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.