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Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 4:23 AM

Valued Member

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In my early days of learning computer languages and databases I depended heavily upon the written word. Books were always important; but online articles, forums and later blogs were the most convenient method of guiding my learning. Now that I have knowledge and experience to share, I feel that it is important to give back in the same method in which I grew.

The irony of this art is that the more I share my knowledge and experience through writing the more I learn. Since October of last year, I have made a serious effort to write an educational entry at least once a week in my blog. When I first approached this I was not sure if I could come up with something each week. I found that through my daily experience at work, discussions with friends, challenges from fellow SQL/.NET professionals and simple curiosity this effort amazingly fed itself with subjects.

In addition, I have always enjoyed the act of writing. It is a skill that is important to me to maintain and develop. That is why I explicitly carve time in my week for this purpose.

Post #497716
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 5:04 AM
Old Hand

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I have been a seasoned Oracle developer before I was given assignments to develop using SQL Server around 3.5 years back. SQLServerCentral has been very fruitful to keep in tune with the technology. Writing for it can be a way to give back what you get.

Time Is Money
Calculating the Number of Business Hours Passed since a Point of Time
Calculating the Number of Business Hours Passed Between Two Points of Time
Post #497737
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 5:06 AM



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I've always loved love writing. I hated English class in school because I thought, and still do, the teachers were, let's say, less than adequate to their jobs and more than a little blinkered about the world. But then, that was Oklahoma. Any way, I never planned on being a technical writer. I wrote short stories and screen plays and shopped them all around. I used to have a huge stack of rejection letters but I finally threw them away. But, because I could roughly string together an approximation of a sentence in English, I was frequently called on to write up processes, training and other technical documents. Then one day, I tried submitting a description of a process to SSWUG. They paid me money! Steve emailed to ask me to write here. I've never been back to that other place since.

I'm with Jeff. It's a great opportunity for learning when you write articles. You have to, or should anyway, think through your thoughts and processes and get them in order and structured correctly. It is a lot like writing code.

One more thought, if you get stuff wrong, your peers are very supportive. They will point out exactly where you went wrong in great reems of detail. I'm just thankful when they don't question my lineage.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of:
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SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #497739
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 6:04 AM

Mr or Mrs. 500

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I write for the pleasure of it. I have not attempted writing any technical manual or material, but I enjoy writing fiction for the relaxation. I even have been published (once). Check out the book REPERCUSSIONS on or
Post #497780
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 6:37 AM



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I have to be honest, I don't really like to write. I have submitted and had 1 article published here on SSC and have a blog, but I really struggle to find something interesting and somewhat original to say. For me, finding something to write about is the hardest thing. Most of what I do fairly routine and anything really good I learned from something somebody else wrote. If you include answering questions on forums, which I do enjoy since the subject has already been decided on, then I write regularly and it is a great way to learn.

Jack Corbett

Applications Developer

Don't let the good be the enemy of the best. -- Paul Fleming
At best you can say that one job may be more secure than another, but total job security is an illusion. -- Rod at work

Check out these links on how to get faster and more accurate answers:
Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
Need an Answer? Actually, No ... You Need a Question
How to Post Performance Problems
Crosstabs and Pivots or How to turn rows into columns Part 1
Crosstabs and Pivots or How to turn rows into columns Part 2
Post #497809
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 6:46 AM



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I whole heartedly agree with Jack. I think I'm a decent writer, or have been told so, my biggest problem is finding a topic to write about. Whenever I think I might have something to write about, I research the topic and find it's already been very well covered by others and I don't really have anything new to add.


To help us help you read this

For better help with performance problems please read this
Post #497818
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 6:50 AM

Ten Centuries

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I don't write because I don't have any business writing (yet). I'm still absorbing all that knowledge that you folks have sweat blood to gain, and consequently I am reaping the benefit. Sooner or later, though, I will come across something that seems article-worthy. And probably be proven wrong. ;)

I have to agree with Steve and previous posters about forums like this being the best resource for real-world problems. It's all well and good to read a book that tells you how to do what the author wants in Northwind, but applying it to real life is much more interesting and challenging.

More knowledge never hurt anybody. (except for that guy who died when the library stack fell on him . . .poor bastard)

Keep on writing!

How best to post your question
How to post performance problems
Tally Table:What it is and how it replaces a loop

"stewsterl 80804 (10/16/2009)I guess when you stop and try to understand the solution provided you not only learn, but save yourself some headaches when you need to make any slight changes."
Post #497824
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 6:50 AM



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I don't write that often. I prefer speaking. You get that instantaneous feedback ... questions in the middle of the training, the a-ha of the person figuring it out, or the rare giggle as you try to make something sound funny. You also get the eyes-glazed-over look when you are getting too technical. You can change your training accordingly to fit your audience. I really like that short feedback loop.

Once you write something, it is just out there, forever. Maybe I have a commitment issue.:D



I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
-- David M. Ogilvy
Post #497825
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 6:58 AM
SSC Journeyman

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I love to write. As many others have already commented, writing is one of the most, if not the most, cathartic activity once can partake in to enhance clarity of thought, explore new ideas, and open up a conduit between one's inner world and the outside world.

I write at least weekly on my blog, which includes technical topics, social commentary, how-tos, and IT-related debates. For instance:

Is IT Sexy Enough for Dinner Conversation? parts 1, 2 and 3.

At work, I write copious amounts of documentation. I find that the only way to really communicate ideas is through pictures (high level) and words (detail level). Only one or the other often results in incomplete communication and time spent backtracking/reverse engineering. I find it also helps speed up my work as a data architect/ETL developer because I can check back as to why I made a particular decision and how I should proceed. Fortunately, I'm also able to do keep this much documentation while being a very efficient developer. Anethema as this may sound, I found that keeping documentation is more a matter of will and not as much a matter of "time." I used to loath writing documentation until I discovered how immediate and palpable its benefits were. (And your boss will LOVE it!)

I would submit that if you were to choose two, and only two, pastimes to take up each day for the rest of your life, one should be any kind of writing (poetry, novels, music composition, screen plays, etc) and exercise. Both are actually quite similar in many ways--and produce results that nothing else really can...

|Ted Pin >>
Post #497826
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 7:08 AM


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I would like to write, but any time after work that I have available is dedicated to my kids and family. Maybe when they get a little older and I am a little wiser. :D
Post #497835
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