What a fabulous topic! I really had think about it though. I think I have 1 personal hero and 2 professional heroes. I should give a disclaimer here - I have a hard time picking a favorite anything, so this just follows suit I guess. :)
First, my professional heroes (not listed in any specific order):
- Stuart - I used to work with Stuart at my previous employer. I didnt think of him in this regard at the time, but looking back I do. He was the DBA, and I was more of a programmer/database developer. Every time I had a question, he would explain why and I would walk away feeling smarter, not dumber. I have worked with people who made you feel like an idiot when you asked a question, and I never had that from Stuart. In fact, he would explain in depth if I asked. For instance, he taught me tricks on query optimization, rather than just doing it and giving it back to me with no explanation. I remember a specific moment at my current job: it was the first time I changed a 45-min cursor within our ETL process to a 5-10 min set based query. I was ecstatic! I dont think I would have thought of it in that way without working with Stuart before. In all honesty, when I think of a DBA, he is what I think about. I work with the BI side of things now, so it is different than my work then, but I wouldnt have the confidence I do now without that experience.
- Chris - I used to work with Chris at my previous employer, too. He is the type of person that is very smart, down-to-earth and nice. He also speaks code fluently as another language (or he at least seems to). :) He is my hero because if it werent for him, I would probably not have realized that I am not a programmer. Sure - I can do it. But, watching him be able to understand and code so quickly and easily, I realized that is not my natural-born skill. For me, I have to look up syntax and really dig into a project because it didnt come as easily for me. The hero part comes from him being such a great guy about it. He also took the time to help you without making you feel stupid in any way. How many people do you know that are so good at what they do, but dont have the ego behind that? I am the type that feels heavily responsible for what I am doing, which sometimes means I keep grinding at a project or multiple until I feel like it is perfect - and it never is. When I realized I am not a programmer, it made me think of what I can do that easily - and that is what led me to working with data much more.
I have saved the best for last - my personal hero:
- My Mother - She is kind and sweet and everyone loves her! She is what I want to be (when I grow up - haha). I have had some very challenging years and I dont know how I would have gotten through them without her. I am a positive person, but she helps me think in that way when I really dont want to. Maybe I have someone at work who doesnt like me and it shows - I take things personally and next thing you know I am not thinking happy thoughts, much more hurt. She helps me get back in the right mind-set and not to worry about it. She tells me - I need to let it slide like water slides off a duck's back. I will admit, I hate hearing her say that - but she is right and I know it. :) I also like knowing she relies on me as much as I do her - so its not all 1-sided. :) I am lucky enough to be able to say my mother is my best friend and is definitely a super-hero!