Robert Davis (Twitter | Blog) has the control this month and who better to have it other than him. I’ve come to respect Robert greatly over the last few months (yes, had no idea who he was just a short time ago). That’s the point of community though, isn’t it? We meet these leaders and professionals daily and scale up and out endlessly. It truly has no limits and I’m honored to be part of it.

As the host of T-SQL Tuesday this month, Robert has the topic of Getting’ schooled. I’m going to take the topic and wander around a bit, not specifically about how I learn or teach, but how you can represent yourself by learning and teaching.

This month’s topic in my opinion is one of the single most important topics we as the community have to offer others that are coming up in our field. This month we ask ourselves and the entire community three simple but extremely complex questions:

  • How do you learn?
  • How do you teach?
  • What are you learning or teaching?

The mission

Each one of these questions has the same level of importance. Without one, the others fall short and become an unsolvable equation. In order for us as individuals and a community to grow, we must embrace learning but cannot fall short of passing our knowledge on in our daily teachings. I emphasize the word daily in that last statement, because this is a 247 job we should all take seriously. Sometimes we pass on our knowledge by teaching in a simple sentence or in some cases even a subtle nudge of a word like profiler or Pivot. Each and every time we make the effort to pass these things on, we not only help the ones in need, but continue to build something that so many of us have come to cherish: Our SQL Community.

Learning not to make messes

Everyone in a professional career that involves the constant evolution of computing will be successful while retaining the daily mindset that we always keep learning. This learning process does isn’t limited to what we already know or what we’ve done. What we know and have done is the foundation of where we can lift ourselves further by learning more in-depth on our knowledge and gain new knowledge of what we may have not found ourselves needing day-today yet. This assists us to better ourselves and improve upon our skills. Our learning foundation is only as good as the manner in which we look upon our accomplishments with great humility. Doing so allows us to look into our skills and learn to better them while gaining the new skills that we can continue to grow on.

Teach to learn

Teaching others has its benefits beyond the gratification of knowing you’ve passed what you know to others. When we teach, we learn during the process. There is great refinement and tuning in our skills and have the ability to interact with scenarios and variables that we may not otherwise ever come into contact with. Teaching is more about learning than you may think. With each blog, forum reply or session we give to a group of professionals, we absorb the feedback and interactions from them as much as they do from us.

It may be a misconception that we cannot all be teachers in some way. All of us have something to offer and putting energy into teaching it to others allows us to build our knowledge. With that path, our personal and professional career potential has no limits.

How then?

How do you learn and how do you teach? There is no doubt that it takes a great deal of energy to become a teacher in technology. With the hard work and energy placed in our community, the goal of becoming a teacher can be obtained. Events are all around us and they need speakers to pass on their knowledge. User groups are always in need and I can guarantee you that the leaders and organizers of these events and user groups are open to new and established speakers alike. We all start from somewhere and build upon it as we grow together in both teaching and learning.