The show goes on…

And on and on and on! What have I been up to? Here’s a quick list!

In August, I had the pleasure & honor of present at SQL Saturday Indianapolis and at MADPASS. This coming weekend, I’ll be presenting at SQL Saturday Minneapolis. Then the next weekend, I’ll be travelling to Seattle for PASS Summit!

Additionally, I now have two extremely successful Chicago Suburban User Group meetings under my belt! In September, we welcomed Brent Ozar for our inaugural “reboot” meeting, then had the pleasure of welcoming the SQLSkills crew in October. Both meetings were filled to capacity!

Here’s one anecdote that I want to write about here – more to remember for myself than anything else. Prior to our first meeting, we sent out a Feedback Survey, asking our membership what they wanted out of the UG. One priority was “networking.” I thought really hard about how we could facilitate this – and came up with an idea only an hour before the meeting.

During our announcements, I explained the feedback that we had received. So I asked that everyone simply turn to the person next to them, and simply introduce themselves. All I asked was that they share their name and where they work. I went on to explain that the people in attendance will become faces that we will continue to see month after month. But having names to those faces, will hopefully help people build bonds and relationships over time.

I figured this would maybe last 2 or 3 minutes, before it died down, and we’d proceed to our Q&A segment. Instead people talked… and talked… for the next half hour! It was FANTASTIC! The following month, when I did it again, Paul Randal waved me over and noted that he’d never seen a UG do this before! It really surprised me by made me feel good that my simple idea wound up working out wonderfully.

So things are really looking up right now. I’m super excited about this next SQL Saturday & PASS Summit. If you’re at Summit, do come find me and say hello!

T-SQL Tuesday #59: Pass It On

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is brought to you by our host Tracy McKibben (b|t).  Today is Ada Lovelace Day, and my good friend Wendy Pastrick (b|t) suggested we ride on that.  As Ada Lovelace had influenced her, we are all writing about Heroes who have influenced us.

For me, a key influence for me is a person I’ve never met, but read about.  In high school, I developed an interest in military history, particularly the exploits of various Special Forces units, including the Navy SEALs.  And this influence comes from retired Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko’s autobiography Rogue Warrior.

Early in his career, Marcinko served under a Navy Chief named Ev Barrett.  Here is an excerpt from Marcinko’s book, detailing a conversation they had before Marcinko left to enter Officer Candidate School:

(Chief Barrett): “Look,” he said, “you’ve learned a lot of stuff now. And you’re gonna learn a lot more.”
I nodded. “Yeah?”
“So I want you to promise me something. I want your word that what you learn, you’ll pass on.”
“Sure.” I wasn’t certain what he was getting at.
“You’re wondering what the fuck I’m saying, right?”
“Dick, it shouldn’t matter whether you work with a guy once or whether you serve with him for years – you gotta treat him the same. You gotta help him do his job. Like I helped you – now it’s gonna be your turn to pass it on.
. . .
“Think of it as Barrett’s First Law of the Sea… “

It’s been about 20 years since I first read that – hard for me to believe.  But even as a teenager, it made a huge impression on me.  Even then, I recognized that many had helped me directly and indirectly, and I had a responsibility and duty to do the same for others.

And now I find myself blessed to be a part of the pheonomen we know as SQLFamily.  I treasure it because we embrace Chief Barrett’s First Law of the Sea.

We pass it on.