In April, Ed Leighton-Dick set up a challenge to motivate new bloggers to begin writing about their knowledge of SQL Server. This is a passion of mine, and I believe this is one of the ways you can truly help interest potential employers in your work. It’s allows them to perform some due diligence, and I’ve had success in my career with employers being impressed with the knowledge I’ve shared through blogging.
Ed made note of a new Twitter hashtag, #SQLNewBlogger, and there were a few people that participated in the challenge. However, there weren’t enough. I was really hoping to see more people join in, start blogging, and showcasing their knowledge. Therefore, I’m making an appeal here.
Let’s extend the SQLNewBlogger. I’d like to change the rules a bit and see if I can motivate a few of you to start building your communication skills and showcasing your knowledge across the next year. Just like a class at a gym can motivate you to try harder and longer than you might otherwise, I’m hoping the #SQLNewBlogger tag can do that.
If you’re thinking of asking for a raise, or looking for a new job next year, in 2016, do these things now:
- Set yourself a weekly reminder, and appointment, at a time when you can spare 15-30 minutes. Use this time to work on communicating, through writing.
- Get yourself a note taking system. You can use OneNote, Evernote, Remember the Milk, or Notepad. As you write queries, set up a system, or solve a problem, make a note of what you did. Pull out that list each week when the reminder you set in #1. Completely ignore anything anyone else has written on your subject and write your own thoughts.
- Make it a goal to get a 1-2 page post done each month. I’d like to think that in 1-2 weeks you can get one done, but find your pace.
- Use the #SQLNewBlogger tag to ask for help reviewing your post (you want good quality) and then finish one post a month. If you’d rather do this privately, have a friend review your work.
- You can get a free blog at WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, etc. You can choose to write and safe drafts forever, or publish posts for potential recruiters and employers to learn about your skills.
- Let us know what you wrote about. Either a link if you’ve published it for us to see, or a title if you keep the content private.
That’s it. If it sounds like a lot, I’d remind you this is asking for 1-2 hours a month. 12-24 a week, to showcase your knowledge, grow your career, and maybe most importantly, improve your ability to write a sentence. We communicate constantly in this business, despite all the code we write, so learn to do it better.
Next year, whether you publish publicly or not, you’ll have 12 things that show you have some knowledge about SQL Server. I’ve got a few references on setting up a blog, choosing topics, and writing better.
I’d also like my fellow bloggers to encourage and cheer on the people making an effort to share some knowledge and grow their careers.