So after posting yesterday about struggling to keep up with SQL information, I got to thinking about how I could actually solve the problem instead of just complaining about it. I didn’t come up with grand, earth shattering Kabooms. What I did come up with is a system that I think will be an easy way for me to keep up with everything, while not getting too over loaded.
I’m kind of bad about keeping my eye on the feed. It’s easier when I have the Tweetbot app on my Macs. At work, it’s blocked so watching the phone is kind of a PITA. But I try. The SQL community is great about using it as a communication platform. And every once in awhile it helps me blow off a little steam. Some where on Twitter is a response to Brent Ozar’s Baby got Big Int lyrics. Ya, I was feeling a little punchy…I’m not sorry. Besides, it’s a great medium to interact with people you probably wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity to engage with. Sadly though, it doesn’t make my replies any funnier. Ah well, I can only do so much.
Blogs and Articles
I use feedly as my RSS feed editor, which I’m sure a number of people do. Although, I have to admit, I have been using it poorly. I have a number of separate sections and I would go through each section trying to skim the titles and see what looked interesting. This works great for the news section I have, but not so well for the SQL sections.
My problem with the SQL sections is I have an aggregate section that has stuff like feeds from Redgate, SQL Server Central, etc and then a SQL Blog section. So sometimes I get dupes. So what I would do is jump between the two, reading the oldest articles that were about to fall off. This is of course, after I would just try to get the unread number done. I wasn’t getting much out of this approach except stress. So here’s what I’ve done to change it. I just start at the top of the All section and go. If I don’t have time to read an interesting article, or if it requires more technical thought than I have time for at the moment, I just save it to Pocket for later. I am going to work on the articles as I have time in the morning. As far as Pocket goes, that’s going to be a Friday endeavor.
Webinars, Videos, and Podcasts
So I try to keep up on the Pass webinars, the group by webinars, and other videos that I find. It’s a lot sometimes. I’ve started to let them slide if I can’t watch them during the day and go back to their YouTube channels when I have time. I try to work through a couple of these a week. What I have also been doing, is try to bemore selective about what I’m watching. Like if I’m working on learning indexes, then I try to focus on just index videos. Of course this isn’t always possible.
Podcasts I work on when I go for a walk, at the gym, or in the car. Seeing as my wife isn’t a big fan of technical podcasts, I’m limited to just when I’m alone. However, these are bit easier because I can just let them go in the background. So there are times I have them going when I’m working on busy work. That way, if I hear something that gets my attention I stop to listen more attentively or even take notes.
This is the area I haven’t quite figured out just yet. I need to spend quality time, where I can truly concentrate to work on getting better at this. At the same time, I have to find time and not be burned out from a long day or over do it. I think for now, I’m going to work on the dev stuff in the afternoon as I can. I’m trying to reserve evenings for family and such.
One final thought, is I’m going to follow the suggestion of another blogger I recently read. They were going to blog about anything they came across they didn’t understand about SQL or something they just learned about. Kind of the purpose of the blog huh? Kind of what I thought I was doing when I started this but then realized, no I haven’t been doing that like I had planned. So now I’m making that commitment. Anything that I come across I don’t fully understand or happen to have light on type moment with SQL or dev languages, I’m just going to blog about.