tsql2sday150x150 thumb T SQL Tuesday #36: What Does Community Mean? I find this month’s T-SQL Tuesday topic quite appropriate, as it follows the 2012 PASS Summit, a time when I get to see so many members of the SQL Server Community.  Chris Yates (@YatesSQL) is hosting this month and asks, “What Does Community Mean to You?”  My short answer? #sqlfamily, #sqlhelp and opportunity.

When I think of the SQL Community, it is the people that come to mind – so many people that I have met and become friends with, and so much of it is due to Twitter.  When I think of the SQL Community, I think of Twitter.  I do.  It may seem crazy, and I know that there is more to the community than conversations on Twitter – there is the Summit, there are User Groups, there are SQLSaturdays, there are blogs – the community encompasses so much.  But how do I communicate with everyone?  So frequently, so quickly?  How I have met so many people from all over the US?  All over the world?  Twitter.

Our community is incredibly unique.  None of my friends or family have this kind of cohort – they don’t have the friendships that span the globe.  They don’t regularly converse with colleagues all around the world, working together to answer questions and solve problems.  I’ve lost so many hours of sleep due to chats with Rob Farley (I curse that 17.5 hour time difference!) and Jonathan Kehayias (I’m not convinced that he sleeps) but it’s all worth it.

I have found some really close friends in the Community.  Friends that I would spend time with even if they didn’t work with SQL Server.  Friends that I know I can call or email at any time for anything.  Just over a year ago I blogged about #sqlfamily, and what I wrote then still holds true today.

The SQL Community is also about helping others.  The generosity of individuals continually astounds me.  So many members of the community volunteer for PASS, helping to make the organization so successful.  Many people help others solve technical problems via the #sqlhelp hashtag on Twitter.  And when it’s too much for 140 characters, blog posts are written, questions posted to forums or emails exchanged.  I’ve seen it happen to others, it’s happened to me.  The people of this community share information and provide help, and then celebrate success.

And finally, the SQL Community can provide significant opportunities for people.  The opportunity to meet a favorite blogger at Summit, the opportunity to talk to someone at Microsoft to understand how it really works, the opportunity to meet someone who will become that friend you call when you have life changing news.  And yes, opportunity can be a job opening.  How many jobs have been found through the community?  Too many to count.  I found my team through the SQL Community.  If I were not involved, I do not believe I would have the job I have today.  I love what I do.  I work with five amazing individuals.  People that I respect personally and professionally.  My job, just like the Community, is exhausting, rewarding, and a whole lot of fun.

If you’re not involved, I recommend you think about it.  You never know where it will take you.  And for those of you in this community – I thank you for making it what it is today, and I cannot wait to see where we go in the future.