Reaping what you sow

I originally started my ‘blog to supplement my SQL Saturday presentations (among other things).  I’ll admit that I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into with this endeavor, but one thing that was in the back of my mind what that my efforts might lead to bigger and better things.  It’s still too early to know whether or not I’m near that goal (I’m not there yet), but I’m seeing signs that I might at least be heading in the right direction.

I previously mentioned that I was invited to record a podcast for SQL Data Partners.  That podcast is scheduled to air tomorrow — when it does, I’ll post a link to it!  (Update: my podcast is now online!)  I was excited to do that podcast; recording it was a lot of fun (although there were a couple of things that I wish I’d said differently — that’s another article for another time), and it made me feel pretty good that I was being recognized for a skill that’s right in my wheelhouse.

I’m also seeing subtle indications that my skills are being recognized.  In my current job, people are increasingly referring to me and asking me questions about documentation, writing, and communication-related issues.  On the SQL Saturday circuit, I feel as though I’m treated as an equal among other speakers, despite the fact that I’m not necessarily an expert in SQL.  I’ll admit that I’m somewhat humbled when I think about the fact that I’m sharing space with SQL MVPs.  My presentations may focus on soft professional development (rather than hardcore technical) topics, but these people make me feel like a fellow professional and one of their peers — and that makes me feel pretty good!

There are many resources you can tap to get yourself going.  I highly recommend an article by James Serra where he discusses how to advance your career by ‘blogging.  I also suggest a SQL Saturday presentation by Mike Hays where he talks about creating a technical ‘blog.  They are both excellent presenters, and I recommend attending their presentations if you have such an opportunity!

There are a number of ways to refine and practice your skill sets.  Activities such as writing ‘blog articles, taking part in a user group, speaking about topics in your field, answering questions in an online forum, taking courses, and so on, provides a solid foundation for the skills you want to establish.  It’ll take time, but if you make the time and effort to develop and enrich your skills, your efforts will eventually bear fruit.

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One year

One year ago today, I started my ‘blog.  Happy anniversary to me!

Greetings, and welcome!

Greetings, and welcome to my ‘blog!!!

So, why did I start this ‘blog?  There are a number of reasons, but mostly, it’s because I have things to say and thoughts in my head — and I figure that I can help people in the process.  (And yes, there’s a part of me that hopes that this leads to something, as per the links in the next paragraph.)

I was also inspired by others to do this.  For starters, I connected with a number of people through my involvement with SQL Saturday (I’ll talk more about that in a later post).  One of the people I met recently at SQL Saturday was James Serra, who wrote a ‘blog post about why it’s great to write a ‘blog.  (On a related note, James has a presentation called “Enhancing your career: Building your personal brand” that I’m hoping to catch at a SQL Saturday at some point.)  I also met Mike Hays, who presented a SQL Saturday session about technical blogging.  I give both of these gentlemen credit in prompting me to get started with blogging.

So what can you expect?  Mostly, I’ll likely write musings about some things about which I’m passionate — including (but not limited to) music, technology, communication, traveling, working out, and sports.  Mind you, I don’t write this to be social or to talk about my personal life (that’s what my Facebook account is for); rather, I write this as a memoir of things on my mind that’ll help me and (hopefully) help others.

So, let me lay out some ground rules here.

While I will likely write about a variety of topics, what I write in this ‘blog is strictly professional.  I fully expect this to be seen by networking contacts and employers (present, past, and future), in addition to my friends.  My rule of thumb is, if I don’t want my boss (or my mother) to see it, I’m not writing about it here.

Also, I expect all discourse in this forum to be respectful, thought-provoking, or constructive.  While people are welcome to express their opinions (I know that I sure will), I won’t tolerate name-calling, flame wars, racism, mudslinging, or spam.

I also will not tolerate plagiarism of any kind.  Anything I write are my own ideas.  If I do utilize other ideas (which I’m sure I will), I’ll either cite them appropriately or include links to the original source.  Any ideas I post that aren’t mine and are not cited are inadvertent, and I welcome people to call me out on them.

I reserve the right to remove anything I deem offensive.  I also reserve the right to report anything illegal or unethical (especially if it’s spam, which I despise passionately).  My ‘blog, my rules.

So, let’s get this party started . . .