A New Hope

Yesterday we had a new guy start on our team.  New employees go through six weeks of training before they even get to their desk, so I had already met him and had a first impression.  He has a lot of experience with SSIS (of which I know very little, so I’m hoping to learn from him) and seems to have some solid database knowledge.

Our group is small, and we all work together to bring new members up to speed and put them through our own eight weeks of training.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to troubleshoot an internal issue, so I took our new team member along so he could learn.  It also gave me an opportunity to see firsthand what he knows and how he thinks, and most importantly, gauge his level of interest in databases and SQL Server. 

One characteristic I have really come to value in co-workers is a curiosity about how things work.  Very often, that “thing” is SQL Server, but sometimes it’s our application or an integration.  I have found that when people really want to understand why something does what it does, and how it does it, they develop a very deep, robust knowledge about that “thing”.  I truly enjoy working with those individuals, not only because they have the same passion as I, but because they’re smart, and I can learn from them, and they push me to be better.  There are people on my team who have that curiosity.  It’s one of many things I love about my job, and I was interested to see if the new guy had that curiosity as well.

Well…one item of note we uncovered yesterday was a text field in use in a database.  I haven’t worked with text data types much, and considering the issues I’m seeing, I need to get up to speed quickly.  I did not have time to do testing and research today, and I actually have one day of Jury Duty tomorrow (first time I’ve ever had to go, glad to fulfill my civic duty), so this afternoon the new guy and I spent a few minutes talking about text data types.  I asked him, if he had time tomorrow, to do some more research – and I would as well – and we would touch base on Thursday.

I got an email at 9:58 tonight with three MSDN links on text data types.  He did his homework and turned it in early. I don’t want to get excited or too ahead of myself, but I am hopeful…

“There is another.”

-Yoda, Empire Strikes Back

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