So this month, it’s about how we fixed a problem, or found help when we couldn’t fix a problem, with a theme based on ‘Help’ by The Beatles…
I chose the 2nd verse…
When I was younger, so much younger than today
So, many years ago, when I started out with SQL Server, back in the heady days of 6.5, there was much less of a SQL Community, actually, I don’t even remember one. The only way I could get help, was either through using MSDN, or by emailed colleagues I met on a SQL training course.
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
Though that’s primarily due to stopping using SQL for a while, just a year or so, but still.
Everyone needs help, at some point, with something. It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured.
In the past few years, I’ve started working more and more with SQL, and found that it is such a huge product that no one can know the whole thing (SSAS, SSIS, SSRS included), and because of that, I’ve found several ways to get help if I need it.
Though, before I get into that, I need to say something about the community. There is a huge SQL Community out there, though the first community event I attended wasn’t a SQL One. It was a Developer event, Remix Uk, back in 2008 (http://www.microsoft.com/uk/remix08/default.aspx). It was a great event and I got to meet some great people there, including Scott Guthrie! Getting to this event was pretty much solely due to an ex-colleague, Jes Kirkup. Thanks Jes!
Since then I’ve started attending community events where I can, including the local DevEvening events (where I’ve done a couple of short presentations), and SQL community events (SQLMaidenhead, SQL in the Evening, and SQLBits of course!). I’ve found that these are a great way of getting a great insight into what skills others in the industry have, and so where I should be targeting my learning. Following on from that, I’ve met some great people, and there are people who I know I could ask for help if I needed to.
Not to mention the #SQLHelp hash tag on twitter, where there is help, pretty much 24hours a day, the only restriction being the need to phrase your question in 150 characters (160-hash tag).
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.
Now I find that I am helping people where I get the opportunity, am publishing blog articles (here, like this one!) and am hoping to do more Community presentations. Furthermore, I’m doing internal training courses (next month I’m doing one on SSAS), and have recently started mentoring a colleague in SQL.
It’s great to be able to share knowledge and experience.
Thanks for listening, and reading, and thanks again to Rob for hosting.