Meme15 Twitter

Categories: Meme15, News, Professional, SSC, SSSOLV
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Published on: January 16, 2012

Twitter and Your Career

With the new blog party on the block, we have Jason Strate (blog | twitter) asking us this month these two questions:

  1. Why should average Jane or Joe professional consider using twitter?
  2. What benefit have you seen in your career because of twitter?

But first, a little background.  This blog party is an experiment in exploring the use of social networking and other medium (such as blogs) to enhance your career and professional development.  You can read about that in the link from this months invitation.

For myself, it will be very useful to participate as I explore these kinds of questions in answer for myself.  So, let’s get to the two questions at hand for this months topic.

Why should average Jane or Joe professional consider using twitter?

This question is one I had to explore back when I first started using twitter.  I even wrote a blog or two about it.

I first was having a difficult time justifying it for myself.  I wrote about that here.  But a little while later, I started to see that there was some worth to it and decided to take the plunge.

There are many benefits to twitter.  One benefit is that twitter is one method to announce information relevant to the local User Group.  Another top notch reason is that there are many very intelligent people watching twitter to help answer questions.  There are hashtags for SSRS, SSIS, SQLHelp and other topics.

If you are in a crunch and having a problem – twitter is often a very fast way to get a solid answer.  Call it an online helpdesk with quality and personality rating very high on the list.

What benefit have you seen in your career because of twitter?

Personally, I enjoy the benefit of the new friends and SQLFamily that twitter has exposed.  I sometimes find the time to lurk on twitter and enjoy in the conversation that is taking place.

Through the conversations that are occurring on twitter I find that it gives me a nice break from the work of the day.  It also gives me access to find interesting topics and articles that others have read or written.  But the best part boils back down to SQLFamily.

Check it out sometime – I think you will find that it is worthwhile.

Why do I Blog?

Categories: Meme15, News, Professional, SSC
Tags: ,
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: December 17, 2011

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. 😉

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