As DBA’s and BI professionals, we are never truly alone. We are all part of the larger SQL Server community. Most are everyday professionals at all levels – from the college grad, entry-level and junior DBA, to the Sr. DBA/SME, and MVP. Some of the MVP’s are more well-known than others, but the point I’m trying to make is that we’re all in the same demographic dynamic, that of a SQL Server professional. Through the explosion of the Internet, we have an enormous pool of information and community forums and events at our fingertips.
We have SQLServerCentral.com as our prime portal for daily news, information, tips, announcements, articles, codes/scripts, forums, whitepapers, puzzles and more! SQLServerCentral.com is perhaps the largest only sql server community of 1,304,953 DBAs, developers and SQL Server users – and growing! But if you want to get even more involved, it is just a small modicum of the larger community out there. Think of SSC.com as a large galaxy, among many in the larger universe!
So, it’s totally up to you, the reader, how involved you really want to get. Certainly for your own professional development there is no doubt you should take advantage of the FREE training, seminars, webinars and articles available to you, many by our favorite SQL MVP experts.
LinkedIn, a professional networking and social media site, has become an indispensible great place for expanding one’s network and getting engaged in the SQL community. It allows you to follow your connections’ activity, where you can get up-to-the-minute news, the latest on local events, job opportunities, where they are now, webinars that they will be hosting, and more. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you surely missing out, especially with the myriad of SQL Server groups you can join.
I recently came across a LinkedIN posting in the PASS Professional Association for SQL Server (2x fast) group. It was from a DBA in Sioux City, Iowa, who was “looking for some advice in becoming more engaged with SQL Server community.” One suggestion is get to the SQLPass summit, but if you can’t, regularly attend your local user group. If you’re not near one, join a Virtual Chapter http://www.sqlpass.org/Community/VirtualChapters.aspx, and meet online. Another is to go to a SQLSaturday in your area, volunteer to help with logistics and setup. Don’t want to leave the comfort of your pc? Grab a bite to eat and check out SQL Lunch online. The primary purpose of SQL Lunch is to provide a learning environment that allows real-time synchronous interaction between speakers and attendees, and has some great sessions by leading database experts.
If you want to go further, write an article, start a blog, post and answer questions in as many SQL forums as you can. You can even submit a session once you feel comfortable enough to share your sql knowledge with other eager DBAs. Get a twitter account, and start following your fellow SQL server DBA’s, professionals and MVP’s. If you have an account you can search for #sqlhelp to see if you can provide some input to posted SQL problems that others are encountering.
The above are among so many suggestions to get involved. It’s all up to you. To the DBA in Sioux City, welcome to the SQL Server community! Straight Ahead! You’re now in it!