Justice League of #SQLFamily


Wow, that’s a pretty dumb title, and one that I humbly apologize for. I find myself with a dilemma – I really want to contribute something serious to Thomas LaRock’s #SQLFamily meme, but this blog thing I’ve got going here is, as evidenced by the superhero theme, meant to be silly and humorous. I decided to put some serious thought into what I wanted to say, and see if a title revealed itself.

Flexing my thinking muscle, I started looking back over my years as a SQL guy. Twenty-plus years is a long time, time that has seen me working with Clipper, Foxpro, Windows NT, networking, IIS, ASP, PHP, XYZ and, among others, SQL. I’ve learned a lot along the way, made a lot of mistakes along the way, made and lost friends along the way, had some miserable jobs along the way, and had a lot of fun along the way. I think the place where I had the most fun was the same place where I picked up the Real SQL Guy moniker. The group of guys that I worked with, including my boss, were all made from the same mold. We all worked extremely hard, had the same warped sense of humor, made fun of the same people for the same reasons, and just really had a lot of fun together. I think the biggest reason for that was that we all felt the same pains from our jobs – the same sorts of problems from the same people. One of us could complain to the rest of the group, and we all “got it”, we understood and could react accordingly, which usually meant making fun of somebody for asking for or doing something “stupid”.

That was six years ago. Today, I’m with a different company, with a different group of people, with drastically different personalities and backgrounds. Some of them share my sense of humor, some of them don’t, and because of that, I’ve had to mature and be more “selective” with my reactions to day-to-day challenges. This is positively a good thing, and part of becoming a better professional, but there are times when I simply feel the need to yell “WTF?” and share with the world that “dumb thing” that I just had to fix. That’s partly why I revived this blog, to serve as an outlet for that sort of stuff. Something else happened though – in order to get my hilarious blog content to be read by as many people as possible, I decided to get more aggressive in the social media arena. I joined Twitter. I cleaned up my LinkedIn profile. I created a Google+ profile. Across all of these platforms, I started following and interacting with some of the SQL celebrities, the guys and gals who write the books. In doing so, I made a pleasant discovery. Some of these people are a lot like me!

There’s always somebody making fun of their pet stupid developer, or sharing a bad joke, or an inappropriate link. It’s like being back with that original group of guys again. I can complain that “idiot developer asked me to expand VARCHAR(50) to VARCHAR(255) on 5M row table, then got upset when I questioned why”, and these people GET IT, they understand my frustration and the desire to smack that developer between the eyes. In superhero terms, they’re my Justice League.

I don’t truly consider myself part of the #SQLFamily yet, but I intend to get there. I’ve been to my first SQL Saturday event, I’m going to start attending some of the local PASS meetings, and I’m going to try to make it to the PASS Summit next year. Save me a seat at the dinner table…