T-SQL Tuesday #096: Folks Who Have Made a Difference

Invitation from Ewald Cress.

Because many of us have our brains fried after last week’s PASS Summit, I’m going for a non-technical subject: the opportunity to give a shout-out to people (well-known or otherwise) who have made a meaningful contribution to your life in the world of data.

I can certainly think of many candidates for my submission, and the hardest part may be narrowing down the options to a manageable set. You may opt to write about a single incident, let rip with a mini-biography, or anything in between. And if you want to contextualise it with juicy technical detail, be my guest!

Since I’m hosting, I get to jump the queue at this point by thanking Adam Machanic. His blogging and writing has provided me with much food for thought over my SQL Server career, and I loved that one chance I got to attend a one-day precon with him a few years ago. He is a total rock star, and I mean that in the nicest possible sense.

Adam has created and gently managed this particular medium of T-SQL Tuesday, which has given me a few much-needed writing deadlines and an opportunity to connect with people I wouldn’t normally cross paths with. Exhibit A: Deb Melkin and I killing time with conversation in the airport last Saturday. We had never met before, but had participated in T-SQL Tuesday together – my first one IIRC – which was pretty much the extent of our prior acquaintance.

He has also helped me in a more direct way. A few months ago, I was considering submitting a session for SQL Saturday, and found myself staring at his great blog post on writing abstracts. Feeling the need to bounce some ideas around, I emailed him with a few simple questions. His very detailed response was helpful in getting my thoughts crystallised, but the interaction also gave me the courage to go for it. So thank you, Adam.

You get the idea. Find a person or several people to pick on, and tell us a shareable story or two about how they have made a positive contribution in your life.

T-SQL Tuesday #34 – Help! I Need Somebody

Invitation from Rob Volk.

n the beginning…


SQL Server has changed a lot since I started with it.  <Cranky Old Guy>Back in my day, Books Online was neither.  There were no blogsGoogle was the third-place search site. There were perhaps two or three communityforums where you could ask questions.  (Besides the Microsoft newsgroups…which you had to access with Usenet.  And endure the wrath of…Celko.)  Your “training” was reading a book, made from real dead trees, that you bought from your choice of brick-and-mortar bookstore. And except for your local user groups, there were no conferencesseminarsSQL Saturdays, or any online video hookups where you could interact with a person. You’d have to call Microsoft Support…on the phone…a LANDLINE phone.  And none of this “SQL Family” business!</Cranky Old Guy>

Even now, with all these excellent resources available, it’s still daunting for a beginner to seek help for SQL Server.  The product is roughly 1247.4523 times larger than it was 15 years ago, and it’s simply impossible to know everything about it.*  So whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned pro of over a decade’s experience, what do you do when you need help on SQL Server?