Life and Technology

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For those of you familiar with my blogs you will know I normally write about features and announcements around Microsoft SQL Server. Well this post is partly about technology and partly about our own experiences in life.

I am a data professional and I have been working in the IT Industry for 20 years, with 17 plus years working with SQL Server starting way back with my first scary look at SQL Server 6.

Since then, I have worked with all of the versions in multiple capacities and I am lucky enough, like a few of my colleagues, to work with Microsoft and VNext. While this is always cool being able to blog about what new features are being released or how to use this particular technology, or configure this feature which has been around for some time now, but has not been getting a lot of attention and can help you with your workloads, there is another part to our lives that also needs some attention.

Before reading further, pause for a minute and reflect on the following:

Goals you have achieved in your professional career;

Challenges you have faced during your professional career;

How do you learn or keep up with changes in your area of expertise in your professional career?

When you are at work and faced with a decision to make, a problem to solve or a challenge to overcome,  how do you go about it? The choices we make, actions we take, paths we follow are all guided by our own personal experiences, both in our career and in our personal lives. This is an easy thought process to follow right?

Now let’s flip this around? How many of you when faced with a problem, decision or action to undertake in your personal lives make a conscious effort to use the same thought process that you would use at work to deal with these, or once you have left work for the day you forget about these processes and this becomes your personal time?

In both scenarios, my opinion is our experiences assist us in both directions, it is easier for us to apply life experience to work than it is the other way around. Regardless of the situation that you find yourself in, be it at work or in your personal life (using an old saying) ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’. No matter what is put in front of you, some things at face value are not what they seem and making assumptions can have a massive impact on a decision or direction you are faced with.

Warwick Rudd

Take this photo (of me) taken recently. Before reading on have a think about some reasons for why I may be getting this strange hair cut?

I am guessing by now that you are having a bit of a laugh and that is ok. I do look silly with this hair cut (a reverse mohawk).

No I did not lose a bet,

No I am not having a mid-life crisis,

And No I am not having a change in career to work in a freak show.

 I have a very close friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I am not the first person to experience this and to those of you who have gone through or are going through a similar situation with a friend or loved one having been diagnosed with cancer, or are going through your own personal fight, my thoughts are with you.

Upon finding out about this news it is always a hard thing to digest, but how do we go about supporting our friends and loved ones? I am not writing this to tell you what you need to do, but simply sharing my experiences with my close friend.

Back to my point about never ‘Judging a Book by it’s Cover’, in support of my friend I have decided (with her permission) to go with her through this journey and shave my head based on where she is at, to kick things off we had a shaving party prior to her starting Chemotherapy. To have a bit of fun with this, because the hair was coming off anyway, we decided I should have a reverse Mohawk, my friend on the other hand had a Mohawk. What a cool couple we make with our changed appearances, for me phase 1 of our shaving party exercise was a no brainer!

Now if you saw us walking together down the street with our haircuts like this I am sure that the first thought in your head would not be the right one. Just like working with technology, this first time you see something new, you may not always get the full and correct picture until you take the time to understand what is put in front of you.

Warwick Rudd

Even then, once we have completed our task and end up looking like this next photo, unless you take the time to delve in and understand what is in front of you, you are likely to make assumptions and those assumptions are more than likely wrong and lead to making the wrong decisions without knowing the facts.

While my friend and I with the support of our families, have had a bit of fun with this, the decisions and actions, if you do not understand what is in front of you, both in your personal life and in your professional career can lead you to places you do not want to be in.

Having close friends, family and work colleagues that you are able to reach out to and ask for assistance or guidance on a situation you are unsure of or do not have the knowledge yourself about does not mean you are not smart. In fact knowing that you do not know something is a very smart thing and reaching out to others is always a good thing even if it is simply for confirmation or clarification.

I hope that whilst this blog is more of a personal nature than a technical one, that you have been able to take away some key points for yourself from my experience I have shared with you here.

Thank you for your time on this post and all the best with your personal and professional careers.

Call to Action

I am not running a charity or an event to raise money, but raising awareness from my experience and this blog post can have a big impact on the lives of many. It would be great to get your support in promoting this post, leaving your comments and if you want to help out by making a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to assist with Cancer Research it does not take to much time. Simply click the link and hit the donate button.

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I am a Microsoft Data Platform MVP as well as a Microsoft Certified Master working as the Principal Consultant here at SQL Masters Consulting. When I am not working with the SQL Server Stack I like to get away to the Snow and spend time Snowboarding.