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Argenis Fernandez

Best Advice Ever: Learn By Helping Others

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Published Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:32 PM by Argenis

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@sql_handle said:

Great advice!  I also like helping via #sqlhelp or the forums because of what I learn.  And because I like to help but don't consider myself a good fit as a classroom- type instructor or a sqlsaturday-type presenter.  If there is a willingness to help, there's a vehicle appropriate for you :)

October 24, 2013 8:02 PM

Ewald Cress said:

Great post, and great point. I'd like to follow up on the issue of "a guy who, like you, knew nothing about SQL Server". There are many of us who enjoy reading the exchanges of others, but who don't join the conversation because, well, surely there are so many real experts in the room.

One "downside" of the wonderful amount of information and help available online is that any sufficiently perceptive person can't help but realise just how little he or she knows. Picking up on @sql_handle's comment, there is still a case for finding a vehicle for learning through helping/teaching/explanation. Merely by expressing your understanding of an issue, you will inevitably get a better grip on it, and will likely get feedback from others to help refine that understanding.

Perhaps we get paralyzed too readily by the realisation that there are so many people who know more than ourselves. Worth remembering the flip side of the coin, namely that there are also loads of people who can learn from us.

If all else fails, you can always practise by explaining indexing to your dog :-)

October 25, 2013 9:24 AM

Rob said:

I have been a DBA for only two years. There are 2 SQL DBAs in our shop and over 800 DBs. The other DBA started 2 weeks ago and knows very little. By explaining things to him I realise how much I have learned and how far I have come and by making sure I read plenty of blogs and forums and watching twitter I am more than aware how much I have to learn before I will feel like I am anything other than a newbie.

But by blogging and presenting to my user group I keep developing and learning and my understanding grows. Mostly I look at sqlhelp and the questions are beyond my experience or already answered by some clever dude like @DBArgenis 😃 but I have answered one question and I try to find questions I can answer in forums because a - explaining it deepens my understanding but also I feel it is my way to pay back to the sql community for all the help I have received and will receive in the future.

I know what its like to sit and think "I haven't a clue" - If I can assist one person with that, then that's a good thing and I like good things

October 25, 2013 3:48 PM

andyleonard said:

Excellent post, Argenis!


October 26, 2013 5:17 AM

Argenis said:

@Ewald given our short conversation at the PASS Summit, I'd be inclined to think that the world would benefit from your (and @sql_handle's) wealth of knowledge :)

Lonny has already saved the day more than once on #SQLHelp :)

@Rob thanks, man. That's the spirit.

@Andy thanks!!

October 31, 2013 12:50 PM

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Great post - very true.

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