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Providing Quality to the Community

Source: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/picturing_the_century/newcent/newcent_img5.htmlThis has been on my mind since last week after a conversation with a friend of mine, Bobby Dimmick (twitter). At times there has been debate within the community about quantity versus quality. Some folks are able to do both well. For me it's always been a struggle because of time commitments to get a lot of quality stuff out all the time. This is true whether we're talking giving presentations, writing articles, or writing blog posts. One of the things I've tried to focus on lately (as in, the last 3-4 years) is writing posts that I think are of some value. I don't want to get to the point where I'm putting something out in an assembly line fashion just so I can say, "Hey, I contributed!" I know a few folks are viewed this way in the technology community (I'm intentionally not mentioning disciplines because there are some folks like this in every discipline of any decent size). When I used to write regularly for SQL Server Central, I was producing about two articles a month. I tried to ratchet up to more at one point, but realized quality could potentially suffer if I wrote a number of articles just to get articles submitted and published. I just don't see that as being very helpful to the community.

With that said, I do periodically review my contributions to see how I'm doing. The community is important and its something I care about greatly. After looking at what I've given back to the community thus far this year, I've not been satisfied with my amount of output. I am behind for articles at MSSQLTips.com and I still haven't written any for SQL Server Central this year. I have an abstract in for a SQL Server Standard article which was given a green light, but thus far I've not gotten around to writing it and sending it off to Grant (twitter | blog). Add to that a couple of reviews I need to get done and the fact that I've been rather limited in the number of presentations I've done this year (missing both SQL Saturday - Charlotte and the Carolina Code Camp), and that adds to my consternation.

This all adds up to me needing to do better for 2H2010. However, I've got to be careful not to cross that line and start putting stuff out just to get stuff out. If it seems like that's what I'm doing (excluding this post), drop me a line at kbriankelley {at} acm {dot} org. I want to make sure what I produce is of value and use to the community. If it's not, I want to hear about it so I can hopefully correct myself.

K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.


Posted by Andy Warren on 19 May 2010

Brian, I've never seen you write anything that wasn't worth reading. Keep the quality high, but remember that shorter things like blog posts/SSC & Tips articles - require less polish to be valued.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2010

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Posted by Jason Brimhall on 19 May 2010

I am of the same opinion as Andy.  Everything that I have read from you thus far has been of high quality.

I find myself pondering the same consternation / dilemma from time to time - quality over quantity. I also find myself setting goals to write about certain topics and then not having time to write about that topic due to time and the desire for higher quality.

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