Help Others, Help Yourself

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Help Others, Help Yourself

    Tim Mitchell, Microsoft Data Platform MVP
    Data Warehouse and ETL Consultant
    TimMitchell.net | @Tim_Mitchell | Tyleris.com
    ETL Best Practices

  • But there is another, often unplanned, effect: when you spend time helping others, you also improve your own skills.

    By golly, Tim... truer words never spoken. Excellent editorial by one of those "seasoned professionals". Should be required reading for everyone on SSC. Now, if we could just get people to understand the notion... 😀

    --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.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • I've been happily doing this for about 20 years now with various different tools. Your description is spot-on. Rather than being required reading for all members, it should be required doing for all! -- Mike

  • There is another benefit of giving advice. I find that I actually understand something better myself when I try to explain it to someone else - like the thoughts become better arranged in my mind.

    All I need to do now is learn enough to be useful 😉

  • Hi,

    what I really appreciate, is when the person come back to the forum at the end and explain to us how he/she finally resolved his/her issue

    I am frustated when many people try to help someone and we don't know wish solution fixed the problem.

    Calico

  • So true, Tim. I find that when I help others the topic tends to be clearer in my head as well. since I don't want to go on my own assumptions about how certain things work when I'm answering questions I do more research which helps to clarify the topic for me.

  • Excellent article Tim, and as Jeff noted, "truer words never spoke".

    I think it provides an important reminder (certainly to myself) that we are all part of the cycle - albeit at different stages, and as such, almost have a responsibility to help members of the community out.

    Only hope I can help others, the way that others have help me!

  • This simple axiom applies to life in general, people. It has very little to do specifically just with giving SQL Server advice. It's called Karma. When you always give of yourself in ANYTHING in life, it comes back to you sooner or later in some benefical way. Conversely, when you take from everyone else in life, that too comes back to you in a bad way.... sooner or later. Not hard to figure out. 🙂

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • Well, folks, I'm so seasoned that I'm pretty salty. I've been helped by a number of good folks over a 40 year career, and have helped train a number of new folks too, one of whom is now my boss. While these online forums are a good thing and I've used them periodically, we need to be sure we responsibly fulfill our own tasks and duties to our own positions before we provide too much 'free' help to these groups. I work with a 'young' man who spends much of his employer's time online helping everyone else with his 'vast storehouse of knowledge' instead of digging in and getting involved in our own issues.

    By the way, I'm writing this at 6:30 AM with coffee, not while at my desk on 'company time'.

    April 30, 2010, over and out. Fare well, me hearties.

  • rick-507511 (1/20/2010)


    Well, folks, I'm so seasoned that I'm pretty salty. I've been helped by a number of good folks over a 40 year career, and have helped train a number of new folks too, one of whom is now my boss. While these online forums are a good thing and I've used them periodically, we need to be sure we responsibly fulfill our own tasks and duties to our own positions before we provide too much 'free' help to these groups. I work with a 'young' man who spends much of his employer's time online helping everyone else with his 'vast storehouse of knowledge' instead of digging in and getting involved in our own issues.

    By the way, I'm writing this at 6:30 AM with coffee, not while at my desk on 'company time'.

    April 30, 2010, over and out. Fare well, me hearties.

    Well said my man. Giving free advice should never eclipse or infringe on what you are PAID to do.....I have fired a few of those people in the past myself. Evidently, they did not realize the company was monitoring their web activity! 🙂 But they sure figured it out quick enough when they got escorted off the premises. Bottom line, give advice on your own time, not mine or the company's. ) I post at home on my time, never at work...I'll bet that is not the case for a lot of people who give advice on this forum....

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • Hi there,

    First of all i'll like to say that i complettly agree with your article, i've been helped so many times in this public forums, that now, a little bit more experienced, i feel that's time to give something back, and help others who seek for help.

    José cruz

  • Thanks for the reminder, Tim. This theme came up a bunch at the last PASS conference and I really appreciate that the community is so willing to share their expertise. It's always amazing when you shoot out a tweet for help and get responses from all sorts of people who are willing to help. It's also great reading about the experiences others have had when using SQL so we can learn from what they did.

    I think I've tended to do this face to face, but find it harder to do online for some reason. That's one of my goals for this year - to blog weekly about something that could help other people. I also want to get involved in the PASS VC's, so I hope to see people around there.

  • That was exactly my thinking when I started answering questions here. My thinking was that I was going to learn more by trying to figure out the answers to people's problems than I would by just reading the answers that other people post.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • That is exactly the message we need in the U. S. of A. Not just to technical people, also to the entire company from CEO to clerk, who work with technical people. "I am not technical" is not a good excuse in the land of USA, no matter you are a manager.

  • Great article Tim! Inspiring even.

    Thank you for your contribution!

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