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Intro to the Social DBA with a bit of #SQLHelp

Are you a Social DBA?  No I don’t mean that you are a DBA and attend a myriad of merry mixers, networking events, post SQLSaturday soirees, or PASS parties. (Yet that’s a great way to make connections, and build your professional database of career-complimenting contacts.) I’m talking about putting the power of SQL Community and Social Networking together to excel as database professional.  In my last blog, by the same name, I discussed some basic strategies to take control of your DBA day, before it takes control of you.  To be a social DBA just means you are leveraging the technology and platform known as social networking to solve your technical problems.

Now that you have some simple strategies under your belt, there comes a time when every SQL Server DBA is going to need a bit of SQL help. One thing you need to know as a SQL Server professional is that we are not alone. In fact, I wrote a guest editorial back a few years ago on SQLServerCentral.com, that as a fellow SQL DBA or SQL BI guy, we are all part of the larger SQL Server community, and that help is a mere few clicks away.  No longer do you need to necessarily spend hours researching and reproducing an issue for resolution, nor rely only on technical customer support from Microsoft. 

Although the vast online resources have been around some time now, whether it’s the Q&A technical forums, or other forms of social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, sometimes our newer brethren to the SQL Server fold need a little enlightenment, and direction on where to get some speedy assistance.  After all, we’re all used to instant gratification and this is the YouTube & Twitter generation!

So let’s cover Twitter in this post. Who would’ve of thought that a little birdie and 140 characters could open up the door to a vast array of answers faster than you can whistle the twitter notification tune. (Did you hear that?)  Enter the helpful hashtag: #sqlhelp.  #SQLHelp is a hashtag used on twitter for person-to-person communication when people have problems or questions with SQL Server. This novel little idea was started by SQL Server MVP Aaron Nelson (b|t), aka @SQLVariant, and been picked up and utilized by DBAs, DB technical pros, SQL MVPs and experts since its inception in 2009.

Speaking to Aaron about #SQLHelp, he was surprise how quickly the word spread through the twitterverse and SQL Server community:

I've always assumed that it thrived so well because we had communicated that it was for person-to-person (or person-to-multiple-people) communication and not to advertise blog posts or other marketing.

Obviously if you have a problem that takes way more than 140 characters to explain, you're welcome to blog about the issue and tweet the link to the post on #SQLHelp asking for help. Transversely if you are trying to help someone out and it's going to take you 30 tweets to explain it; go ahead and blog the solution, tweet it back to them and see if that solves the problem

Indeed strict enforcement by the SQL Server Pro Praetorian Guard, the likes of Aaron, Robert L. Davis, aka @SQLSolider, Allan Hirt, aka @SQLHA, Aaron Betrand, Brent Ozar, aka @BrentO and many others: thou shall not post any other tweets under #SQLHelp other than SQL related questions.  This meant no spamming the hashtag, no marketing, no blog promos, no advertisements, etc.!  This kept the integrity of the hashtag intact, and pure.

So, if you need a quick answer, and if you don’t already, get on twitter, get an account, and start following the SQL Server experts and feel free to use the #SQLHelp hashtag, as long as you’re following the protocol!  Now, you only have 140 characters to tweet your topic, so make it count.  Of course, there are ways around this, and #SQLHelp etiquette will be tweeted, er, forthcoming on my next blog.

In the meanwhile, for all things SQL, db news, events, jobs, info, and other fun tweets, follow me on twitter @Pearlknows and join the #HealthySQL campaign to keep your SQL Servers healthy!


And of course, if anyone is interested in learning more about my book Healthy SQL – A Comprehensive Guide to Healthy SQL Server Performance, published by Apress, you can go to the url:


  You can also get the book on Amazon: http://bit.ly/HealthySQLonAmazon









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