(Bottom left corner of this photo you’ll see the nose of the sniper)

A talent and a gift, what is the difference? I follow the definition that a talent is something you learn and a gift is something you were born with.

I believe one of my gifts is helping people, or sometimes called the gift of service. I enjoy offering myself as a service to people whether it be helping them move some furniture or fixing that virus on their computer. Regarding technology, I like watching someone have that moment of “ah now I get it” if I am showing them how to use a program or how something works. (I got great enjoyment showing my, at the time 4 year old, how to use the mouse on our computer. Now he can play PBS and Nick JR games online by himself.)

I have a few talents, one of them being knowledge of SQL Server. I take pride in the fact that most of what I know with SQL Server I have learned on my own. I follow many folks in the SQL Server community reading blogs and books. I have also being blessed with employment that has given me the opportunity to interact with SQL Server itself. The only formal training I ever had was a beta course on upgrading my skills to SQL Server 2005. I got a little from that class but not much.

A downside to this talent…learning it on my own. It is a lonely thing to learn alone without a study partner or even my very own SQL Buddy. I work with other DBAs in my current job but get the feeling most of them are SQL Server while they are at work, but after work “what is SQL Server?”. (I don’t know this for sure of everyone but it is just not an environment that encourages advancing their knowledge to much on a particular product.)

Now if I was to say win a contest to get a free seat at the SQLskills Master Immersion Event in Dallas, TX…well I would kiss a sheep square on the mouth.

As it states on the class details page:

The more you know about how SQL Server works the easier you will be able to respond to performance, design, and corruption problems - as well as solve them! </blockquote>

I sit and watch webcast and read blog post from folks in the SQL Server community that are considered to be (and are) experts in their field. I read and watch them explain features about SQL Server and why “this” or “this” happens and what SQL Server is doing. I would love to have that depth of knowledge and talent to be able to share with folks. That is a level I would love to attain. I would greatly enjoy the opportunity to master my SQLskills and immerse myself in SQL Server more by attending this course. To get the core fundamentals and foundation of SQL Server I believe would help me start anew learning SQL Server. Ensuring I have a good base/foundation of SQL Server knowledge to build upon will put me in a better position to advance to that master level. I think having this knowledge will be two fold:

  1. Learning how it actually works versus how I think it works will improve my confidence level in so many ways (troubleshooting issues, speaking with people, or writing about SQL Server). It will very possibly help me get past that hump to submit an abstract for a SQL Saturday or SQL PASS user group somewhere. </li>

  2. I also firmly believe getting taught to this level will help train myself on how to learn more about SQL Server. The resources and contacts/friendships that can be made having a week long class with people allow me to expand my network in the SQL Server community. It will allow me to feed off their strengths, and along the way maybe I will end up helping them with their weaknesses. Getting those contacts and that amount of knowledge is priceless and can be the key to getting more involved in the SQL Server community. </li> I expect if I am able to win that free seat that there will be many, many moments of “AH! that’s how it works”. I would love to experience that. </ol>