Joe Anderson (DatabaseMX) is a database architect and application developer at Southern California Edison in Covina, California. He is also the CEO and Chief Database Architect for AllData, Inc. He has been a Microsoft MVP for his work with Access since 2009. Anderson joined Experts Exchange in 2006 and has been named a Top Expert four times.
He currently lives in California in beautiful Rancho Cucamonga, and when he’s not working or answering questions on Experts Exchange, he plays guitar for a variety of blues bands in Southern California.
Anderson’s passion for problem solving began in high school with an interest in cars. He was called “King of the Auto Shop” by his classmates. He built two different drag racing machines and still enjoys following NHRA racing.
After high school, he joined the Automotive Engineering Technology program at Western Michigan University, but he quickly realized this was not the right fit. This realization was aided by his growing interest in the parties hosted by his fraternity. He left the program and moved to California for a year and a half.
Upon his return to Michigan, he worked for a while at the original Gibson Guitar factory in Kalamazoo. When he returned to school, he decided to join a different program at WMU, this time the Electronics Technology program.
Regarding his time in this program, he said, “In my first electronics class at WMU, I accidentally got shocked by 480 Volts DC, and it knocked me across the room. Getting shocked...by 120 Volts AC is just a tickle compared to 480 VDC. From that point on, I was hooked.”
Though this experience solidified his interest in the field, he did not find the program at WMU to be moving his education forward. He moved back to California where he joined the Electrical Engineering program at California State University Long Beach. Here, he graduated with a BSEE. He graduated cum laude with a GPA of 3.75.
As he transitioned from his education to his career, he had a realization that impacted his path:
“Although I have a BSEE and was initially doing analog & digital circuit design, I didn't really seem to have a knack for circuit design. So I migrated into writing microcode/firmware and eventually software, which I am still doing to this day. So a pivotal moment was acknowledging that I had to let circuit design go and move into something else.”
His Time on Experts Exchange
When asked about notable moments on Experts Exchange, Anderson said, “Staying with a challenging problem/question until the there is a solution is extremely gratifying and is the 'engineering way.' This has happened numerous times. In one way or another, these are all notable experiences.”
Answering questions on site allows him to stay sharp and focused: “You are constantly learning something new or remembering something you have long forgotten. This definitely reflects into my daily work. In fact, on almost a daily basis, I answer Microsoft Access questions for colleagues at work.”
He even described his initial acceptance into the MVP program as “mainly a direct result of [his] contributions to Experts Exchange early on.”
After 13 years on Experts Exchange, he has some advice for newer users of the site:
For New Certified Professionals
Stay with a question until there is a solution.
Go the extra mile.
Avoid demeaning the [asker] in any way.
Be respectful of other experts.
For New Askers
Be explicit in stating the question/problem.
Don't assume experts can read your mind.
Keep the question as simple and short as possible.
All experts volunteer their time on Experts Exchange. Please keep this in mind.
His “Free” Time
I asked him if playing guitar was a kind of escape from his intensive work with databases and tech, but he assured me that he loves his work enough to not feel like he needs an “escape.” He did, however, feel that his skills in technology allow him to pay diligent attention to product and equipment quality when making decisions about guitars.
I asked him what a “day off” looks like, but he doesn’t take many of those. Even days with no committed agenda typically result in DIY projects at home. It’s clear that Joe Anderson is truly passionate about his work, and his love for technology has not diminished throughout his years in the field.
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