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Writing


Writing

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Nathan Hadley
Nathan Hadley
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Group: General Forum Members
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This is a great question. I like to write, but the older I get the more I doubt the value of any information or opinion I have, let alone my ability to communicate it effectively.

Given the amount of bad information and general emotive comments on the internet, which I believe is devaluing it as a resource, I think we should all think about when it is appropriate to write.
David McKinney
David McKinney
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Group: General Forum Members
Points: 2641 Visits: 2090
What I've learned is that you don't have to be the authority on a subject to write about it. Sure, you should check the veracity of what you've written, and should read other stuff that's been written on the subject to ensure you haven't missed something obvious, but most of the time the subject matter isn't actually 'new'.

For me, an article is like teaching something on paper rather than orally.

Think of the best teacher you ever had. He / She still had to follow a syllabus; what sets apart an exceptional teacher is their capacity to present the material in such away that it interests you, and that you can understand.

Don't let your peceived lack of knowledge on a subject get in the way. Do the research, and share your findings. It can be an extremely rewarding experience.

David McKinney.
PhilM99
PhilM99
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Group: General Forum Members
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I'm a developer and an 'Accidental DBA'. These forums have saved my a%$ more times than I can count. I am always struck by the accuracy and helpfulness seen here. So I don't write because it's forever, and it's embarassing to have your inexperienced posts stuck up there forever. The competition from some of the main contributors is awesome, I mean they're not really competing, but the bar is set really high. And being a one-man-shop, I just really want to know how to make it work, with some degree of efficiency.
Like Backup. I just want my databases to be reasonably well protected. But there are so many options one can barely read the documentation. I'm like many others, when I Google for something and see one of the links is MSDN documentation, I shy away from it, knowing it will present EVERYTHING about the subject, leaving me nowhere except to muddle through it all.
Some of my experiences are hilarious, I wish I would keep notes. One time I was Googling for a solution to a db problem and hit an entry that sounded exactly like the problem I was having. The more I read, the more it sounded the same. And there it was, I had posted almost the exact same thing three years earlier, totally forgetting.
So why don't I write: My experiences constantly teach me: YOU KNOW NOTHING!



Lynn Pettis
Lynn Pettis
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PhilM99 (3/8/2013)
I'm a developer and an 'Accidental DBA'. These forums have saved my a%$ more times than I can count. I am always struck by the accuracy and helpfulness seen here. So I don't write because it's forever, and it's embarassing to have your inexperienced posts stuck up there forever. The competition from some of the main contributors is awesome, I mean they're not really competing, but the bar is set really high. And being a one-man-shop, I just really want to know how to make it work, with some degree of efficiency.
Like Backup. I just want my databases to be reasonably well protected. But there are so many options one can barely read the documentation. I'm like many others, when I Google for something and see one of the links is MSDN documentation, I shy away from it, knowing it will present EVERYTHING about the subject, leaving me nowhere except to muddle through it all.
Some of my experiences are hilarious, I wish I would keep notes. One time I was Googling for a solution to a db problem and hit an entry that sounded exactly like the problem I was having. The more I read, the more it sounded the same. And there it was, I had posted almost the exact same thing three years earlier, totally forgetting.
So why don't I write: My experiences constantly teach me: YOU KNOW NOTHING!


The more I know, the more I know nothing. More specifically, there are three levels of knowledge: Things you know, things you know you don't know, and things you don't know that you don't know. The more I learn about SQL Server for instance, I increase that which is in the first bucket. The problem is I keep putting more in the second bucket. I have no idea how much is still in the third.

Writing helps you move things from the third buck to the second and the second to the first.

Cool
Lynn Pettis

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Grant Fritchey
Grant Fritchey
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PhilM99 (3/8/2013)

So why don't I write: My experiences constantly teach me: YOU KNOW NOTHING!


I agree. Constantly learning. I write anyway because someone has to do it. And yeah, the old stuff is embarrassing, but what can you do? I'm constantly reminded of how little I know.

----------------------------------------------------
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Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
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David McKinney
David McKinney
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Group: General Forum Members
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The more I know, the more I know nothing. More specifically, there are three levels of knowledge: Things you know, things you know you don't know, and things you don't know that you don't know. The more I learn about SQL Server for instance, I increase that which is in the first bucket. The problem is I keep putting more in the second bucket. I have no idea how much is still in the third.

Writing helps you move things from the third buck to the second and the second to the first.


...so were just mucking about with buckets, eh? Depressing, no?

Reminded me of a joke about the difference between a goldfish and a mountain goat. One mucks about in fountains...
sing4you
sing4you
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Oh dear, this reminds me of the lawyer and the angry hen. One clucks defiance....
Miles Neale
Miles Neale
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Group: General Forum Members
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I have no clue why I do not write, except I write code, strategy, and business documentation all day every day. And yes I contribute here, and love this group. I would love to write fiction and have started two books which I dabble with every now and again. I have been asked directly to write three books, two technical and one a history text, and have done none of them. And there is a small group of people encouraging me to write even now. Maybe I should listen, or could be it is good I have not. Time will tell.

M.

Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!
robr-793239
robr-793239
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Group: General Forum Members
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I suppose that the simple response would be to say that it is an issue of time. Like other commentors, I have more customers/projects beating at the doors of my self discipline than I have the will to focus on. A deeper more realistic answer, though, is that while I "write" dozens of things in my head from day to day, few ever make it to document form because I question everything so much. I've started an 'article' for SSC a number of times because I'm pleased with a particular solution I came up with. I also remember the rush of having an article published by Pinnacle in Smart Access many years ago.

I don't get far these days, however, because from what I've read from others, I tend to be unconventional in my approaches. Instead of accepting that something shouldn't be done, I do it to find out the consequences and evaluate from there. A couple of times I've posted questions on the SSC forums seeking thoughtful input and while most responses have been in like kind, I've have received responses that expressed that I was incompetent and I should just get a real professional. Well, I've taught classes on and worked with SQL Server since v.6.5 and if that doesn't somehow warrant professional status I'm not sure what would. I know what I know and I want to know even more, but I've never been the rock in the storm type who just takes on whatever people have to say. I like to teach the teachable and learn from the creative.

So more discipline, a thicker skin, and I suppose a better commitment to my community would be the factors that would push me beyond my reticence. In the mean time, hope survives because I actually stopped long enough to respond to this question. :-)
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Accidental post deleted.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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