Paul Randall of SQLSkills fame has posted the contest of a lifetime. It’s a free seat in their Master Immersion Event on SQL Internals and Performance. This post is my entry into the contest.
I have worked for the same company for almost 13 years. During those 13 years the company has sent me to training exactly two times. Pretty impressive, huh? Now think about this. When I started I was a desktop guy on a Novell network. Since then I have been a server engineer, NT4 domain administrator, Active Directory Administrator, Microsoft Operations Manager, Forefront Identity Manager, automation and scripting, and now a DBA. That is just the short list, but what I want to point out is that all those skills were learned by me on my own and without training. Guess what though? The company has had no problem utilizing (exploiting) my skill set without compensation. If your wondering what that’s like, imagine trololo in your head for 13 years.
I have a passion for SQL server and you can read about that here in my How I Became a DBA post. I have an even bigger passion for the SQL community, and that’s why I want this free seat in Paul and Kimberly’s class. I know what it’s like to have a passion for technology and no access to the training, so you better believe I will share everything I learn with the community. I will be presenting two sessions at SQLSaturday 57 in Houston this weekend alone, but I bet they would have been much more in depth after some SQLSkills training. The reason I started blogging and speaking was because of the infectious Brent Ozar of SQLSkills. I owe him a debt of gratitude and if I win (and Brent makes it), his drinks are on me. If he doesn’t then I’ll buy Paul’s in hopes he will pay it forward, or share it with his sheep. These guys have been an inspiration to everyone in the SQL Community, and it would be an honor to attend this class.
Are your blog posts falling on blind eyes? It can certainly seem that way sometimes. The reason we blog is because we want to be heard, or seen as the case may be. One of the ways we gauge our success is based on comments left by readers. As a technical blogger, there is nothing more discouraging than spending a ton of time banging out an awesome post just to find that days later no one has even commented on it. There are other ways to gauge your success with free tools like Google Analytics and Google FeedBurner, but they only give us raw numbers and no emotion. I want to know that my content has helped others solve problems, provided new ideas, or added a new perspective. As a SQL and technical community, what can we do?
The answer is obvious, leave comments for others! When was the last time you commented on someone else’s blog? The best way for us to encourage and support each other is to make a more vigilante effort to leave comments. I bet that many of us would not hesitate leaving a comment to correct something we see wrong in a post, but I guarantee it takes less time to comment a simple “Thank You”. The effort is small and it only takes a few seconds to tell someone that their post helped you out, made you want to research a new topic, encouraged you, or was bookmarked for information on a future project. Comments are not only good for the publisher, but also for the other readers. This could be anything from adding additional information or ideas to leaving a link to another related blog post.
The other thing we can do is make sure we attribute others for their work. I’m talking about referencing our resources. If you remember those dreaded research papers from school, that’s what I am talking about. Of course I don’t mean to the detail that was required then, but just a simple link and mention of any resources you may have used. Doing this results in ping backs through most major blogging software and is another great means for us to see those who appreciate a post. Since we are talking about referencing others and attributing their work along with the dreaded word “plagiarism”, here is how I would attribute a post that has great additional information.
Brent Ozar (Blog|Twitter) wrote a fantastic post entitled “Plagiarism Week: Finding the Slimey Slimeballs“.
We all want validation and human nature is to compare ourselves to others to gauge that. This is why comments are so important for both the author and other readers. Don’t worry; you’re not blogging for the blind. We just need to let each other know we’re reading and appreciate the content.