The topic this month is hosted by Jeffrey Verheul and it is SQL Family and Community. That’s a topic near and dear to my heart, and I’m glad to participate this month. Jeffrey asks: How do you feel about SQL Family? Did they help you, or did you help someone in the SQL Family?
You can participate as well. Setup a blog, watch for the announcement each month (it varies, so search or follow #Tsql2sday on twitter) and then write a post on the second Tuesday of the month.
SQL Family and Community
I have a couple thoughts about SQL Family to tell. There are many of them I’ve been a part of, and my apologies if you think I should have chosen another one, but I have to choose. The SQL Server community, the people in it, are just amazing. It’s a closer, and tighter, and friendlier community than I’ve ever been a part of.
It really is close to family.
A few years ago I was on a running streak. I ran at least a mile a day for over 1500 days. I actually retired the streak, but the milestone that might mean the most was day 1000.
I wrote a bit about the day, where I got a great note from work, and my family ran with me. I got lots of congratulations from the community, as there are quite a few runners who work with SQL Server, and many others who helped support and inspire me to keep going. However the big news came from a phone call.
Jes Borland (twitter, blog, BrentOzar Unlimited), whom I had never met at the time, contacted me and asked me for my phone number. She called and said that she was working on a gift for me: new shoes. With help from Red Gate, Jes arranged for a custom pair of Nike running shoes to be sent to me, customized with “1000” on the rear.
I still have those shoes, though the 1000 is coming off. I even wear them on occasion. Every time I look at them, I remember that phone call, and the really, really special gesture that Jes made.
I was touched, and I’ve been lucky enough to not only meet Jes and develop a friendship, but also run with her in Seattle, Fargo, and probably a few other places.
The SQLFamily Bond
The one thing that seems to happen over and over again in the SQL Server professional community is that people care about each other. They help each other, and they respect each other. They pull together, working to help everyone be better.
Certainly people bicker. They get upset, and they disagree. However, it seems overall that we really are closer to an extended family, giving of ourselves to treat others well when we don’t have to. SQL Saturday is a great example of that, with tremendous growth in seven years, with events where people seem to be more well behaved toward each other than at many other events.
I see people offering others rides to and from places. I know community members that offer their homes to others to give them a place to stay, or will split a hotel room. We create opportunities to bond and relax with each other outside of events. #SQLRun, #SQLSki, #SQLCruise, #SQLKaraoke and more exist in casual, friendly ways that I haven’t run into when I’ve dealt with other technologies.
I don’t know that why the SQL Server community is different, but I’ve never seen another niche of professionals to whom I’d apply the word “family.”