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First Challenge down! Can't believe it!

Michael Kett

Oh, My, God.  I actually won the first challenge!  The win is bittersweet though...I hate to see my fellow contestants feeling down about the outcome.  I realize that this is a competition and that for each of the challenges only 1 person can win, but it doesn’t feel good to only have 1 person win when all of us are trying so hard and going through a very difficult experience.

It’s difficult to put into words just how unnerving being under this type of pressure is.  I’ve been under extreme duress before to complete a project, or to fix a production related outage, but this competition is a completely different type of stress.  During the challenge we had cameras up in our faces, people walking by watching our every keystroke, and even a funky live band playing 50 feet away (Yes, Microsoft had a live band playing.  Would be so sweet if I wasn't stressing over the challenge.)  Not to mention the fact that I’m going up against 3 very, very smart and talented people with WAY (10 years+) more experience than I have when it comes to SQL.

Presenting my solution to the judges was absolutely terrifying.  There I was, standing in front of 3 of the most talented judges from Microsoft, and trying to explain myself and my approach to the challenge.  Personally I am not fit for public speaking (it’s why I like computers…duh), and I could hear my voice wobbling and my palms sweating.  Not to mention that I wasn't totally happy with the results of my work, having to scramble from a mid-challenge computer failure.  Even after having been announced the winner I felt like there were better ways I could have come up with the solution.

Reflecting on the this week’s challenge, I can say I look towards the next challenge with caution, and will try my very best. 

Be sure to check out my personal video blog about the experience thus far!

PS – Almost forgot to mention!  The prize was access to any 10 E-titles from Microsoft of my choosing!  Pretty sweet and will definitely be put to good use.

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