What Does a Good Mentor Do for You?

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These would be good mentors - me plus Adam Machanic, and Klaus Aschenbrenner Not long ago, John Sansom (Twitter | Blog) kicked off a SQL Community Project #DBAJumpStart by asking 20 successful and experienced SQL Server professionals this exact question: "If you could give a DBA just one piece of advice, what would it be?" I wrote up my Advice for the Aspiring DBA post here, while John collected the entire set of responses here within the DBA JumpStart collection. Part of my advice, indeed of several of the contributors, was to find and build a strong mentor-protege relationship.  But what … [Read more...]

You’re Leading in More Ways Than You Realize

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The following is an excerpt from Kevin and Joe Webb's (Blog | Twitter) monthly IT Pro eNewsletter.   You're Leading in More Ways Than You Realize It's that time of year again. The sights and sounds of modern-day gladiators clashing on the gridiron field. If you're a football fan, there is no better time of year. In football, the quarterback is the de facto leader of the offense of team. Late in the game it is to him that the team looks to snatch a last minute come-from-behind victory from certain defeat. That's a lot of weight to put on one man's shoulders. Yet the … [Read more...]

What’s the Hidden Issue in the Recent PASS Bylaw Changes?

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The 2004 PASS Board of Directors On December 19, 2013, the PASS board of directors (BoD) proposed a small and targeted set of bylaw changes in response to CA relinquishing the BoD seats they were entitled to as a Founding Partner in the professional association. How Did CA Get Involved with PASS? You might be wondering "How did a company that doesn't seem to make a lot of SQL Server tools get a seat on the board of this huge, international SQL Server professional association?" It's a bit of a shaggy-dog story, so I'll sum it up quickly. Back in the late 1990's, there was a large and … [Read more...]

One Piece of Advice for the Aspiring Junior DBA

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This post is part of the SQL Community Project #DBAJumpStart by John Sansom (Twitter | Blog). "If you could give a DBA just one piece of advice, what would it be?" John asked 20 successful and experienced SQL Server professionals this exact question. I share my own thoughts with you below and you can find all our answers together inside DBA JumpStart, a unique collection of inspiring content just for SQL Server DBAs. Be sure to get your free copy of DBA JumpStart. =-=-=-= John Sansom recently asked me and 19 other bloggers “What’s the one bit of advice you’d give a junior database … [Read more...]

My Advice About Growing as an IT and Data Professional

First off, I should apologize for not blogging in quite a while. I've been traveling extensively and, because traveling can be so exhausting, I usually have to queue up blog posts to hit while I'm traveling in order to remain active while on the road.  I didn't do that for these most recent trips.  And, as you can see, there's quite a gap between this post and my last few posts. On the other hand, I've experienced an unexpected surge in requests for mentoring and advice from friends and colleagues about career growth.  I'm always happy to help out a friend and, in fact, there's little in my … [Read more...]

PASS Summit 2012, Slide Decks

Ok, I have to admit the painful truth. I'm reliably slow to the finish line. This year, I got my slides into PASS HQ by the skin of my teeth, the weekend before the event was to begin.  Although I could say with a straight face "I uploaded my slides!".  I have to be honest that I wasn't surprised when many of my attendees said that they weren't available for download by the time my session started.  OTOH, I also have to say that I really do prefer for attendees to focus on the presentation while it's being presented and that they should grab the slides afterwards.  But that's just my personal … [Read more...]

Do You Have One of “the Three W’s” to Sit on a Board of Directors?

Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat – I’m not typing “Board of Directors” repeatedly throughout this blog post.  It’s just too much typing.  BoD will have to do.  Live with it. Perhaps, you’ve been paying attention to the PASS Twitter feed, read the newsletters, or otherwise stay abreast of happenings within PASS.  If you haven’t, here’s a news alert – it’s time for a new round of the PASS leadership cycle.  And since this is the season of PASS nominations, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to share some of my lessons learned about effective BoDs. Having spent over a decade … [Read more...]

ITPro, Re-architect Your Life

Have you ever found yourself wanting to make a major shift - in skills, in roles, in relationships? One of my good friends, Jimmy May (Blog | Twitter), accomplished a set of major career and lifestyle revisions including relocating to Redmond, taking on a huge new level of job responsibility as part of the Microsoft SQL Customer Advisory Team, and achieving the noted accreditation of Microsoft Certified Master. Jimmy and I were chatting about undertaking major life changes like these and, as is often the case, his thoughts were too good not to share. Be sure to explore these excellent … [Read more...]

Information Hoarder No More!

I hate to admit it, but I'm a hoarder.  Yes, like those insane people on the A&E TV show.  Only my hoarding is all virtual.  For example, take the image above.  That's just a tiny part of my Google Reader home page.  That's a tiny part of my Google Reader home page AFTER reading most of the day on a recent Sunday. I still had thousands of entries to go after hours of reading.  On top of that, I subscribe to some technical e-newsletters.  I'm a member of quite a few LinkedIn discussion groups, each of which produce daily and weekly newsletters. (I only subscribe to the weekly versions).  … [Read more...]

Leadership, Management, and SQLRally

Transparency - A Great Leadership Quality I've always appreciated how Andy Warren (blog| twitter) operates in the most transparent manner, especially as it relates to his role as a director for the Professional Association for SQL Server. For example, Andy's latest blog post about prepping for the SQLRally, to kick off in less than 30 days, is insightful and gives you a good idea of the sort of work a strong director for PASS needs to put in.  I also enjoy how Andy more or less thinks out loud and offers you the chance to provide your input.  In that latest blog post, he was mulling different … [Read more...]