First off, thanks to Chris Yates (blog | twilter) for hosting this edition of T-SQL Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party started by Adam Machanic (blog | twitter), that happens on the second Tuesday of each month. The host for that month picks a theme, and off we go. This is my first time participating, but I guarantee won’t be my last. :-)
This month’s theme is: What does the community mean to you? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I keep coming back to a few thoughts each time.
Community means being able to explain what you do for 50+ hours per week with a single sentence. You have no idea how many times I tell people what I do, and it takes two paragraphs or more to explain it. I don’t have to do that when I’m around you folks, and I love that.
Community means there’s always help available. It may not be fast, but it’s there, and it’s good – every time. When I show DB2 or Oracle people what we do with #sqlhelp, their jaws hit the floor every time. When I tell them about SQL Saturday, the rest of them hits the floor as well. Recently, I even heard a DBA from another product say, “Wow – I should have learned SQL, instead.” I replied with, “Never too late to start, we’ll help you.” And I know we will.
Community means spending an entire Saturday learning. Even if it’s a gorgeous day outside. It says something about a community when a couple hundred people take a weekend to train themselves, get better, and help others get better as well. I just don’t see that in a lot of other groups. At least not on the scale that we do it. It shows our professionalism and dedication, and it makes a difference..
Community means giving, just as much as receiving. Yes, I was a little slow to start, but the primary reason I started this blog, started speaking and writing about SQL Server is because I get so much from the community, I just had to start giving something back. I’ve gotten so much from the community – it just makes sense to start giving back. And on top of that, it feels good. Whether it’s answering a question on #sqlhelp, speaking at a SQL Saturday, or when someone mentions something I wrote, it feels good to know that I helped someone. (Even if it was by being a bad example. ;-) )
Community means being welcome. I think this applies to just about any community, but I really feel it in this one, more so than in many others I’ve participated in. This is one of the most welcoming groups of people I’ve known. Maybe it’s just a function of common experience, but I feel like I can just walk up to anyone, and start a pleasant conversation. You don’t get that everywhere, and I’m glad to have it here. No wonder many of us call it #SQLFamily. It feels like home.
Thanks for reading.