Last week was Professional Development week at SQL University, the brainchild of Jorge Segarra (LinkedIn | blog| @sqlchicken). The guest lecturers were Andy Leonard (blog | @AndyLeonard) and Ted Krueger (blog | @onpnt), with some great posts that should inspire, motivate, or maybe just shame you into working on your career. Your career is your own responsibility with more and more employers investing less and less very year in their empoyees. It seems that people understand that and make more of an effort all the time to read articles at places like SQLServerCentral and attend events like SQL Saturday. I even find people starting to invest in themselves, paying for training out of their own pockets to become more skilled in their fields.
One of the main reasons that I founded SQLServerCentral with Andy Warren and Brian Knight, along with the later establishment of the SQL Saturday framework, was to help people learn more about SQL Server and improve their skills. I've always believed one in one of the maxims I learned in martial arts: the rising tide lifts all boats. It's the improvement in performance of a large group that raises the overall performance of the individual. If we all become better DBAs and developers, then all SQL Servers will tend to run better. Our goal here has been to help you focus on improving your skills each and every day, learning from or sharing with the rest of the community.
As I work on this newsletter each week, I find myself learning from so many gifted authors each week that share their knowledge. I found a great post on 5 Things Every DBA Should NOT Do, learned how to run a query against multiple servers with Powershell and email myself the results, and tickled my memory with regard to why my statistics might show LOB reads without any LOB columns in my table. I found a nice piece on where the SQL CLR might fit into your databases, which is nice as it seems there is a dearth of information on how people use SQLCLR. There's also a great concurrency series from the bloggers at the SQL CAT team that can help you better understand how users interact with each other.
For those of you that want to learn in person, there are a number of events in the next few months all around the country. There's a pre-con at SQL Saturday #67 (Chicago) and schedules are posted for SQL Saturday #69 (Philadelphia) and SQL Saturday #70 (Columbia), both of which I'm sorry to be missing. There is also the Crappy Code Games in the UK in March where you can compete to write the worst code, or just go along and learn what things you shouldn't be doing. There are many other events coming in the next few months all over the US, giving you plenty of chances to go learn in person.
Professional Development isn't critical to your career, but it can help you improve your skills, find new opportunities, and perhaps make work something you enjoy a little more each week.