I recently emailed the editors of SQL Server MVP Deep Dives (Manning Publications, 2009). I asked them one question: You have a life, a job, family... why edit and write a book and donate the royalties to War Child? Some of the responses follow (in alphabetical order of the editors' last name):
I think your question answers itself. I have a life, a job, a family…. I am so blessed… it just feels like the right thing to do to share with others that are not so blessed. And to be able to use my passion for SQL Server to really help children in need is an indescribable thrill!
Dr. Greg Low
Because no matter how busy we are with our own lives, we are living in very privileged societies compared with most of the world. Children affected by war certainly didn’t ask for the situation they find themselves in and deserve special help.
Paul S. Randal
For me it was all about donating time for a worthy charitable cause and being part of the wider SQL MVP community. There aren't many opportunities to work with so many fellow MVPs, and we only get together a couple of times a year - at the MVP Summit and at PASS. This was a great way to get to know some of them and to help them develop their writing skills.
I find it hard enough to make time for the things I want to do in my own life that, unfortunately, volunteering for a charity isn't possible right now. But doing technical editing for a SQL Server book? That was something I could do on planes, at lunchtime while teaching classes, and in other snatched hour-long chunks - and something where I knew I could add value to the project. I put somewhere around 40 hours into a deep technical edit of each chapter of the DBA section of the book, which was not only enjoyable in itself, I learned a bunch of stuff too!
As far as the charity is concerned, many of us involved with the book have children, so can understand a little of the feelings of those children unfortunate enough to be caught up in the ravages of war. Rather than simply donating money to War Child, donating time to the production of the MVP Deep Dives book was a much more satisfying way of helping the charity, and the children, and encouraging others to do so too.
I sent a similar email to the other authors. The post with their responses will be pubished 2 Dec 2009.