The subject for this T-SQL Tuesday is Giving Back. I have been a taker in the SQL community for many years.
In 2012 I went to my first PASS Summit (you know, the year with the nice Ogio bags). I was duly impressed with the quality, quantity, and variety of presentations available for the attendees. I learned so much that I was excited to get back to work (no really, I was excited) so I could implement some of the new things I had learned and fix some of the things I thought I was doing right.
Then I learned that everybody involved was volunteering their time. What? You mean, like, for free? I guess if you had asked me I would have said sure, people at conferences volunteer their time, but these sessions just didn’t feel like the drivel I usually had to endure at conferences. I felt like I had 3 days of awesome training tailored to my needs.
So, what to do? I realized that if all these people were willing to give of their time for my edification, shouldn’t I do the same for others (assuming I had anything worth giving)? How do I become a SQL evangelist like those that I now idolized? The answer was simple: Start small. I started by sharing my new-found knowledge and enthusiasm with my peers. I shared websites and scripts and…well, anything I could think of.
Then I found where and when the local PASS chapter was meeting and started attending regularly. After I felt comfortable in the group, I volunteered to present at some of the monthly chapter meetings. I was rough at first, but then I got better. This last year, I presented at four different SQL Saturdays, 1 local, and the rest out of state. I am finally giving back.
A watershed moment for me this past year was when a director from another department came over and gave me a hand-written note (with a little treat, yum!). The note said how much they appreciated my help and attention to detail, but what they appreciated the most was the mentoring that I provided. Wow! That stayed on my wall for months!
So what do I have planned for this next year? Well, to put it plainly, more, more, MORE of the same. I have already offered to help in the administration of the local PASS chapter (enthusiastically accepted). I also plan on volunteering to present at more SQLSaturdays this year (maybe 8?). My eventual ‘lofty’ goal is to present at PASS Summit, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
I am also blogging more regularly and trying to come up with topics that will help others (I always learn more than anybody when I write them). I am sure other things will present themselves to me and hopefully I will have the time to accept the challenge. Fortunately I have a boss who supports me!