My name is Ryan Booz. I’m a PostgreSQL Advocate at Redgate Software and this is my little corner of the interwebs.
Most of the content I create is related to databases, and primarily PostgreSQL – although SQL Server and the Microsoft Data Platform still sneaks in there sometimes.
I feel very fortunate that my current role as an advocate allows me to connect with PostgreSQL and Redgate users both in person and at conferences. I honestly feel most alive when I’m able to learn something new about databases or teach others about the technology I love.
I also manage a monthly blogging event called PGSQL Phriday for the PostgreSQL community. Each month a volunteer in the community hosts the event and invites folks to write about a specific topic. (It was modeled after the TSQL Tuesday initiative started years ago in the SQL Server community.) If you have a blog and use (or are learning to use) PostgreSQL, please consider joining in!
I’ve loved programming and computer problem solving since the first time I looked at the BASIC commands in a pirated copy of “Lost Dutchman’s Gold” on my fathers TRS-80 (on cassette tape) in the early 80s. As it turned out, I was able to determine that the copy I had wasn’t actually finished and the game had no actual end yet. Talk about disappointment.
In 1986 my fifth grade class had a week of lessons on Apple IIc’s with the LOGO Turtle writing lots of “FORWARD 100, RIGHT 90, etc.”. I couldn’t wait for that class every day. At the end of the week I was able to draw a fairly decent version of the Penn State Nittany Lion logo… well, as decent as a fat turtle drawing blocky lines in 16 colors** would allow. I was hooked.
My big break came in my junior and senior year in high school. Our physics teacher happened to love the growing field of Bio-mechanics, of which Penn State (15 miles away) had one of the premiere programs. Through the use of some grant money and collaboration with the PSU department, he build an AP class around biomechanics. The first year we built a force platform which we hooked up to a PC and video camera to start analyzing people walking and jumping. Partway through that year, my teacher submitted an application to a new initiative through the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to bring advanced computing to high schools. We were selected as one of ~12 schools in the state, each receiving new DEC 5000, Internet access (in 1992!) and multiple on-site visits with the awesome people in Pittsburgh.
My senior year ended by completing a reproduction of a study about the rotational motion of platform divers using FORTRAN 77 and POV-Ray to do the animation. The video we produced of the five example dives was aptly titled, “The Effects of Booz on Diving”.
It’s been 30 years now since that animation was completed. The journey from there to where I am today has had a lot of forks in the road, but technology and data have always been at the center of my work.
**OK, the 16 colors thing had no bearing on the end product. First of all our workstations (we worked in pairs) had monochrome monitors. We only got to see the end product once we saved it and took it to the teacher who reviewed it and then ran it on his computer which was hooked up to a TV so that we could see the colors. And regardless, I only needed good old PSU Blue and White! So 16 was way overkill. 😉