I have been involved in the SQL Server community since 2000, and during the past nine years I have seen hundreds of volunteers donate large amounts of their time to the community. For example:
- DBAs who answer tens of thousands of questions on SQL Server news groups and forums.
- DBAs who write blogs and articles for no pay.
- DBAs who volunteer for the PASS Community Summit. Most Summit attendees don’t realize the thousands of hours that are donated to putting the conference together.
- DBAs who volunteer to run their local users group.
- DBAs who volunteer to organize local events, such as SQL Saturdays, TechFests, CodeCamps, among other similar events.
- DBAs who volunteer their time to speak at local, national, and international events, often spending their own money out of pocket to attend.
- DBAs who volunteer to mentor others, whether it is someone at work or across the world.
- SQL Server MVPs who contributed their time to write the MVP SQL Server Deep Dive book for the financial benefit of War Child International.
- And much, much more.
There are lots of reasons DBAs volunteer their time. Some do it for the networking and camaraderie; others because it’s fun to help others, some do it to learn new skills, and others to market themselves. Whatever the personal motivation, the SQL Server community would not be what it is today without volunteers who step up and take to help others.
If you are one of those volunteers, I want to thank you personally. I have met many of you, and corresponded with many others, and I greatly appreciate your time and effort.
If you are not a volunteer, I would encourage you to give some of your time to the SQL Server community. Yes, there are lots of reasons why you might not have time to give; but there are hundreds of DBAs who do find that time, even if it means giving up their evenings and weekends to participate. Volunteering can be very rewarding, and I suggest you give it a try.
(Originally appeared in the November 30, 2009 issue of the SQLServerCentral.com Newsletter.)
4 thoughts on “Are You a Giver or a Taker?”
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Two reasons express better my case: some do it to learn new skills, and others to market themselves, but the most important: I think that I’m just giving back what I received from others.
I’m also a volunter but mainly in Business Intelligence tools (SSIS, SSAS…)
Keep the good work!
I began volunteering after my first PASS conference, wanting to get more involved in SQL Server. It has spiraled ever upward since then. Running a local chapter and volunteering in various aspects of PASS has been a great learning tool and networking vehicle.
I’ve been amazed by the openness of the SQL Server community’s leaders and their vast knowledge. Without volunteering my SQL skills would not have developed nearly as fast. I’m always encouraging folks to get involved.
One of the PASS folks that impressed me back in 2002 had a favorite saying:
“Teach what you know, learn what you don’t”.
I try to live by that.
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