Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The importance of publishing

I presented at the Boulder SQL Server User group recently on "Taking your Skills to the Next Level". In my slides I talk about the importance of reading and staying up-to-date and not stagnating. Particularly with today's IT workforce, it's easy to be overwhelmed with day-to-day operations, fire-storms and "sev-1" outages and get sucked into a "just get it done and we'll refactor it to be more efficient later" mindset. While that may be productive short term, there are longer term stakes involved.

Many times that attitude results in a large amount of technical debt that rarely gets "fixed later" except when something breaks. Additionally, it inhibits growth.

So it is important to know what options are available in order to find an appropriate solution. And part of knowing what those options are involve reading. But, reading is not enough. It's great to know that "there's a new feature we can leverage" but has anyone ever implemented it? Has it ever been tested or validated that, yes, it will work in the company's environment?

Which brings up the second part of the presentation which is writing: create a proof of concept  (POC), write an in-house training for a lunch and learn series, and blog.

The problem with blogging is that, particularly in the SQL Server world, there are many brilliant MVPs who have already beaten us to the punch. Does that mean that us lesser SQL professionals don't have anything to say or dispense? We do. So instead of filling up the Interwebs and Blogosphere with our voice, I recommend starting or using an internal company blog site.

With an internal blog we, the soldiers on the front line, can espouse our views and knowledge to those closest to us while at the same time expanding our own knowledge.

So write my fellow database administrators, developers and architects. Find your voice and refine your audience and, ultimately, expand your own knowledge and grow.

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