Discarded newsletter piece

Imagine you have a time machine at hand. Rewind back a few years, or decades, depending on where you are in your life, to the point when you were fresh out of university, got your first job, and ready to change the world. You were full of enthusiasm and ideas. You were still in touch with your college buddies. You shared what you saw, what was cool, what was dorky, etc., with them or your then girl/boy friend, if you had one. Life was really good and exciting.

But life grew confusing as time went by. Soon the first couple of weeks’ excitement was over. By now you had flipped through the employee handbook and checked out the section on salary increase and promotion. You may have even fancied a little promotion next year, because the leadership course you took in college and MBA books you’ve skimmed through told you to take charge and dream big. Pretty soon you realized that you need to run back and forth to your supervisor for questions and clarifications. Sometimes, when you got home after work, you mentally went through some things you did during the day and worried if you did the right thing or pissed off person(s) higher in the food chain. You could get upset because your brilliant ideas were shot down or not seriously discussed during all those meetings, where you were just a wannabe, with old-timer co-workers looking at you with suspicion and trying to gauge your caliber. You were learning your way of corporate culture and thought some things were stupid at times. Life, after all, was quite different from what you imagined while you were in the ivory tower of your university campus. By now you probably realized just how important the internship was during college, because it lets you have a real taste of corporate work life.

If you were fortunate, you may found a compassionate, wise gentleman or lady that could serve you as a mentor. You learned from him/her things that you should and should not do. You learned some history of why things were the way they were, therefore the proper context from where to formulate your next steps. You learned some not necessarily glamorous, but practical shortcuts that could get things done quickly and efficiently. You learned to take it easy, and life has ups and downs, and that is ok. In other words, you learned some best practice that can only be gained from living in the real world.

In my usual round-about manner, let me introduce you this week’s feature, Sql Server best practice site. Here, you will find tips, shortcuts and scripts directly from seasoned professionals. These are things people learned while in the trenches, therefore they are extra valuable. Nothing beats the lessons you learned after late night shifts, putting out fires and exhaustive research. These tools can give you information quickly, in a format that you understand. They help you resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Note: The piece above was intended to be a column I wrote for a Sql Server newsletter, to which I contribute content as a volunteer every fortnight. I then realized it got a little too long, so I gave it up and decided to post it here instead.

2 responses to “Discarded newsletter piece”

  1. Amen to that Haidong. It took me years to learn some things the hard way. Without a guiding hand, work is mostly about learning the skills. Then I heard somewhere, the definition of “experience”. From that day on, it was something I taught all new employees. Experience, is simply having more options. You need to constantly add them to your little bag of tricks.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

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