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Social Networking in the SQL Server Community

Like many SQL Server (and other technology) people, I utilize several social networking vehicles to stay in touch with others in the SQL community.  Some of those who don’t use Facebook and Twitter (among others) have expressed skepticism of the real value of social networking.  Does it work? Does it provide any value beyond entertainment? Can it actually help your career?  I believe the answer to all of these queries is Yes.

I read a post by Chuck Boyce Jr. earlier today.  Chuck, a fellow SQL tweep, found himself suddenly looking for a new job.  He posted a brief message on Twitter indicating that he’s looking for a new opportunity, and almost immediately, his tweet was re-tweeted by at least two dozen others (could be many more – those were the ones that I observed from my list of friends).  Now I don’t know Chuck or the quality of his work, but I do know from his online activity that he cares enough about his career to share knowledge through Twitter and his blog.  As a result of that “relationship”, I was happy to share his job quest with those who follow me

We all have a relatively small geographic circle of associates, and a few more that we know through professional associations past and present.  I’ve found that social networking is an excellent way to broaden that reach.  I’ve asked a number of quick questions on Twitter, and have always received feedback, usually in a matter of minutes. 

I’ll bet if you ask Chuck in a few weeks, he’ll tell you that his virtual network generated leads which wouldn’t be otherwise available to him.  And it’s those kinds of favors that aren’t soon forgotten, and turn beneficiaries into benefactors down the road.

Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a business intelligence consultant, author, trainer, and Microsoft Data Platform MVP with over thirteen years of data management experience. He is the founder and principal of Tyleris Data Solutions.

Tim has spoken at international and local events including the SQL PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQL Connections, along with dozens of tech fests, code camps, and SQL Saturday events. He is coauthor of the book SSIS Design Patterns, and is a contributing author on MVP Deep Dives 2.

You can visit his website and blog at TimMitchell.net or follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Mitchell.


Posted by chuckboycejr on 20 July 2009

Thank you, Tim.


Posted by Timothy Ford on 20 July 2009

Tim, I too often find myself touting "the power of Twitter". Sure there is a great deal of noise, but there is a great deal of knowlledge out there as well. I've been stuck numerous times and within minutes of a tweet about my situation I've received information back that had me on my way when (sometimes) hours of research had failed me. I've also returned the favor. My followers and those that I follow comprise a virtual DBA team that is there for the support many of us don't have in "smaller" shops.

Posted by Steve Jones on 22 July 2009

I think it's still a small community, but it can be a community of influencers, and who knows what results you'll get. I've seen quite a few similar stories from LinkedIn and Facebook. There's a power in reaching a circle of people that will repeat your message. The ripples can add up.

Posted by sanjay.shivade on 30 July 2009

This article has motivated me to become a member of social networking sites. Thanks to you folks for sharing your experiences.

Posted by chuckboycejr on 25 August 2009

Hi Tim,

I'm happy to share that the last few details of a very good gig have been confirmed and I will be starting a great assignment next week with a major financial institution. Twitter, social media, your blog post, and the outstanding technical community we are a part of were all instrumental in the process of finding a job. Thank you very much.



Posted by Tim Mitchell on 25 August 2009

Chuck, congratulations on your new assignment, and thanks for the follow-up comment.  This example shows the power of professional networking at its finest!  Best of luck to you.

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