I have been tagged by Aaron Alton
as part of the latest meme and the question this time around is: Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader?
This is a tough one and this will probably sound like a cop out but it is not. I will actually pick two people one of them is real and the other ‘one’ is more than one single person
Let’s start with my previous manager Mike. Mike is a manager who still writes code daily, he understands the life of a developer. When you tell him that something will take 2 weeks he will ask you if you are sure because it sounds like that isn’t enough time. Mike was never a person who would pressure you into committing to a tighter schedule. When you arrived at work Mike was there, when you went home Mike was still there….I really felt bad leaving half the time knowing that Mike was still in his cube and here I am leaving to go home. If you need a tool there was never a problem getting it. Mike was the person who got our first real bug tracking software (Jira by Atlassian) and he also got us Subversion servers.
Scrum was introduced to our team by Mike. I remember a time when it was common for me to go over documentation with the rest of the team for 3 weeks straight because we had a 9 month project. After 9 months the client would of course tell you that it wasn’t really what they wanted. Scrum changed things drastically, we pushed out two projects, and each was a three or four three week sprint. The feedback was immediate and there was no time wasted implementing feature that nobody really wanted, stuff we weren’t sure about were put in the ‘nice to have’ bucket. You needed books, no problem; an email would get you what you need.
The second ‘person’ is ‘the wisdom of the crowds’ or ‘collective intelligence’
What do I mean by that? These are the people who are active in the newsgroups, forums, blogs, email lists, user groups, write books etc etc. Not one of these people made a reaaly huge impact but all of them combined did.
One of the better ways to learn SQL is still to participate in newsgroups/forums. In the beginning you will probably ask more than you answer but after a while you will see that 50% of the questions are the same 20 questions asked over and over again with a slight variation in the question itself. You can just lurk in these newsgroups and take in all the great information that has been passed around. There are many people that taught me some really good stuff; here is just a small number: Aaron Bertrand, Adam Machanic, Denny Cherry, vongrunt, George Mastros, Jonathan Kehayias, Itzik Ben-Gan, David Portas, Ted Krueger, Emtucifor, Uri Dimant, Dan Guzman................
Blogs have really made a difference for developers in the last 5 years. There are blogs that specialize just in one thing in terms of a product. If you want to learn stuff about checkdb and indexing, then you visit Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal’s blog. If you are interested in admin related stuff then Denny Cherry is the man. If you want to get someone’s perspective on large data sets then Michelle Ufford is your woman. Dynamic SQL interest you and you want to learn more? Erland Sommarskog has the definitive page. Datetime data? Tibor Karaszi has all the answers. Then there are blogs where a bunch of really good bloggers all blog on the same site; sqlblog is one of these
Authors and content creators
All this online stuff is nice but I still prefer to hold a ‘real’ tree disappearing book in my hand. Every SQL developer should own a bunch of these books, following is a short list. Ken Henderson’s The Guru’s guide to SQL, The Inside SQL Server series by Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan and others, Louis Davidson design book, Adam Machanic’s Expert SQL book, Joe Celko’s for smarties and puzzle books. In terms of Video/Audio content you should check out Greg Low’s SQLDownunder podcasts, the podcast on SQLServerPedia, DotNetRocks and Channel 9
The SQL community
All the #sql folks on twitter who make everybody suffer from ADD these days, yes Brent Ozar and Jason Massie I am talking about you.
And I will tag no one :-)