Tom asks what #SQLFamily means to me. This is a hard one, not because of what #SQLFamily does for me, but rather, trying to limit it to a blog post.
#SQLFamily Provides Knowledge Growth Opportunities:
There is always something being talked about, whether SQL Server related or not, that I don't know very well, if at all. That means a seemingly unlimited list of topics to look into and investigate. Whether we're talking about query tuning or we'll talking about different types of animals that are seemingly attracted to DBA types, there's always something to be learned.
#SQLFamily Gives me an Opportunity to Give Back:
Way back in 1998 I started with SQL Server 6.5. In that time there have been people mentored me on that technology and many others. Most of the time these were formal mentoring engagements, but rather, people just sharing what they knew. I now get the same opportunity.
#SQLFamily Means a Whole Lot of Friends:
And I don't just mean on Facebook. The mutual interest in Microsoft SQL Server serves as a starting point to talk and get to know others. Whether we're talking with folks I've only interacted with on the Internet (hoping to change one day soon) or meeting and building relationships in person, there's a whole lot of cool folks who are interested in SQL Server and have other interests in common, too.
#SQLFamily Is There in Bad Times as well as Good:
I'm pretty transparent on a lot of things with respect to my blogging. There have been some times in recent years where I've taken some hits in my personal / family life. Some of the folks who stepped up the most and said, "I'm here," are ones from the SQL Community. I can remember one particular hit that was devestating and a lengthy conversation at a SQL Saturday put me back on the road to recovery.