Another neat idea – The Mentoring Experiment

Robert Pearl, 2011-04-22

masterjediMaster Yoda grants Obi-Wan Kenobi the rank of Jedi Knight.Another neat idea from the co-founders of, Steve Jones and Andy Warren, the mentoring experiment has been launched, and is open to anyone who is an IT professional working with SQL Server.

Steve and Andy have been working with the SQL Server professional community for several years now, in a myriad of ways.  Through organizing, writing, blogging, training, speaking and networking, hundreds, even thousands of us, have benefitted in some way personally and professionally from the work they have done, and made countless contributions to our SQL community.  Modest as they are in accepting kudos, they truly are pioneers in the industry. (I can see Steve cringing while reading this 🙂 

They have probably aided and launched several careers of many SQL Server folk – from the accidental DBA seeking operational advice, to those who transitioned into a DBA role, and to junior and senior dba’s who sought career guidance and direction.  They are even responsible for putting on the map, many of the SQL MVPs, we see writing and presenting today (yours truly included 🙂 – the goal being that we too will continue giving back to the community and even become mentors ourselves.

No matter where you are in your career, however, you no doubt get to the point where you pause, think and ask yourself,  “do I like what I’m doing?”, “how can I enhance my career?” , “where am I going?”, and “where do I see myself in the next 2-5 years?”.  I know, you are not alone in this thought process, and often times, we seek advice from someone who has been down this road before, and has become successful in their own careers.  We can also benefit from the wisdom of those before us, who have made mistakes, so we don’t make those same ones as well.  We call these folks, mentors.  And at some point in your career path, it might be quite significant to have one.  A mentor can make a big difference in one’s career.

The mentoring experiment, is yet another extension of their community contribution, and a noble endeavor.

What is the role of a mentor?  The knowledge, advice, and resources a mentor shares depend on the format and goals of a specific mentoring relationship. A mentor may share with a mentee (or protege) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources. The mentor role may change as the needs of the mentee change. Some mentoring relationships are part of structured programs that have specific expectations and guidelines: others are more informal.

Steve and Andy are inviting you to fill out a short application before April 30, 2011, and based on the responses and level of interest, they attempt to match up mentors with applicants.  If all goes well, they will determine if they should continue with this effor and launch another round to match up more pairs.

They, as do I, believe in the power of mentoring, and that relationships matter (borrowed from LinkedIN :-).  To learn more about the mentoring experiment, and to submit an application, log on to  I did, and already filled out mine.

“There are always two – a master and an apprentice” – Master Yoda





Related content

Database Mirroring FAQ: Can a 2008 SQL instance be used as the witness for a 2005 database mirroring setup?

Question: Can a 2008 SQL instance be used as the witness for a 2005 database mirroring setup? This question was sent to me via email. My reply follows. Can a 2008 SQL instance be used as the witness for a 2005 database mirroring setup? Databases to be mirrored are currently running on 2005 SQL instances but will be upgraded to 2008 SQL in the near future.

Robert Davis


1,567 reads

Networking – Part 4

You may want to read Part 1 , Part 2 , and Part 3 before continuing. This time around I’d like to talk about social networking. We’ll start with social networking. Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are all good examples of using technology to let…

Andy Warren


1,530 reads

Speaking at Community Events – More Thoughts

Last week I posted Speaking at Community Events – Time to Raise the Bar?, a first cut at talking about to what degree we should require experience for speakers at events like SQLSaturday as well as when it might be appropriate to add additional focus/limitations on the presentations that are accepted. I’ve got a few more thoughts on the topic this week, and I look forward to your comments.

Andy Warren


360 reads