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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Networking – A Year Later

I was excited to attend the networking session last year at the PASS Summit. Andy Warren and I had talked about it quite a bit and tried to promote it as a way to build your brand and perhaps get a better job. We were concerned that networking is a leap of faith, and you invest in it, without possibly getting a return. I think you can, and it will pay off in strange ways. It might be help with a new job. It might be someone that you help, or it might be just a feeling of comfort the next time you see someone at an event.

The networking seminar at the PASS Summit is back, with Don Gabor, and you can read more about it. I spent my own money on it last year, learned a few things, and enjoyed it. Am I using the techniques? Have they helped?

I’m not sure. I know that I think about some things I learned, like the technique for remembering people’s names, and there are times I’m at a SQL Saturday, or maybe a dinner party, and I use them. I think about touching my network a little more often, and I do look at ways to interact with people more, stopping to spend a few more minutes chatting with them, or getting contact information.

It hasn’t directly benefitted me, but I think it might at some point. I have some closer relationships in my network because I make a little more effort to touch base with them, share something or strengthen the bonds we have. On one hand it commits me slightly more at events to talk to people, but on the other, it means I have a few more friends that I can count on.

Comments

Posted by Seth Phelabaum on 15 June 2010

I've got one of his books sitting at home waiting to be read based off of a recommendation by Andy.  This is a good reminder that I should crack it open.

Posted by Andy Warren on 15 June 2010

Steve, I think that makes the case for a follow up poll - find out how much impact the training last year had. Don will be attending the South Fla SQLSaturday to help us find ways to increase networking there, and I'm excited that he'll be back at the Summit this year. I think we've got to try to learn more lessons at SQLSaturday, otherwise it will take years to get the networking piece to where I think it needs to be at the Summit.

Posted by Jack Corbett on 15 June 2010

Be nice to see Don at South FL.

I've definitely tried to incorporate some of the things he taught.  I've definitely gotten better with names and I do a bit more follow-up to maintain my network.  Probably still not enough, but making the effort.  

Posted by Glenn Berry on 15 June 2010

What is his recommended technique for remembering names? I am very bad at that myself...

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 June 2010

He had a few. One was to tie a rhyming word or alliteration to someone's name. Like "Glasses Glenn" or "Goofy Glenn". They might not be flattering, but they're for you internally, not for you to speak or write down.

He also talked about repeating the name in your head a few times when you meet someone, or using it immediately in conversation to help you match the name with the face.

Posted by jcrawf02 on 15 June 2010

Someone told me once that you should tell everyone you meet that their name is your name too. That way when you see them next, they'll come up saying "Hey Fred!", and you instantly 'remember' their name....

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 June 2010

I'm not sure I'd tell people we had the same name. These days I might even snap a picture of them and a biz card if they were interesting.

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