About Rob Brucks

“Seen it all, done it all, can’t remember any of it!”

When I graduated from college I wanted to be a programmer, but instead I won the IT lottery and got a DBA position in 1993. I cut my teeth in the big-iron world of mainframes as a Database Administrator for IMS and DB2 on z/OS.  Yes, I’ve written programs in COBOL… but not from scratch… only the first COBOL program was ever written from scratch, all the rest were cloned from it. And checkpoint-restart IMS BMPs were the best invention ever!

Even though I no longer work on mainframes I still miss that environment. JCL, TSO, ISPF editor, IOF, JES2, CICS, ACF2, VSAM, PDSs, DASD… a rock solid platform. If mainframes didn’t cost so much I’d have a playground at home, but my wife would probably object to giving up an entire room in the house. Most of all I really, really miss the ISPF editor… I wish someone would port it to Linux… hint hint.

The next chapter in my career was as an Oracle DBA on Solaris. What a huge learning curve! Mainframers would usually chastise Unix folks about it being a “toy” platform. Jumping from the z/OS environment to Unix could not have been more of a challenge. Everything was different. But I loved working on Oracle and I soon learned what a flexible and awesome platform it was. I fell in love with Unix too because it was also very powerful!

Then along came Linux and PostgreSQL and they stole my heart. PostgreSQL could do most everything I needed to do with Oracle, but without the cost.  And Linux… well, it had Bash which is like Unix Korn shell on steroids. Tab-completion rules!

I’ve been working with {U,Li}nix for over 15 years now, and I still learn new things! (Try out the Linux “tac” command… I love sharing oddball commands like that.)

So now I’m blogging about what I’ve learned and am still learning, taking my turn trying to spread the wealth. My joy is to teach others about computers and databases.

But most of all, I want to continue sharing the knowledge and wisdom I gained from my mentors:  Ron Erben, James Bilbro, Richard Wolf, Rick Kidwell, Claude Danvers, and Jay Payne. You guys are the best! I wouldn’t have been successful without you sharing your knowledge and wisdom… and kicking me in the pants now and then when I needed it.