Babies and Bathwater
I just watched Doug Lane’s video on why he is quitting twitter and I wanted to share my reaction. I thought about recording a video, but it felt too much like I would be mocking Doug (
I am not a big presence in the SQL Community, but I have been a member for some time. Being a part of this #sqlfamily and getting involved with PASSMN has changed my career, which as a result has changed my life. I will not be quitting Twitter. I’m going to concede that Twitter isn’t the completely fun place it was when I joined years ago, but I still find value in it. It helps me stay connected to the SQL community (even if they are squabbling over the PASS bylaws issue du jour) and, for me, it is still a source of joy and information.
I wanted to give the perspective of what I think is most of the SQL community. Of course the fact that I have an opinion on this means I am already different from the majority of people I meet in the community. I think most people view PASS and the SQL Community as a place to learn and network. If you told them that such a thing as SQL Celebrities existed they would laugh or maybe just shrug. If you further explained that these celebrities sometimes argue about the finer points of the PASS Bylaws or have heated arguments about things other than commas before or commas after (FYI – it’s before) they would be mystified. I think these discussions can actually be helpful and when I see others arguing things like what swag can be handed out after presentations I simultaneously think, “Wow, this is silly.” and “I’m glad someone is thinking about that issue.” I don’t envy that someone their job, but hopefully they’ll do the job we elected them for and figure out what needs to be done. Maybe even with some useful community input. No system is perfect, but I like to think the SQL community is better than most. It’s good to have people who care. Even if I don’t always agree with them.
The next paragraph is going to sound like I am picking on Doug, and I guess I am, but I hope he doesn’t see it as too caustic or mean. He was brave enough to put his views out there and now we get to debate them.
In the video Doug says he doesn’t like the drama, but rather than just quit twitter silently he created some drama around it. Huh, I guess it got me thinking about things didn’t it? So maybe all drama isn’t a bad thing. At the beginning Doug also stated that he isn’t sure that Twitter and PASS and being a Speaker is a good thing anymore. To this I reply a pretty emphatic, “That’s easy for him to say.” He goes on to point out at the end that he now has his dream job where he gets to teach people about SQL and have fun while he is doing it. If twitter isn’t fun for him anymore than he can just drop out, but to discourage others from doing the same networking and teaching he has done to get where he is feels like a disservice to those starting out. I don’t think he intended it that way, but I do see it that way and others might as well.
Where does all of this lead me? Even though I think Doug has every right to quit Twitter it I think the fun for me will be less without him there, so –
Let’s get Doug back on Twitter
I like Doug. I’ve hung out with him a few times at PASS events and always end up laughing. A lot. I think he is a good example of how people in our community should act and a mentor to follow so we can reach our dream jobs as well. To lose his voice in one of the places we have been encouraging people to engage for so long is a failure on the part of the community. My plan is simple and if enough others join me it might work. And even if it is doesn’t it might make twitter a little more fun for the next month.
Step 1: Tweet something positive about SQL Server every day in June (or technology in general, or coffee – just something positive). This should be easy with the launch of SQL Server 2016. Short plug – on June 13th in MN there will be a SQL Server 2016 Launch Discovery Day , which should give us something to talk about.
Step 2: Don’t feed the trolls.
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter at @SQLMD