Homer McEwen, aka Killa DBA, has always loved music – from his early years in the church choir to today's gigs as a singer and songwriter. After two decades in IT working as a DBA, he decided to combine his passion for music and technology and start making songs about the ever-changing world of databases, bits, bytes, and coding.
Killa DBA did us the honor of creating his very own IDERA Rap, and performing it at our PASS Summit 2017 After-Party. Check it out!
Hi Homer! Can you tell us a little about your background as a SQL Server DBA?
Sure! I landed my first job as a database administrator in 1997 with the Board of Health department. I started working at the Home Depot in 1998 as a DBA but didn’t use SQL Server until the year 2000. All of the other RDBMS platforms were command line based and the other “seasoned” DBAs didn’t seem interested in this “GUI” based database platform. I jumped at the opportunity and took the lead on learning and maintaining SQL server databases. We had a couple of instances that were versions 6.5 and 7. I’ve been working with SQL Server ever since! As a SQL Server DBA, I have been both in the developer role as well as on the operations/production side. I enjoy solving issues and learning about new and evolving features with each product release.
How long have you been rapping and performing?
I’ve been entertaining crowds since my high school days. I was in the marching band and played drums before being selected as Drum Major my senior year. I was also a singer in a band where we would sing the star spangled banner at basketball games, play at the valentine day dance and other various events around town. Throughout the years, while employed as a DBA, I have worked with an independent record label, performed with bands and have written songs for artists and movie soundtracks. I chuckle every time someone calls me a rapper because I’m known by my peers as a singer. I found that rapping allows me to get my point across in songs about technology so I mainly rap in order to say more things during the verses. I have always been a songwriter and a computer/technology enthusiast. It was only a matter of time before I combined my two passions.
What did you enjoy most about PASS Summit this year?
I enjoyed meeting like-minded people who also share the joys and pains as a professional working with SQL Server. I also enjoyed the keynote presentations, sessions and the “Speaker Idol” competition. PASS has inspired me to present at my local PASS chapter in Atlanta which I plan to do soon. And of course I enjoyed performing at the exhibitor reception, speaker idol and the IDERA party!
Can you tell us a little about your relationship with the SQL Family?
I started working with IDERA products in February 2010, when I started working for BCD Travel. My very first assignment was to configure our SQL Diagnostic Manager monitoring tool so that it would alert the DBAs based on various thresholds and conditions with our SQL Server databases. I immediately liked this product and was excited to also help with our install and configuring for IDERA’s SQL Safe Backup. Our DBA team uses IDERA products every day and we have had nothing but positive experiences using these tools.
I promised myself that I would become more involved in the SQL community on my birthday last year. I’m always presenting at my job but I wanted to start presenting at the PASS meetings and SQL Saturday’s as well. Part of my plan to immerse myself in the community and SQL family was to incorporate my passion for music with SQL Server in some capacity. Now that I have done that, I’m ready to present on various SQL Server features and technologies. The SQL family has been very encouraging and helpful with my upcoming presentation. It really feels good to know that you can help others with your knowledge and also get the same in return.
I really enjoyed creating an IDERA rap song and it was fun and exciting to perform the song at PASS! I also look forward to working with more IDERA tools and creating more Killa DBA songs!
You can find more of Killa DBA’s music on iTunes and Spotify.