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Collective Intelligence

By Steve Jones,

It's a rat race out there at times. If you follow the very visible SQL Server gurus on Twitter or Facebook, sift through forum postings, or read a lot of blogs, it can seem like you are always behind the curve. It might seem that every other DBA in the world knows a lot more than you do about SQL Server. In a great thread on Stack Overflow I saw this quote that made me stop and think about things for a minute:

"Reading blogs, StackOverflow and programming books always seemed to make me feel that I was behind the curve on the things that all programmers must just know intuitively.

I've realized over time that I'm effectively comparing my knowledge to the collective knowledge of many people, not a single individual…" - From this comment

That's very true.  I've felt that way and I'm sure many others to as well. When you read a lot of information online, or follow discussions on places like SQLServerCentral, it might seem that most of the people out there know more than you. However if you were to follow a single person that might not be the case. As someone that sees lots of knowledge shared, and debated, what I've found is that most people specialize in a few areas, not lots of them.

So, for a short Friday poll, I wanted to know what you think about this:

Is the feeling of insecurity  good or bad for your career?

Is it motivating to try and absorb the entire collective intelligence of the SQL Community? Or is it depressing and frustrating? Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, just opinions.

SQL Server is an incredibly wide and deep product, with so many capabilities and features that no one is an expert in the entire product anymore. If you feel that you can't keep up, that's OK. None of us can.

Steve Jones


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Steve Jones