December 9, 2014 by Kenneth Fisher
Almost four months ago I posted my goals for the next year in my two year anniversary post. I pretty much decided I was going to continue on the same way I’d been going. Actively posting, writing the odd article, and hopefully catching up with my certifications. Well not only is it near the end of the year (a traditional time for declaring goals) but it’s the second Tuesday of the month. And everyone knows what that means right? It’s T-SQL Tuesday! This month’s host is Wayne Sheffield (b/t) and he says “I want to know how you plan on Giving Back to the SQL Community during the coming year.”
I want to add a little bit to the question. People are rarely completely selfless, we like to get something back when we give. I’m a blogger, I might even get into speaking. Although I’m not certain yet. So what’s in it for me?
I enjoy blogging. I’m about as active a blogger as you can get and I plan to continue in the next year. I love looking back over the posts I’ve done, and sometimes I see a post that I’m not terribly impressed with that for whatever reason is really popular, and sometimes I’m see a post that impresses the heck out of me even though I wrote it. So that’s part of what I get back. A sense of accomplishment.
Then comes that charge when someone tweets or retweets a link to one of my posts. And the even bigger one when someone uses one of those links to answer a question or includes one in one of their own posts. Best of all is when someone leaves a comment telling me that one of my posts helped them solve a problem. I also write articles (pretty similar to blogging to me), answer questions on dba.stackexchange.com (I even made the first page of all time users stats, right there at the bottom) and occasionally help out on #sqlhelp. All of which I also plan to continue into the next year. And again I get that same sense of accomplishment knowing I helped someone (sometimes even lots of someones).
So what do I get out of it besides that sense of accomplishment and to be honest a much needed boost to my ego? I learn. I learn a lot. I spend time studying background information on almost every post I do and certainly every question I answer. I test where possible and ask questions of those more knowledgeable than me when I have to. I hate posting incorrect information so I do my best to fact check. And that process is very similar to studying, which means that I come away knowing more than when I started. In fact I’ll bet if you ask almost anyone who does training videos, presents sessions, writes articles, blogs, or whatever, that they will agree with me. One of the best ways to learn material is to prepare it and present it to someone else.
Lastly, if you make any effort at all, when you give back to the community you make friends. And those friends are an excellent source of information and inspiration. They will help to prop you up when you need it. And if you ever need a job? You will get support from those around you who know what you are going through, maybe even some information about available jobs, and lots of unsolicited advice!
So how do I plan on giving back to the SQL Community during the coming year? I plan on doing pretty much the same things I’ve been doing in the past year. And I plan on continuing to get back more than I could ever give.