Meme Monday: What #SQLFamily means to me

It’s the first Monday of the Month, and Thomas “Rockstar DBA” LaRock (blog|twitter) has set us SQL Server DBAs a topic for today’s blog posts across the SQL Server community.  This time, he put out the call for posts about SQL Family.

The #SQLFamily Twitter hashtag hasn’t got a long glorious history, but the SQL Server community has – and this is what the #SQLFamily is about.  It’s a very friendly group of people, eager to accept new members and mentor them, help out with their problems on the various Q&A sites such as,, and forum sites such as SQL Server Central.  And there’s always a bunch of us keeping half an eye on the Twitter #SQLHelp hashtag, and we’re trying that in Google+ too.

As well as the various electronic hang-outs, you’ll find branches of the family physically hanging out in different places – at conferences such as SQLBits in the UK, PASS in the US, and at various user groups across the world.  And everyone’s so friendly and helpful.

Like family members, we’re prepared to travel to help each other out – even to the point of interrupting a family holiday to go to a user group meeting.  Or is that just me?  In the UK, it’s not unknown for people to travel 100+ miles after work to get to a user group meeting – and I know that one’s not just me!

Like a real family, though, we don’t tolerate those who seek to attack us, or put us down.  We have recently seen one Twittish Twitterer try attacking one of Da Family, and he found he bit off more than he could chew.  Within a very short space of time, the #SQLFamily had circled the wagons and mounted a defence.  Jorge “SQLChicken” Segarra (blog|twitter) has a description of what went on.  (Yes, his post is about “SQL Community”, but the community does feel like a family to many of us.)  Unfortunately, there have been other incidents.

(Sorry, interrupted by a member of my #SQLFamily who wants career advice – from me!  I’ve not been in this part of the game as long as he has, so he should know what to do, but apparently this thing works both ways…  I hope things work out for him.)

Where was I?  Oh yes.

But #SQLFamily isn’t just about those out there.  It’s also about the guys you work with, your colleagues on a day-to-day project-by-project basis.  You do what you can to help them get better, to deliver the best projects you can, and hope that they do the same for you.  In this way, you gradually build up your own network of colleagues and associates, and you’ll know who to go to when you need help; similarly, they’ll come to you when they need help.  I’ve long been convinced that part of the way to get ahead is “who you know” rather than “what you know”, and this has been proved right.  (Cheers, J.  And N.  I’m sure we’ll be in touch again!)

In short, you look after the family, they’ll look after you.

And now I’ve managed to earworm myself with Mama Morton’s song from Chicago.  I need help.  Or curry.  Or both.

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