Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Twitter and the SQL Server community

Let me share with you the power or Twitter and the SQL Server Community. In a post I wrote about a year ago, Social Networking for Dummies – nay, Beginners Part 2, I explain the uses for Twitter. When I joined a new firm last summer, I knew some of my new skills needed sharpening. To make matters worst, the firm’s applications were on .Net 2003 and SQL Server 2000. At the time, I had worked with only .Net 2005 and SQL Server 2005 but not on a production environments. So it became my goal, and my job, to migrate applications and databases to 2008 platforms accordingly. I’m the developer, that becomes the accidental DBA, and still program .Net applications. I had to do research on our current databases and do performance tuning, check the current disaster recover plan and not to mention develop BI. I was in dire need for help.
Enter the social media assistance. I don’t recall who I followed first, but it could of been @BrianKnight or @PatrickDba when I first found a Pragmatic Works webinar. From then on, my list grew, following DBA’s like @SQLChicken, @SQLVariant and alas, @BrentO, MVP, MCM. Yes, there is a form of DBA Rock stardom in the SQL Community, and in that class, there are only 3 major Rock Star DBA’s. Any DBA that wants to know the best resources, or what a Rock Star DBA has for lunch, reference Tom LaRock’s SQL Rockstar hierarchy page.
I created a Twitter list of Database Experts I follow on a day to day basis. Via these tweeps (Twitter Peeps), it made my learning a lot easier. A lot of these experts have been published by RedGate and Wrox books, just to name a few, so their microblogs are not dull. I don’t care to follow people telling me they “ate a sandwich”, or they had to “visit the dentist”, unless you’re Brent, Paul or Kim. I follow technologist that have a career like mine, and follow the #1 community rule, “share”.
Many of these tweeps have turned me on to books I read and webinars I took. On a daily basis, you see articles they recommend, or blog posts they shared, all of which hold valuable SQL Server information, tips, techniques and news. I must say, this past year has been an experience, that I have been to a TechFest in Dallas and am planning a few more visits to Dallas if SQLSaturday #56 BI Edition opens the waitlist again, all thanks to tweets from my DBA Twitter List. Lastly, there is a hash on Twitter, the #sqlhelp hash, it is like the Batman beacon, you use it when you are in need of an answer to a particular question, use it wisely, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Wow, two superhero comic referenced in one sentence. I have to say, the SQL Server community is very helpful and resourceful, if this is not your cup of tea, this works well with any technology or trade you might want to follow.
I can’t seem to thank ever DBA I follow for I’m sure I have referenced a link or a blog post to help me at one point, but those I remember I’d like to put it out there for others to hopefully follow as well.
Jorge, thanks for SQL University, and great resource.
Patrick, keep those SQL Luncheons going, hopefully audio won’t be a problem on my end soon.
Jen and Sean, I’m still watching those Midnight DBA Videos.
And finally, If you want to start on Twitter properly, I suggest this free PDF, The Simple Twitter Book by @BrentO.

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