What It Means to Be A SQL Server Professional

Here we are, PASS Summit 2008 and Thanksgiving behind us, getting the full-court press of retailers and the media trying to shove us into stores at all insane hours of the morning in order to either to get us to spend money at ridiculous levels or over-extend our available credit.  In the United States of America we’ve become a nation of consumers rather than manufacturers.  The things we do manufacture domestically for comsumption or export are in many cases the by-product of inefficient processes and/or bloated management practices. 

Sure this is a servere generalization from an individual coming off of a massive triptophan high from 24 hours ago; however it had me thinking about the various practices and procedures we take as SQL Server Professionals.  “Professional” is defined by Websters Dictionary as:

1. following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder. 
2. of, pertaining to, or connected with a profession: professional studies.

This implies we know what we are doing when we undertake specific practices and policies.  If that is the case there would never be the need for advanced technical education for us “Professionals”; nor the need for events such as PASS, Tech-Ed, Connections, Dev-Teach, and the like.

We call ourselves “Professionals” or are referred to as such by others because we are expected to be held to a higher level of standards than the users we serve.  Just as it is our responsibility as citizens of the world to advance our society and resolve our international issues with a thoughtful mind and steady hand, so must we a SQL Server Professionals continue to advance our technical knowledge – from expert down the line – to better serve our customers.  I recently read the quote “Learn as though you would never be able to master it.  Hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.”  I think that is half right.  I would rather state it this way: “Learn as though you would never be able to master it.  Share as though you would want it to live on so as to never be lost.”  This goes for not only our SQL knowledge, but our personal experiences, relationships, and the like.