T-SQL Tuesday #111 – What is Your Why?

Words: 752

Time to read: ~ 4 minutes

T-SQL Tuesday this month is hosted by Andy Leonard ( blog | twitter ) and he asks what is your why. What it is that makes you do what you do.

I’ve spent the best part of the day with this question rattling around in the back of my mind which is not helpful when you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with the left over cranial resources.

Now that I have a chance to sit down at my desk, crack open the laptop, and put methaphorical ink to paper I believe that I have some sort of an answer.

I don’t know.

There is something very appealing about being asked a question and being able to say a definitive answer to it. Yet none of the questions that I asked myself had definitive answers.

Q: Is it the joy of learning?

A: Sure. I like learning.

But there is embarassment in not knowing and a sense of dismay in realising you’ll never learn enough or know everything that you need to know.

Q: Well, is it because you find meaning in spreading information and teaching others.

A: Sure. I like teaching.

But it’s not mainly meaning that I get out of it, to be perfectly honest, a lot of the time it’s solace. There are sour, low points that everyone goes through that makes the high points in life all the sweeter. That doesn’t make the low points any less daunting. Spreading information, teaching others, and helping out are some of the most effective ways I’ve found to counteract these dull and grey valleys.

Q: Is your why databases? You love everything about them.

A: Sure. Databases are my first real IT infatuation

But I’m infatuated with a lot of different IT aspects. Any chance I get, you’ll find me discussing PowerShell with others, I’m trying to learn Python on the side, I’m an AWS user at work, a closet Azure user at home, and have a dream about bursting Azure out for work.

And yet…

Reading back on the above paragraphs I’ll admit that it comes across as slightly “doom and gloom”.

Yet I don’t want that to be the message here. I’m okay with not “finding myself” when I became a DBA and that being my reason why, mainly because I’m more a believer in “making yourself” than “finding yourself”.

Those points above that I mentioned are not my final say on the subjects.

I know that there is never an end goal with knowledge and learning. That doesn’t mean that there is no point in trying. It’s in striving and fighting for that impossible, never-ending goal that we become better out of it.

Even though meaning isn’t what I attain from spreading information and teaching, that doesn’t mean that the work does not have meaning. There are people I’ve interacted with and met who’s work deserves to be shared. People who have gotten relief from a seemingly unfixable problem or just a nudge in the right direction when they are fumbling for an answer in the dark. Just because I’m also helped in helping does not devalue any of its worth.

And as for being infatuated with other technologies, let me point out something real quick. The SQL Server community is very quickly becoming the Data community; DATA:Scotland, Data Grillen, etc. etc. The days of SQL Server as a data store only is, if not already gone, very soon finished. These other infatuations can be molded and melded together to reach a total greater than their original parts.

Case in point from the last conference I attended:

While this post doesn’t rain down fire and fury about the passion of my why, please don’t take from it that I am not passionate. If my why is not a wildfire, I consider it more as a molten magma. Slightly unknown but vast and inexorable.

And if words are not enough then actions may show differently.
It’s around 40 days into the New Year and I’ve already given my first presentation, booked 3 conferences, volunteered at another, come back from a SQL Saturday on the other side of Europe, and when I get a chance to finally sit down at the end of the day, I write out a blog post to join the rest of the SQL community bloggers.

I’m looking forward to reading theirs and how they can help put a sense of shape to mine.

So what is my Why?

I don’t know but I’m okay with that.