Un-SQL Friday #2: Tech Giants

A non-Friday, depressed-that-the-Bears-can’t-get-a-decent-franchise-quarterback-to-save-their-lives edition.


Un-SQL: When SQL People get less SQL-y, while still talking about SQL.

Un-SQL Friday: The T-SQL Tuesday foil blog party created by Jen McCown (blog | @MidnightDBA) where we all talk about something related to SQL Server instead of something about SQL Server. It’s a less-technical topic, which is better for me (because I’m terrible at this) and gives us all something a bit more relaxing to focus our brains on (in case we need that sort of thing).

This round’s topic is “Tech Giants.” Jen says: Who are the IT giants you talk to/read that make you feel like a technical poser? No fair saying “everyone”. Oh. I can’t say “everyone”? Really? Uhh, OK, that’s going to make this a bit more difficult than I had initially thought…

That “not everyone” bit does make this pretty difficult, because I don’t know who to pick individually. I really do feel like all of the SQL people that I talk to on Twitter are giants in the field compared to me. I appreciate: everything that the SQLskills crew does for the rest of us; Thomas LaRock (blog | @SQLRockstar) for putting up with us if we act a little like wide-eyed fanbois the first time we meet (ahem); Jorge Segarra (blog | @SQLChicken) for nagging me about applying to work for Pragmatic Works, because, I’m pretty sure that’s what I should be doing; and Steve Jones (blog | @way0utwest) for generally being awesome, even if he does hate planes 😀 . Oh, and Jen & Sean (site | @MidnightDBA) for always being willing to be at least somewhat “inappropriate” in what seems some days like a sea of over-the-top political correctness Professionalism (this isn’t to say that they’re R-rated all the time—they know when to be serious and when to come back with “That’s what she said”). Those are just some people; there are so many more that I’m leaving out. We’d be here for a while if I went on.

As nice as all of this is, both from a technical knowledge and networking perspectives, it is a two-edged sword. One day at lunch with our Senior DBA, I asked him where my worst shortcomings are & what I need to work on to continue to move ahead in my career current job. Me being me, this question partially took the form of “where/why do I suck?” His response was basically, “you don’t, but you spend too much time on Twitter.” The reference being that I spend too much time comparing myself to all of these great people who have awesome jobs (and could get whatever other job they wanted at the drop of a hat) and can answer really gnarly questions about SQL’s Storage Engine off the top of their heads (potentially because they wrote it!), and some days I let it get me down. He’s right… some days I do do that. Alright, more days than is really healthy do I do that. This is a little bit of a problem, and I’m trying to get over that.

Tammy and I were talking about this a few days ago, and she reminded me that one isn’t going to be at a comparable level to Brent or Tom overnight—it takes work to get there. These guys should be aspirations, not thought of as peers. Plus, like Jen mentioned in her invitation post, all of these guys have giants of their own, too, and that is, indeed, comforting. As long as we all have someone that we think we suck compared to, then I can tell myself that means I suck a little less than I think I do 😉