This post is long overdue but the last few months have been very busy. Busy in a great way though. That great way has been working on community and other things that we all know, I love to do.

Some things have happened this year that have far surpassed my expectations of where I would be by now in my career and ability to give back to all of you. One of those events was becoming a SQL Server MVP in July. Since then I have probably said it more times than my close friends can stand to hear anymore but I still don’t think I do a lot to give back to the community to gain this exceeding accomplishment. For years I have looked at the MVP awards as an extremely prestigious accomplishment. I owe special thanks to Jonathan Kehayias (blog | twitter) and Denis Gobo (blog | twitter). Both of these MVPs saw in me what were MVP characteristics and paved the way for me to be recognized as such. One of the coolest parts of this award is there are many other MVPs that I have talked to that feel exactly the same way in not feeling they do as much as we think we do. That is the reason they should have the MVP award. I’ve said it many times in my writing that the community leaders show no greed in what they do. That characteristic is what makes a leader and a trusting one. There are a lot of these people I look up to and have for many years. Being in the same group as them has truly given me the energy to push my efforts to the next level.

Recently there were a few blogs and articles on what it takes to become an MVP. I’d like to focus on one line from the MVP web site and description of what an MVP is: “MVPs make exceptional contributions to technical communities, sharing their passion, knowledge, and know-how

This line says it all really. Most if not all MVPs are experts in their particular technology corner. There is no question about that at all. The one thing that we need to remember is that MVPs are contributors. Not just experts or out to bill the most hours per day. They aren’t even based on how great you are at work. This is all about our communities and the people that are taking every chance they have to give back. That can be a combination of anything including but not restricted to forum contributions, authoring, speaking and just all around doing what you can to help the community and pass what we know on.

This coming PASS Summit will be my first and I’m going to be volunteering to give some time to the Ask the Expert lounge and the Birds of a Feather lunch. I hope everyone stops by and introduces themselves. I want to take this great event as an advantage to meet all the people I’ve had conversations with and worked with over time.

Friends of Red Gate: Red Gate is known for being a community company. They sponsor and support more in the SQL Community than I could name here in this blog. Friends of Red Gate program is a group of MVPs and community members that really want to give back by working with Red Gate to show the value in the products and support they give back to us. I’m honored to be part of this group and have already been deep into working with the products to help do my part in showing how great this company is.

Recently I had the chance to work with Richard Morris with Simple Talk on an interview (of me). Really?! Getting interviewed is still an odd thing for me to think would ever happen. This goes back to the, “I don’t think I do enough in the community”. The interview was a good time and I enjoyed answering all of Richard’s questions. The best part of this interview was the questions were questions that I think hold great value and hope for others and reading my answers can help them in some way with their own careers.

I could never forget to mention LessThanDot and the community that is here. I’ve been extremely busy the last few months and that has made it hard to be as high of a contributor there. I’m working on freeing the time up for that. LTD has always been something I’ve been proud of and the group I can say I’m part of. I know this site is and always will be successful and the future along with things like SQLCop that are coming out of it will be nothing short of remarkable.

Accomplishments are an important part in pushing us to the next level. This year has proven to be one that will be hard to top but in this community, it seems easy to keep giving back and moving it to the next level. I recall the goals I set for this year and I’ve surpassed them. This accomplishment is and always will be number one on my list. My personal goals and yours should always be your objective.

In the next few months I’ll be doing even more to try and give back. In October I’ll be speaking at the Wisconsin SQL Server User Group on Execution Plans and Tuning. I think this SSUG has great potential and I’m going to put everything I have into helping them make it take off. If you are within an hour or so distance, this is a good group of people and content each month. Come join us! It will be worth it.

Finally, PASS Summit 2010! If I promise that I’d do all I can to get Andrew Kelly to really wear combat boots, Rainbow knee high socks and a kilt, will you come hang out with us? PASS is worth it. Talk your company into sending you. Again, I hope to meet you all there. Take the time to find the people you always wanted to meet. Egos are rare in our community. I think you’ll be surprised at how great all of the people that lead us and they will sit and talk about both SQL Server and just about everything else. (Mostly bacon comes up a lot)


We always need a closing statement. I think?! Well, here is mine. There is a theme to everything I wrote about that I feel very lucky to be a part of. I’ve purposely left some other things out of this post because I don’t hold them as high. This is all for the SQL Community. Everything that has been accomplished so far was only part of trying to give back. You know that means that anyone can do the same thing if you work hard at it and want to help myself and the community out in your own way.