#SQLVacation Goes Giga(coaster) in Charlotte, NC

Kevin Kline

Published On: July 10, 2017

Categories: SQLFamily, Community, SQLVacation 0

Charlotte is not only the largest city in North Carolina, but also the second largest city in southeastern United States. As the third-fastest growing city in the US there is a lot to expect from Charlotte. You could check out the Mint Museum, see the Charlotte Hornets, visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, catch a ballet, or go white water rafting. Want to ride the world’s 2nd tallest gigacoaster (a rollercoaster over 300ft) in the world? Just got to Carowinds for the Fury 325. We can’t forget it’s also home to the Panthers football team. The only thing Charlotte doesn’t have is a zoo, but there is currently a city plan to get that on the way.

Let's Talk Shire

Peter Shire is a force that helps makes Charlotte's user groups happen.


When did you begin your professional career? I began my professional career in 1989 working for Microsoft back when Lotus, WordPerfect and IBM were the main competition and MS-DOS was our main product.

What’s a normal week at work like for you?  It's all about communication - meeting with clients, project teams, internal resources plus prospective clients and team members. Communicating with them on status, issues and potential projects.

What was your first IT or computer project that added value? (For example, something that was not a part of school assignment or a learning project)  At Microsoft, I managed one of their largest resellers and I helped them to push Microsoft away from delivering boxes of products to managing delivery of license numbers only. 

What sort of career do you think you’d pursue today if you hadn’t chose IT?  I enjoy people and I enjoy technology so perhaps sales for a communications company.

When did you come to the area?  My family and I moved from Philadelphia to Charlotte in 2004. We went from three shopping malls within a 15 mile radius to a 45 minute drive to the nearest mall.  

What caused you to decide to help as a volunteer leader?  I participated in some PC users groups throughout the 90s and clearly recognized the value of community. When I arrived in here the Charlotte SQL Server Users Group needed help and I just hoped I could do something positive.

What is the IT community like in your town?  Charlotte has a vibrant IT community. Of course we've been home to Microsoft's first support office outside of Washington state since 1990. Many large financial services firms are headquartered here. Plus there is a large number of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in Charlotte such as SentryOne and ChristianSteven Software. 

What do you enjoy doing in the area? Charlotte is just a great place to raise a family. There is so much to do. Great food, outdoor activities, college and pro sports

What do you recommend visitors to your town do on their own #sqlvacation?  Catch a NASCAR race, tour the Carolinas Aviation Museum to see the the US Airways Airbus A320 from the "Miracle on the Hudson" and have some barbecue. 

Enter the #SQLVacation 2017 Contest!

Have you set your vacation plans for the summer? If so, share them with the #SQLFamily community and on social media using the hashtag #SQLVacation for a chance to win an awesome apron and ThinkGeek gift card! Visit the SQL Vacation page for more contest details.

Contest ends July 29th, and you don't want to miss it. Happy Summer!


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Kevin (@kekline) serves as Principal Program Manager at SentryOne. He is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books like SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a renowned database expert, software industry veteran, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and long-time blogger at SentryOne. As a noted leader in the SQL Server community, Kevin blogs about Microsoft Data Platform features and best practices, SQL Server trends, and professional development for data professionals.