Monday, September 24, 2012

Time Off

Reprinted from my Voice of the DBA blog

skiAs a US citizen, I’m lucky to work for a UK company. I get a generous allotment of vacation, and desperately try to use it all each year. I haven’t been successful yet, but I’m getting closer. If we could only get a little more snow at the beginning and end of the season…..

Last year a friend told me that they lost 6 days of vacation. Over a few years this person had accumulated extra vacation by basically working too hard and when the year ended, some of their vacation was lost because of carryover limits. This person vowed to change this year and use all their vacation, but with a busy job at a small company I’m not sure that will come true. Unfortunately, I’ve all too often seen this same behavior from many people in IT.

This piece shows that all too often people are not taking their vacation, or they’re not taking it as a complete break from work. I’ve been in both situations, and over time I’ve learned that I’m not being more productive in either case. I’m unbalanced, and over time I become less productive. That’s especially true if I’m doing creative work, like writing, or developing code.

There’s no shortage of poor managers out there, and there are plenty of them that will work you as hard as you allow. I don’t have any great solutions for dealing with them other than scheduling vacation every year, insisting you get to take it, limiting contact with work, and if all else fails, looking for another job.

Life is short, too short to spend more of it as work than you have to. Take advantage of your vacation to relax and recharge, even if it’s a stay-cation at home. Getting away from work is not only important, it’s something you owe to yourself and your family.

Steve Jones

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Join Our Networking Dinner in Seattle

This is the third year that Andy Warren and myself are hosting a networking dinner in Seattle, just before the PASS Summit. If you are new to the Summit, or just interested in meeting some new people, we hope you’ll join us on Monday, Nov 5, at Gordon Biersch, located in the Pacific Place mall on Pine St. It’s just a couple blocks from the Convention Center.
We don’t have anything formal planned, just a time and place for people to swing by, shake hands, introduce themselves and talk about what they do, or why they came, or just life in general. It’s a casual event that is just (barely) organized so you have a chance to meet other attendees on an off night.
If you don’t have plans and want to attend, come on by. Please register so we have an idea of the number of people coming.
It’s BYOD/BYOF (buy your own xxx), but there’s no fee to attend.
I’ll be at SQL in the City - Seattle 2012 during the day, another free event, and then I’ll come by afterwards.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Professional Hires

On the feed of Shannon Sharpe, ex NFL player and Hall of Famer.



How does your employer think about you?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The First Hour

What do you do the first hour of your day?

For me, at least my work day, it’s get a pulse on what’s happening through email/twitter, and then check on my site, SQLServerCentral.

However that’s easy. It makes me feel a bit lazy to check email because I know I can do it easily. With school in session, I wake kids up and then usually spend 5 minutes sitting at the top of the stairs, getting shoes on (I like wearing shoes) and scanning email to look for what’s happening. I don’t process it all (I know that’s bad), but I just see if there’s anything seriously wrong.

This articles says that we should spend that first hour another way as many successful people do.

Perhaps I should be spending that hour in another way. Perhaps eating a live frog.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Intelligence vs. Effort

This is a really good way to look at the world, IMHO. I am in a growth mindset, valuing effort more than results. Results count, but if they are valued so far above the effort, we get into a short term mindset.

Sometimes you have to try things, and learn from them. You can’t let a misstep, failure, (likely) partial failure, or the most likely case, an unknown result, prevent you from trying things.

The important thing, especially in your career, is to continue to move forward. Try things, learn, improve yourself. Not everything will be positive, and not everything will be better. However you can learn from those things which don’t work out well.

I’ve often thought that knowing what I didn’t like, or what I didn’t do well was more important than knowing what I like or can do.