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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is



I just wrapped up an ETL With SSIS class in the Rochester, NY area and one of the students in the class pointed out "You haven't blogged in over a week!" He's right - I need to blog more and more often. I've been distracted with preparations to sell our house, releasing an e-book, writing the next volume in the e-book series, and working. No excuses, just information.

Shooting at Pots

I've seen some articles and posts lately taking aim at various technologies, some aimed at Microsoft and others aimed at a field of technology in general. The Microsoft uproar is about the ADO.Net Entity Framework. On one side is Microsoft, Tim Mallalieu, Ward Bell and the team that developed EF; on the other side are a group of people who decided to post an online petition to gather signatures and warn potential users of EF of potential dangers using the product. The "field of technology in general" is databases and data applications: Others are commenting about database and business intelligence topics.

On EF... 

Now, I won't comment about the technical aspects of the ADO.Net Entity Framework because, well, I know very little about it.

I will say this: I do not like the way this is happening.

Here's why: Microsoft has channels of communication for feedback from the community. Microsoft Connect is but one example of this (albeit a good one). For MVPs, there are direct communication channels to the Microsoft development teams or to those who communicate directly with those teams.

People Helping People 

Maybe I have this wrong, but I enjoy helping people learn to implement technical solutions. For me, that's the juice. I enjoy watching a new application or database or website go - especially if it goes faster than it did before. I'm thrilled by the look on student's faces when they put the pieces together about SSIS or database development.

So what happened here? Again, I'm not sure. I have seen similar things in the past. Maybe this applies to this situation, but probably not. 

You Don't Always Get What You Want 

For everyone, there are things we like and things we don't like. For everyone, there are things we understand and things we don't. Most people I know respond to the things they do not understand by thinking (and perhaps blogging) "I don't understand this." Similarly, most people I know who do not like something state "I don't like this."

Others, though, respond to things they do not understand or do not like (or both) by saying "This is wrong."

There is a world of difference between "I don't like it / I don't understand" and "This is wrong." The former is an opinion; the latter, a judgment. And - this is crucial - you can fix "I don't understand this" with education (if you're willing to learn).

When I read a judgment about a technology topic, my initial reaction is to question the writer - especially when the writer has the talent and skill to help ordinary users address the issues they've identified and opts instead to bash the technology. It's one thing to say "This is wrong" and another to say "I disagree with this implementation of technology but here's how you can make it work like I think it should". That's a lot of verbiage but I think you get the point. One response is helpful.

On Database Bashing...

I understand this technology better than EF technology. Let me first start by saying that if I do not personally know how to do it, it cannot be done.

Did that last statement sound cocky? arrogant? conceited? accurate? Yes, yes, yes, and no. Suppose I write something like: "If you don't know what I know, you're stupid and should quit database work and go do something else." Again, cocky? arrogant? conceited? accurate? Yes, yes, yes, and no. This doesn't help you. This doesn't help me. In fact, this doesn't help anyone.

Check Please

So here's my two cents: It's better to help folks than to complain - even if you sincerely believe your complaining is helping folks, it's not. Really.

:{> Andy


Published Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:55 PM by andyleonard

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