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SQL Family – (and SQL meme Mondays)

07 Nov

Tom LaRock’s (blog|twitter) question this month: What does SQLfamily mean to me?

Interesting concept – this SQLfamily thing, one I hadn’t really thought of, but the longer I stay in it, the more I understand it, and the more I learn there is to understand.

When I first started out in IT, I found myself reaching up to the people who’d been here longer than me, always reaching, learning, growing.

I’ve found that lately, while the reaching, learning and growing hasn’t stopped, there’s another aspect to it now.  I’m reaching, learning and growing – but reaching back, and learning a lot by teaching some of the people who are coming up the ranks behind me.  I learn so much from teaching, because I actually have to explain why I do something, and often, in that very act – understand it better myself.

I can’t tell you how many times the exercise of having to explain something has helped me understand it – even if it’s trying to explain a problem I’m having and am asking for help on.  One place I worked, the lead dba there would see me show up at his desk, with a puzzled look on my face, say thank you, and leave (leaving my puzzled look on his face).  Turns out that just in trying to figure out how to ask him the question, I’d figured it out for myself.

I’ve dealt with folks who are wonderful at answering questions, and folks that taught me much, not only in the basics, but also learning how to learn.

I’ve also dealt with folks who are the SQL equivalent of curmudgeons (nicest word I could think of) – and like it or not, learned from them.

It’s just like a regular family.  Some functional… some dysfunctional… All the wonderful fruits and nuts we’re used to dealing with in our own families.

And that’s part of it, right? We’re all human, we make mistakes, and things go wrong, often at the worst possible moment.  Having that SQL family out there is like having someone you can depend on – even if it’s not technical, but “just” moral support.

In fact, I’m training a new fellow here in the company, we’ve been troubleshooting a horked out master database on an old box that should have been put out of our misery a long time ago, and of course, I’m trying to distill years of “don’t believe the UI” into a simple “because” statement, and it’s challenging – but he’s part of the SQL family, and so while I teach him, he helps me, and it turns out he’s training others.

And that’s cool.

It’s… It’s a “Circle of Life” kind of thing…

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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