Blog Post

Intro to the Social DBA with a bit of #SQLHelp


Are you a Social DBA? 

No I don’t mean that you are a DBA and attend a myriad of merry mixers, networking

events, post SQLSaturday soirees, or PASS parties. (Yet that’s a great way to

make connections, and build your professional database of career-complimenting contacts.)

I’m talking about putting the power of SQL Community and Social Networking

together to excel

as database professional.  In my last

blog, by the same name, I discussed some basic strategies to take control of

your DBA day, before it takes control of you.  To be a social DBA just means you are leveraging the technology and platform known as social networking to solve your technical problems.

Now that you have some simple strategies under your belt,

there comes a time when every SQL Server DBA is going to need a bit of SQL

help. One thing you need to know as a SQL Server professional is that we are not

alone. In fact, I wrote a guest editorial back a few years ago on,

that as a fellow SQL DBA or SQL BI guy, we are all part of the larger SQL

Server community, and that help is a mere few clicks away.  No longer do you need to necessarily spend

hours researching and reproducing an issue for resolution, nor rely only on

technical customer support from Microsoft. 

Although the vast online resources have been around some

time now, whether it’s the Q&A technical forums, or other forms of social

media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, sometimes our newer brethren to

the SQL Server fold need a little enlightenment, and direction on where to get

some speedy assistance.  After all, we’re

all used to instant gratification and this is the YouTube & Twitter


So let’s cover Twitter

in this post. Who would’ve of thought that a little birdie and 140 characters could

open up the door to a vast array of answers faster than you can whistle the

twitter notification tune. (Did you hear that?) 

Enter the helpful hashtag: #sqlhelp.  #SQLHelp is a hashtag used on twitter for

person-to-person communication when people have problems or questions with SQL

Server. This novel little idea was started by SQL Server MVP Aaron Nelson (b|t),

aka @SQLVariant, and been picked up and utilized by DBAs, DB technical pros, SQL

MVPs and experts since its inception in 2009.

Speaking to Aaron about #SQLHelp, he was surprise how

quickly the word spread through the twitterverse and SQL Server community:

I've always assumed

that it thrived so well because we had communicated that it was for

person-to-person (or person-to-multiple-people) communication and not to

advertise blog posts or other marketing.

Obviously if you have a problem that takes way more than 140 characters to

explain, you're welcome to blog about the issue and tweet the link to the post

on #SQLHelp asking for help. Transversely if you are trying to help someone out

and it's going to take you 30 tweets to explain it; go ahead and blog the solution,

tweet it back to them and see if that solves the problem

Indeed strict enforcement by the SQL Server Pro Praetorian

Guard, the likes of Aaron, Robert L. Davis, aka @SQLSolider, Allan Hirt, aka @SQLHA, Aaron Betrand, Brent Ozar, aka @BrentO and many others: thou shall not

post any other tweets under #SQLHelp other than SQL related questions.  This meant no spamming the hashtag, no

marketing, no blog promos, no advertisements, etc.!  This kept the integrity of the hashtag intact,

and pure.

So, if you need a quick answer, and if you don’t already,

get on twitter, get an account, and start following the SQL Server experts and

feel free to use the #SQLHelp hashtag, as long as you’re following the

protocol!  Now, you only have 140 characters

to tweet your topic, so make it count. 

Of course, there are ways around this, and #SQLHelp etiquette will be

tweeted, er, forthcoming on my next blog.

In the meanwhile, for all things SQL, db news, events, jobs,

info, and other fun tweets, follow me

on twitter @Pearlknows and join the #HealthySQL

campaign to keep your SQL Servers healthy!


And of

course, if anyone is interested in learning more about my book Healthy SQL – A

Comprehensive Guide to Healthy SQL Server Performance, published by Apress, you can go to the url:


  You can also

get the book on Amazon:









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