe even a bit star struck going in. (Please don't tell Kevin ;-) I was half expecting someone arrogant, self-absorbed, and possibly even combative given that our companies were direct competitors by then. Boy, was I off the mark! Here was a guy that was friendly, humble and engaging, pretty much the opposite of what I'd anticipated... no sign whatsoever of any of the trappings common to years in the spotlight. (I'm sure that those of you that know Kevin are chuckling at my severe misreckoning)
When reading Kevin's bio, I can't help but feel humbled by the magnitude of his selfless efforts in the SQL Server community over the years. For a recap, I'd recommend checking out this SQLMag interview. If reading it makes you ask yourself, "What have I done lately to give back?", you are not alone. Kevin is one of the good guys, and we are extremely fortunate to have him as part of our team.
Not to worry, you won't be seeing any less of Kevin. I expect him to be just as engaged in the SQL Server community as he's always been, perhaps more so. Our goal is to tap into Kevin's unique abilities to the greatest extent possible, and enable him to get back to his roots in some respects. He's certainly going to be involved in some exciting community-focused initiatives here at SQL Sentry.
It's tempting to draw correlations with LeBron's move to the Heat – the initial shock felt by many, and the eventual benefit to both the individual and the team – but I will refrain ;-)
One thing is sure: although the uniform will be changing, it'll be the same Kevin you know and love underneath.