Last week I heard about a new blog party/meme coming down the pipe for the #SQLFamily. This new meme is Meme15 and is the pet project of Jason Strate (Blog|Twitter). Here is the announcement.
So, as this first Meme15 begs, why did I start blogging?
Was it fame? NO
Was it glory? NO NO
Was it the fortune? NO NO NO
I started blogging to help improve some of my skills.
The primary skill I was trying to improve was my writing. It’s not easy writing. It’s even more difficult to write something that is good. Take it another step and you will find that it sometimes is quite difficult to write something that is good and something that is technical. Now, let’s go another level and try to write something good, technical, interesting and doesn’t put you to sleep (in other words it has character) – but without sounding like a super dork/geek/nerd blah blah blah.
At some point in your writing, after you have been writing for a while, you start to find your keyboard/voice though. Then it starts to get a little easier for a while. You start to learn about who you are as a writer, then you can either accept it or you can work on it and develop a little bit. I think I have found a little bit of who I am as a writer – and I continue to work to improve on it.
Then there is that whole aspect of putting your work out there for everybody to read. This public display was the second thing that led to me starting a blog. Newsflash, I am not the kind of person that likes to put myself on display. Which is kind of weird because I have no qualms about public speaking. But I don’t feel like public speaking is putting myself on display – I am usually well prepared when speaking.
With writing, you put yourself out there a lot more than public speaking though. With writing a blog, you are exposing yourself to millions of people. Furthermore, it is there for a very long time once you publish it. You screw up, it is there for people to see. You write poorly – it is there for people to see. If you write some really bad TSQL – it IS there for people to see. In spite of all of that, I wanted to overcome that fear of having my flaws and shortcomings exposed for people to see. And you know what? It is well worth it. Having this stuff out there, I try harder to make it better. I find myself doing more research before posting. I also find myself revisiting and re-posting scripts over time.
I revisit old scripts and old posts and find myself learning and evolving as a DBA (in addition to as a writer). As I learn something, I like to implement it where appropriate – especially when it will make my scripts run better.
As I have continued to blog over time (not quite two years now), I have seen growth in these areas. I have benefited from this adventure. I have also seen that I am more at ease in other areas such as public speaking or being a dork in public and letting me be myself (another thing my wife sees in our home but not in public as much as she may like). In addition to those benefits, I have also seen the benefits in other areas such as depth of knowledge and breadth of knowledge.
Increasing my SQL Skill set is one of those benefits that I did not quite fully expect would happen. It wasn’t one of the reasons for which I started blogging – but it is certainly a reason I recommend to people when they think about starting. I expected to improve my skills – sure. But I expected to see that anyway because I had always progressed. I did not expect to see such a high correlation between blogging and increased ability in SQL. If for nothing else – blog for that reason. Blog so you can become a better DBA.
Oh, I know this is a bit late. I am taking advantage of what Jason said in his announcement: “They just need to be posted on or around December 15th.” So I am posting today because it is close to the 15th and felt that waiting any longer wouldn’t be close enough.