T-SQL Tuesday #96: Folks Who Have Made A Difference


This T-SQL Tuesday was an interesting one, and I’ve been spending quite a few hours thinking about how to formulate my thoughts. Unfortunately the end of said Tuesday is nearing with unreasonable speed, so I’ll have to be brief. This month’s challenge comes from Ewald Cress and is to recognize those who have made a meaningful contribution in your life in the world of data.

There is a saying that “all good deeds are only made possible by people standing on the shoulders of giants”. That in turn requires an environment of sharing and nurturing - the more the better. There are many giants in our community; way more than I could possibly write in a single blog post.

While the number of people having made meaningful contributions to my life in data is huge, two names stand out. The first is Jes Borland (@grrl_geek) who, despite having yet to actually talk to me in person, gave me the inspiration to actually stop thinking of speaking and actually do something to get there. As is quite common, the small, at the moment somewhat insignificant actions often turn out to be the pivotal ones. There is another saying that “no raindrop ever believes it is to blame for the flood”, but the short words of encouragement from Jes started the trickle that became the stream and is heading full tilt to becoming a flood.

And “flood” is a good way to describe the other person: Cathrine Wilhelmsen (@cathrinew). From the moment I bumped into the Norwegian Whirlwind at Summit 2016, my life has literally not been the same. She introduced me to every hot shot in the business, all while I was having eyes large as saucers and a seriously hard time keeping up.

This year at Summit, I had a fair amount of steam going in. Due to the many acquaintances I made the year before, it was easier to socialize and make even more friends. I did what Jes and Cathrine had done to me, each in the own way, and tried to help first timers and people eager but lacking in direction to connect with people that might get them further than I could. This way I got to meet Laura Muise (@Laura_SQL, an amazing woman who will undoubtedly go far in our world of data) and maybe, hopefully, gave her something to in turn enable her to pay it forward whenever the time comes. I can’t wait for her to speak at her first SQL Saturday.

Thinking about this topic while teaching a SQL Server course this week, I came to the realization that the folks who have made the most of a difference is the #SQLFamily itself. The giants I wrote about earlier are all regular people - people just like you and me. For some people (albeit a very small number) I am the giant. Many, many others are my giants. The point is, that a community so focused on giving to such a degree that the SQL Server community is, become self-sustaining with giants.

I’d like to give the biggest shout-out to you.

All of you.

You make meaningful contributions to my life of data every day.

Thank you for being part of the most awesome community there is.