You are such a N00b! My 14 year old son’s favorite saying. Atleast I swear I hear it coming out of his mouth on a more than regular basis. He has become quite the MW3 fanatic. But it is interesting how that phrase has really rung true lately. I had lunch with John Morehouse (@SQLrus) and John Barnes (@Riskworks) this week, and our topic of conversation was along those same lines. SQL knowledge, not MW3.
How much do you really know about the technology you are in? Back in August, I attended the first SQLSaturday event here in Omaha. It was amazing. And eye-opening. If you had asked me, before that day, my level of expertise in SQL, I would have told you on a scale of one to ten I was an eight. After that day, I consider myself more of a six. Youdon’t know what you don’t know. I remember this occuring before, and I’m hearing it more and more. The more you put yourself in a position to learn, the more you realize how little you actually know.
John mentioned being at PASS summit and sitting in on a 500 level session, and having Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal enter and proceed to plant themselves in front of John. If you don’t know who Kimberly and Paul are, you are truly missing out. Omaha (me included) had the opportunity to sit in on a learning session that the two of them put together, and it was priceless. The slide deck alone has given me amazing resources to accomplish things at my company. This couple (married, by the way) are two of the brightest and most helpful people I have come across in SQL. And again, if you aren’t on their ‘SQLskills Insider’ mailing list, you are missing out. And if they find it important enough to keep learning from others, then who am I to think I know much of anything.
Steve Jones from the voice of the DBA podcast posted the picture above awhile back of Brent Ozar sitting in a seminar. Again, someone you can really learn from (check out Brent Ozar PLF) getting further education on his subject of expertise. If these guys are taking the time to learn more, what makes you think you know even a small part of it. John Morehouse was referring to some interviews he assisted with, and the applicants stating they were an eight out of ten. If you think you are an eight, who do you think is a ten? Do you really have 80 percent of their knowledge? And does that make Itzik Ben-Gan a 12?
Now this doesn’t just apply to SQL, or technology, or fitness. No matter what you are doing right now, there is always more to learn. Always! Take the time to learn. There are so many resources available to us as SQL professionals, it is mind boggling. One of my goals for this year is to read. Well, read more. I’m making it a priority to read from BOL (Microsoft hosted SQL Books OnLine) every day. I also currently have two books loaded on Kindle on my phone. SQL MVP Deep Dives II, as well as SQL Server 2008 Internals. I am getting a better understanding of how to do things in SQL, but I’m also learning more of why I do things a certain way, as well as the inner workings of how SQL does it. It really is quite amazing. If you need a place to get started, try the links to the right. Now get out there and figure out what you don’t know.