Quick and simple for today. Happy Holidays to you!
Tis the season for TSQL Tuesday. Not only is it that season again, but it is also the Holiday season.
During this season, many people start to think about all of the things for which they are thankful. Many may start to think about their families and friends. And many others will focus more of their attention to neighbors and other people in the community. This is often done regardless of how well you may know the people or in spite of ill feelings that may exist for the people at other times of the year.
Yes, it is a good time of the year. And to top it off, we may even get to enjoy snow during this time of year while we sip hot cocoa, learn SQL and eat pies of many different sorts. Yes! It is a glorious time of the year.
I already have a couple of SQL books to read as I cozy up close to the fire with my children near. (Oh yes, it is never too early to learn SQL.) A little SQL roasting on the open fire so to speak. Awesome time of year.
With all that is going well and all the SQL I can be learning, it is also a Season of Giving. It is because of the time of year that Wayne Sheffield was probably prompted to invite all of us to write about that topic for this months TSQL Tuesday. You can read the invite here.
But thinking about that topic and the time of year, I wanted to talk briefly about some ways I know the SQL Community gives back.
Doctors without Borders
A really well known opportunity this past year that helped people to give back to the community was hosted by Argenis Fernandez (twitter) and Kirsten Benzel (twitter) here. The two of them had this fantastic idea to involve the SQL Family in driving a fundraiser for Doctors without Borders. They had publicized various goals to make it fun and achieved a lot of those goals. This was an event I would like to see again and it was one that accomplished a lot of good.
Each Christmas season there is a phenomenon associated to a book called Christmas Jars. People from all across the country anonymously donate a jar to somebody in the community that may have hit a stretch of hard luck. In the jar is a variable amount of money for the family to use to help with whatever they need during that time. You can read more about that here and here.
The Christmas Jars is something that my children do each year. They find a family somewhere in town and find a way to get the jar to the family anonymously. The amount of money is never the same, but the intent and love is always the same. They are doing it to help their neighbors without any publicity. They know the good that is brought from the love they show to their neighbors.
Watching my children participate in a worthwhile way to give makes me happy. I hope it is something that will stick with them throughout their lives.
All of that said, the TSQL Tuesday invite asked for what we plan to do in the upcoming year for the SQL community. This is a really hard topic to answer. It kind of depends on what opportunities become available in the upcoming year. I can say this though, I do plan to continue to help and give where I can.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go visit Washington DC. It was just the second time I got to stay in the Nation’s capitol for more than just a few hours. The previous opportunity came with last years event which I talked about here. Sadly, my time was far too limited this trip and seeing the sites was far more limited. Thus, I only saw them from the car or plane window in passing. But that is far better than seeing them in photos or not at all.
The reason for the visit? It was SQL Saturday 347. Now, it is my chance to recap the event and what I learned.
This year I really wanted to attend to see some of my friends and to help some friends as well. An example is that one friend was looking for some good constructive feedback to his presentation. That friend happens to be a person I met at the event from last year: Ayman El-Ghazali (blog). I had a good conversation with Ayman in the speaker room following his session and between some of the sessions. Ayman is a DBA that is working hard to learn and improve any way he can. Those are traits that are important to have as a DBA these days.
Much like last year (and I even made the comment), it was warm again (definitely shorts weather) and it also rained again. I really think there must be a trend with SQL Saturday in DC in that it brings rain. There may be something there.
There were some things that couldn’t be controlled necessarily. But everybody came together and helped to make it work.
I had the great opportunity this year to present the very very very short session on Murder that I give as a precon along with Wayne Sheffield. People walked away from the session expressing gratitude for the content and how much they learned. Many were even curious to learn more of what we could present in the all day version. Very COOL!
I also had a great time seeing SQLFamily. Talking with friends and enjoying everybody’s company. I did make it to a few sessions outside of mine. And I got to chat with attendees while trying to answer their questions in the halls.
I am looking forward to this event again next year. And I hope everybody that attended my sessions learned at least one thing.
One last thing. Thanks to all of the attendees. To say “the attendees were great,” at this event, would be a gross mis-understatement in my opinion. The attendees were awake and engaged (even if they had never heard of “Clue” before the session). They invested their time and effort and I think they helped to make the event top notch.