T-SQL Tuesday #36 – What does the community mean to you?

T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that is started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject.

This month the subject is “What does the community mean to you?”. If you want to read the opening post, please click the image below to go to the party-starter: Chris Yates (Blog | @YatesSQL).

If I think about the SQL community, and about the people behind it, I think about a one-liner of John F. Kennedy:

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country

Personally I think this also counts for the SQL Server community. Don’t just ask what the community can do for you, but it’s especially important what you can give back. At many times the community helped me with difficult challenges, and solved problems with me. This happened mostly via Twitter, because of the quick communication by members all over the world. If it isn’t Europe that’s awake and helping you out, then it’s probably an American that’s helping you solve problems.

One of the things that really surprised me, is the people that answer your questions. One of the first things I did when discovering the SQL-community on Twitter, was asking a stupid question which I thought everyone would ignore. Not a big enough challenge! But I was really surprised: within 5 minutes I had 5 answers back!

Digging deeper after that, I always try to help people whenever I can. And doing that actually feels better then being assisted by 1000’s of community members. Helping somebody solve an issue is way more satisfying then solving your own issues. This is something I completely didn’t expect.

And yes, sometimes you’re actually criticized by your colleagues. The thing I remember most, is posting one of my very first serious blog posts to #SQLHelp. Without thinking about it, I tried to promote my blog a little, since I try to become a serious blogger. Not a minute later I received a mention: “Please don’t use #SQLHelp to promote your blog”. Okay, I could have anticipated that.

But a few days later, I discovered who actually told me not to do that. It was no other then the great mister Brent Ozar! WHAT?! Brent Ozar? _THE_ Brent Ozar? Apparently even the “big shots in the business” still feel connected to the community. That’s one of the great examples of why the SQL community is such a great group of people. Nobody feels “good enough” to support the community, and help out his/her fellow members.

So that’s when I discovered the true power of Twitter and the community. Even the biggest names in the business use Twitter, and they don’t hesitate to answer your questions. Even if it are really “low-tech” or stupid questions.

Thinking about the topic of this month, I’m actually starting to get a little sad as well. Just last week there was an event called SQL PASS Summit 2012. This event is held every year and gives SQL developers, BI developers, DBA’s, etc. a chance to catch up on new technology and with their colleagues. The sad part: I wasn’t there!

I’d love to meet some of you I talk to on Twitter in person, and catch up. For example: Brent Ozar (Blog | @BrentO). I’d love to see if he’s really that crazy if I’d meet him in person. And is Rob Volk (Blog | @sql_r) really that “Evil Genius”, like his reputation precedes him. And don’t forget the always funny and entertaining Rob Farley (Blog | @rob_farley). Don’t underestimate this mans humor! Watch some of his sessions online, and you’ll know why I would love to meet him in person. And there are many, many more of you I’d like to see in person for a change!

So like I said: I’d loved to have been there with you, and hopefully I can attend next year. Not just for the people there, but the whole experience, new technologies and the community.

#SQLHelp – SQL 2012 Management Studio Freezes

As I told you in a few of my previous blogposts, I try to follow the #SQLHelp hashtag / topic. And two weeks ago, I could help another colleague via this communication channel.

When SQL Server 2012 RTM came out, I installed it as quick as possible. Just to try it out, and to see what the differences were compared to the other version I installed on my machine: SQL Server 2008. When using SQL Server Management Studio 2012, I encountered random freezes of SSMS. The freezes didn’t occur every time I opened a menu, or started a wizard or something. So it was a problem with my installation.

After a while, I remembered that the installations of SQL Server 2005 and 2008 had the same issue. These SSMS installations also froze, because they shared some dll’s with Visual Studio. So the issues I had now, might have the same cause. And eventually I re-applied Visual Studio SP1, and this solved the issue for me.

And after a few weeks, I saw a similar question from Samson J. Loo (Blog | @ayesamson) coming by, using the #SQLHelp hashtag:

@ayesamson, 2012-05-23

has anyone experienced random unresponsiveness with SSMS 2012 to a point where you have to kill the process? #sqlhelp #sql

So because I saw this issue before, I replied to his tweet:

@DevJef, 2012-05-23

@ayesamson: Yes. Are you running into this issue constantly, or just once? Problem might come from shared DLL’s with VS2010…

Apparently he was still having these issues:

@ayesamson, 2012-05-23

@DevJef its been happening more frequently now. I do have VS2010 installed as well. ‪#sqlhelp

So from my previous experience, I gave him the tip to re-apply Visual Studio 2010 SP1:

@DevJef, 2012-05-23

@ayesamson: I had the same issue. I actually fixed it by applying VS210 SP1 again. This might help you as well! ‪#SQLHelp

The next day, I got the confirmation that SP1 was re-applied:

@ayesamson, 2012-05-24

@DevJef I re-applied VS2010 SP1 this morning, rebooted and haven’t had an issue. If I don’t have an issue come Mon. then we’re golden!

And a week later, I got the great news it helped him get rid of the freezes:

@ayesamson, 2012-05-31

@DevJef well I haven’t experienced any lockups with SSMS 2012 since reapplying VS2010 SP1. Thanks!! ‪#sqlhelp

So I was glad I could help him out, and happy he actually got back to me about resolving the issues. So thank you for that Samson! And for the rest of the community, I hope I helped you with writing this post!