Something I’ve always had an issue with is people that bash and flame Microsoft products. Constructive criticism is fine. We all should be providing feedback about how a product is designed, setup, installs, and even how it performs. This feedback is critical to how a business sets its development paths. However, criticism and sheer whining in the form of bashing is an absolutely useless act that never gets anything accomplished. This is mostly due to the fact, the people that may be listening, will simply stop listening after a short time.
I’m often asked why the SQL Server team doesn’t make an effort to fix everything that they get for feedback or even the Connect items that are submitted for either bugs or suggestions. I honestly don’t know why but I can lend a sound voice to the business and development product team’s way of working.
First, you may have it in your mind that it is Microsoft and there are 300 advanced nerds with unmatched abilities in coding, just sitting around writing SQL Server. This is not the case. In fact, the team is not made up of an entire small country writing code all day. With that, as with any development team working on a product, you have to make both business and stability decisions on what to work on. This is based on time to market, effectiveness of the project as it pertains to the majority of your customers and future impact of the product’s roadmap. Those three key aspects to why or why not something may have allocated development time, is why something may or may not be worked on. Even knowing you may think your suggestion is absolutely paramount to how a product is seen by a customer or even many customers, it may just not fall into the line of the “big picture”.
All of this is great and in the long run, I feel most people know this and accept it, even if it kills them. What does kill me is the people that insist on the public bashing of a product, like SQL Server. I’m not referring to the daily Oracle DBA that has to install SQL Server. I’m referring to the people that have based their career, income, and livelihood to supplying services to customers based on the product. Truly speaking, I’d like to see those people move on. Work on something you think is perfect in your own little world. My only hope is that really does happen and you end up losing that income that supplies you with your fancy toys and vacations. You may not jump to bash what you’ve completely placed all your bets on.
Now, this wasn’t just a rant. It was more of a request. In the MVP world, we all become extremely frustrated at times when our Connect items or feedback to the SQL Server team are gone without much effort from that team. However, the majority of MVPs still maintain a professional stance and simply work towards helping the SQL Server Team any way we can. That is what an MVP is for in some ways. I still find it remarkable that some MVPs retain the MVP status while doing everything I just talked about without providing any helpful feedback instead of complaints or flames. The world of Microsoft retains them though because in their own little way, even if I think it should be stripped, they maintain the community with a great service.
What I would like to get from this writing is: if you have feedback, use the Connect system, email an MVP and see if they can get direct contact for consideration of that feedback, and if you are an MVP, act as such, all the time. You represent the community as a highly skilled community figure that portrays how effective and valued the product is. Even further, if you are basing your life off that product, think before you flame it because tomorrow, you could be heard and lose your entire customer base. Then you may just end up being that DB2 DBA with a green screen trying to figure out how to write a stored procedure all over again.