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Are You a Giver or a Taker? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 1:38 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Are You a Giver or a Taker?

Brad M. McGehee
Microsoft SQL Server MVP
Director of DBA Education, Red Gate Software
www.bradmcgehee.com
Post #826043
Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 6:28 AM
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I'm a co-leader of our local PASS chapter and also on the committee to host our first SQL Saturday in spring 2010, as well as a member of several local civic associations.
Yes it takes time away from the family. But I find I get always get back more than I give by meeting new people, making connections to people and orgaanizations, and learning from others. Also as Brad said there is lots of opportunity to develop and hone new skills. You can work on things you may not think you are good at, like public speaking, finding sponsors, etc and develop these skills with the help of others.
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Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 7:34 AM
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An eye opener editorial Brad...
I see myself mostly as a Taker may be the surrounding is having an impact on me. But at a personal level I enjoy helping my team/cross teams/ex-colleague who writes to me for help.
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Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 8:56 AM


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It's an interesting question to ask of people. I think that we are all givers and takers, but at different points in our careers. I know many people that don't answer questions or volunteer for years, and then they'll be inspired to do something at some point. There may be some that never give back, but I would guess they give in other parts of their lives. I would see very few people as only givers or takers in all parts of their lives.

You have to find a balance, and make that effort when it's appropriate for you. One thing I will say is that volunteering or giving of yourself isn't something you have to do constantly, or every year. Try it once. Make an effort in 2010 or 2011 to give something back to the community, even something as simple as answering a question, or manning the door at a user group meeting or SQL Saturday.







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Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 10:18 AM
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I would love to be a giver - if I had anything to give. I fell into the DBA role by being the developer who was willing to give new things a try. What I know about the system/network side of DBA work can be printed on a postage stamp (do they still exist?). I've been a DBA for only 3 years, now, and am still learning so much from just reading the forums that I feel that I know nothing yet. Still, as both the production and development DBA of a company with 3000+ users, my colleagues amazingly come to me for help and advice which, even more amazingly, I find that I am actually able to provide.

Of all of the forums, SQL Server Central has made the most difference to my career - by far.

My thanks to all of the givers on this site; my thanks, also, to the takers who ask the givers - you give by asking pertinent questions.

When I am sufficiently knowledgeable, I plan to become one of the givers, myself.

So, to the Givers of SQL Server Central, I salute you! Thank you.
Post #826350
Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 10:19 AM
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I'm not a DBA, so I do my volunteering where I actually have some expertise to provide. I appreciate the instruction on using data bases that I have obtained from SQLServerCentral. Thank you to those of you who are willing to teach! Just one comment -- I think that in your last paragraph, you meant to insert the word "not," as in "If you are not a volunteer, please consider volunteering here."

Best wishes, and thank you!

Madeline Jean
Post #826351
Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 10:38 AM
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As I browse forums, I generally become a taker because my vast ignorance is exposed by the quality of some of the discussions that sparkle over my head. But then, like many, it also has something to do with working at home with a three-year-old, since she doesn't quite understand "work time" as a concept. Being a quality giver takes a lot of time, knowledge and, effort. Many kudos to those who fall into the zone of giving.
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Posted Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:34 AM


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Interesting and thoughtful editorial you wrote there, Mr. McGehee. I'd like to add a 3rd category instead of just the Giver or Taker catgories... Receiver. It seems like the "pass it forward" theory really does work. The more I give, the more I get and I'm not even trying to "take". Some of the folks waiting in the wings but still not coming forward might want to reconsider based on that thought.

Thank you, Steve Jones, and all those behind the scenes that keep this site up, running, and in the fine shape it's in. Thank you for making it attractive enough to bring in the "big dogs" (who also happen to be "big givers") that we all know so well not to mention all the relative "newbies" who have proven their savy and merit and have joined the "big dogs" in very, very short order. I've learned a whole lot thanks to SQLServerCentral and it's not all just about SQL Server.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my hat is off to all of you.


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Post #826513
Posted Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:22 AM


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I agree with the sentiment, but I'd also like to add that it is often quite rewarding to step outside your sphere of comfort and do something different. In a galaxy far away, a long time ago, I was the philanthropic chair for my fraternity. I helped direct the group away from the silly fund raising ideas that dominated the campus. I helped get people involved, hands on projects.
To this day, some 20 years later, I still get a bunch of the core guys (and their families now) together to support a family camp. Nothing like a DBA, .NET developer, school teacher, molecular biologist, Managing Director for a top Fortune 10 company, DOT Engineer, paralegal, and an EE to get together and cut & split firewood.
Step outside and perhaps find something you like.





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Jason Miller
Post #826571
Posted Tuesday, December 01, 2009 6:46 AM


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I do both.

I certainly answer my share of questions on this forum. I also give blood, spend hours almost every week on community volunteer activities, donate a little more than 10% of my income to various charities, donate books to libraries, and so on.

But I also learn a lot from this forum. I benefit from all manner of community programs. I take advantage of free open-source software that others wrote. And so on.

We're all symbiots for each other. No way around that. Best way to live is to live for yourself AND for others. Live for your family and your community and your own benefit, all at the same time. Take a wide view and make all your actions count as much as you can. If you're a member of the human race, it's pretty easy to see that benefiting the race as a whole can benefit you, and that benefiting you can benefit the race. Even small actions count.


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