T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday 34: Help!

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T-SQL Tuesday

In this month’s installment of TSQL Tuesday, Rob Volk asks if we can help him. I mean, asks where we get our SQL Server help.

Help is a difficult topic. I can admit to not being the best at asking for help, especially now that I’ve jumped back into the consulting realm. I think there’s a real stigma attached to asking for help, especially in technical communities. That you aren’t a real pro until you’ve cut your teeth with long hours, crashed servers, and MacGuyver’d yourself out with nothing more than a paperclip and some poorly–written documentation.

In other words, it’s a lie that leads to nothing but frustration.

Asking is Strength

One of my favorite resources is #SQLHelp on Twitter. It’s saved my bacon and gave me a greater sense of the community when I was the lone (accidental) DBA at the beginning of my career. And even now, nearly four years later, I know I can clarify any kind of technical or syntax question in a matter of moments. If I’m considering some administrative change, I can chat it over with DBAs that have five–to–six times the experience I do. I can verify my logic. I am warned of potential gotchas and landmines.

I ♥ #SQLHelp.

The Blogosphere

While I follow many blogs in my efforts to become a better, more-rounded SQL Server professional, I tend to read three without fail.

  • Thomas LaRock—Tom is a great all–around resource. He writes about all aspects of being a data professional: development, database administration, professional development, how to seek and gain employment. He’s also on the PASS Board of Directors, so he’s a great link to additional training resources. Finally, he runs his own SQL Blogger Rankings, which are a fantastic set of blogs to drop into your RSS reader right now.
  • Brent Ozar PLF—Like Tom’s blog, BOPLF covers a wide variety of topics. Additionally, BOPLF does a great job at indexing topics into single pages, such as this one about Indexing. The blog is written by all four members of the company, and it’s great to get four perspectives in one blog feed. Finally, they run a weekly video cast every Tuesday at 11:30am Central Time.
  • SQLskills—Another great company run by fantastic, wicked–smart folks, Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp. And if you visit the home page, you can pick up the rest of the blogs, as they don’t aggregate them into one feed like BOPLF does. But what I love about the SQLskills blog is the depth of knowledge that is shared. Whenever I need to do some heavy administrative lifting, as it were, I’m always certain to find a blog post by Kim or Paul to help guide me through a topic.

Finding the Help You Need

Help me

The resources I’ve listed don’t even scratch the surface for what’s available online. I think it’s all a matter of time and effort to find the best information available. And it can be a challenge because once information is published online, it has an infinite shelf–life. In other words, buyer beware.

If you are in a rut to find a specific resource for a topic, do feel free to send me an email or a tweet. I’m pretty well connected to the community, and I’m sure I can help connect you to someone who has the know–how you’re needing.