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Individual Contributions

By Steve Jones,

"Never underestimate what you can bring to the table." - Rob Cooper, on StackOverflow.

I read that and immediately went back to a time earlier in my career.  I worked in a large team of IT workers, with a variety of skills and experiences. Each of us had an area we specialized in (databases for me), but we had to cross train and handle calls and issues in other areas at times.  Being a diverse team of about 20 people, we all had noticeable strengths and weaknesses. Some people were talented in almost all areas and could figure things out. Some struggled and sought out the experts in areas outside their own constantly.

We had one person in particular that was fairly low down on the skill level, and was in charge of a number of administrative-type tasks for the IT infrastructure. Things like basic group/user security, handling simpler AD tasks, things that you usually task to a junior level individual. I often heard others complaining that this person could not carry their own weight, or didn't do enough work.

However when this person went on vacation, and someone else had to fill in, I'd hear more complaints about having to do basic tasks, like managing groups or setting permissions.  I couldn't  imagine the way a team would work if it was filled with highly talented, highly capable superstars; we'd never get any work done because of the constant complaining.

We all have a role to fill at times in our lives. Sometimes it's a high level role, and at times it's a low level role. Each of us brings value for the work we do, and none of us is any "better" at life than any other. The lead developer might seem like they are more important than the secretary or the cleaning crew, but those other contributions are important as well. They're valuable, and they should be appreciated.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there. Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at

You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

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Steve Jones