Twitter is My Sarcasm Spit Valve

This month’s #meme15 topic is Why Twitter.  #Meme15?  What is a #Meme15?  For brevity (and in keeping with the Twitter theme) I’ll simply say Go Here for an explanation of what #Meme15 is.

By now I’m quite sure my esteemed colleagues that are also participating in this month’s challenge have highlighted most of the things that I would jump to mention first in answering the question Why Twitter?  I’ve purposely not read any other posts today on the topic so I’m asserting this only on the grounds that my reasons are like most others when it comes to why I use Twitter in my role as a Database Administrator:

  • Twitter is my link to others like me – meaning that in most shops there are very few (possibly only one) Database Administrator.  As my observant friend and fellow DBA and Blogger Thomas LaRock (blog|twitter) stated recently, if you are looking for the DBA we’re the most charismatic individuals in the Information Technology department.  However I digress.  My point is that Twitter allows for collaboration between we the solitary and charming DBAs.  We can bounce ideas off eachother; ask questions or provide solutions as well.
  • Twitter provides a smart filter on top of our Junior DBA:  Google.  I’ve long belived that as the platforms supported by Database Administrators become more powerful and laden with enhancements we can no longer know everything there is about every aspect of those solutions we support.  We are forced into specialization.  You don’t need to be able to know everything about the platform – but you need to know enough to arm your bullshit detector when you’re on the Internet looking for solutions to those things you are either unclear about or just plain don’t know.  Believe it or not, the Internet can’t always be trusted to provide the correct information.  However, I do know that my friend Aaron Betrand (blog|twitter) is on Twitter and he works hard to keep up with all the new enhancements that release in next versions of SQL Server as well as any community update or service pack for that same product.  I know that one of the former presenters on SQL Cruise who works for Red Gate, Grant Fritchey (blog|twitter), knows more about execution plans than Lindsay Lohan knows about prison wine; and the list goes on.  Point is I know who I can trust on Twitter to provide correct answers for my questions.  Though I’ve known these fine individuals for years – almost decades – because of Twitter I’ve also developed friendships with many others that I can now turn to for help or simply a break away from the monotony of the typical day spent in front of a computer.

I expect that most of my counterparts taking part in this exercise today have in some manner mentioned the same things as I just did.  These aren’t the only reason’s I’ve gravitated to Twitter as I have.  I work remote.  If it were not for Twitter allowing me to stay in contact with the other members of my virtual DBA Team my cats and dog would need therapy.  The random stream of sporadic tweets through a typical day are going to be a mix of work and social.  I’m sure that Managers cringe when I say that, but this is no different than those conversations that take place around the water cooler in the office.  I played trombone when I was younger (sorry ladies, I’m taken).  A trombone has a spit valve which is just what you would expect it to be – a valve that you can open to blow out excess spit – the byproduct of the sweet sounds that emanate from a well-played trombone.  A little known fact is that sarcasm is the byproduct of well-administrated databases.  Twitter allows me to blow off a little sarcasm now and then after a particularly dazzling round of administrating.  It also allows me to vent about particularly heinous deeds or requests made by coworkers or customers that only others that do what I do would understand.

“I discovered he was using int data types to store zip codes!  Can you believe it?  That’s not the worst of it; 3,152 tables and they were all heaps.”

“OMG she indexed every column in the table.”

“I love seeing a query where the word DISTINCT comes up 15 times.  Oooh and LEFT JOINS everywhere too!  Rock on!”

Yes, next to Trekkies, we DBAs can rock the language that brings the party to us every time.

All these reasons have one thing in common: collaboration.  The heart of Why Twitter? for me.

<sarcasm> That and because everyone needs to know when I’m eating the world’s best cupcake – with a link to an Instagram photo too! </sarcasm>