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What is my why?–T-SQL Tuesday #111

tsqltuesdayThis is an interesting question from Andy Leonard for T-SQL Tuesday: What Is Your “Why”? He is this month’s host and asks us to talk about our motivation, our passion. The question is: Why do you do what you do?

Why I Do What I Do?

I have had a great career in technology. Moving from developer to system administrator to developer to manager, and back through various incarnations. I have had success in lots of positions and helped improve systems and code, teaching and mentoring others along the way.

Almost twenty years ago, I participated in a user group and helped someone solve an issue. That inspired me to start writing articles that detailed how to build solutions that had helped me and my employer. Over time that led to SQLServerCentral and regular speaking and writing.

My career in databases really started for the money. I worked with a DBA that was better paid than any sysadmin or developer, and began to study and work with SQL Server. As I earned more, I thought I’d made a good decision, but over time I realized that there was a point where money was less important to me.

Time became the most important thing to me.

There have been many times where I would have traded more time for less money, though that isn’t quite the case now as I have two children attending college next year. Still, in the middle of my career I wanted to, because of the value that I placed on time with family and friends and living my life.

I started to give back with writing, speaking, teaching because I had people do that for me, and because I wished I’d had more. I wished that more people had shared solutions and ideas with me earlier in my career.

I also believe that we fundamentally ought to help others in life when we’ve been helped or been successful. We ought to pay it forward where we can, but more so we need to pay it back. It’s a bit of a social contract with others, a bit of a desire to be the rising tide that lifts all boats, and a bit of a moral obligation I feel to help the world because I’ve been blessed with success.

Everyone walks their own path, makes their own decisions, and follows their own moral code. I try to follow mine, and I hope to inspire others to help others where they can.

It’s why I do what I do, and I’m lucky that I’m able to do so, both as my job, but also because I am able to help others.

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


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