A few weeks back several SQL Server bloggers discussed their academic pasts…well here I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine too. I failed out of college too. I was a Management Information Systems major and limped along with a 1.82 GPA before I got tossed from The University of Mississippi in 1999.
Fast forward a few years, in 2002 I went back to school at Benedictine University in Lisle Illinois to study Computer Science. There I finished my Bachelors degree in 2005 with a 3.98 GPA graduated with honors. I was fortunate to learn from a collection of retied Lucent engineers…and if you know the history of corporate research…Bell Labs engineers. It was an unbelievable educational experience. And they were cool too, we watched the 2004 Cubs in the classroom that fateful night Steve Bartman got a little too ambitious around a foul ball .
From that academic experience, I knew I wanted to continue my education. And on the inside, I wanted the right the ship of what happened in 1999. So I applied to the University of Mississippi (again) and was admitted into their Ph.D. program for Computer Science. My pursuing an advanced degree had two goals, the intellectual achievement behind that and also proving to myself simply that I could do this.
I started graduate school in 2006. I finished my Ph.D. comprehensive exams in 2009, my Masters degree in 2010, and finished my course work for Ph.D. in 2013, published in two peer reviewed conferences and delivered one of those papers at an international Computer Science conference in Barcelona, Spain. In that same time frame, we had two beautiful daughters, I started Centino Systems and worked (and continue to work) hard at being the best that I can be professionally. I overcame a huge personal barrier in 2016 and began public speaking and also started releasing training courses with Pluralsight. But with all that success and the time demands that came along with them, one thing started to fall behind…my academic pursuits. As a doctoral student, you’re expected to work independently and conduct research, under the guidance of a research advisor, to move the knowledge of a topic into uncharted territory. And for the last three years, I certainly have tried to dedicate the time to my academic studies, but I have been exceptionally fortunate with the business opportunities that have come my way. The decision I have made is by no means a bad thing, not one bit!
So, now that the start of the fall semester has come, I need to make a decision, it’s time to put my pursuit of my on hold. At some time in the future I’ll get back on this train…but for now, there will be no Dr. No!