Non-SQL Friday – One more thing

Oh yeah, sorry guys, I forgot this one thing.  I thought about going back and adding it to the original post, but frankly this is just easier.

This is a continuation of my original post, and part of the Non-SQL Friday.

It’s been suggested to me by more than 1 person that I post some of my ranting content anonymously on a different site.  This would serve to preserve my *good* name, and at the same time still get the content out there for all to see.  The problem I have with that is that the internet is full of people saying obnoxious things anonymously.  That’s easy.  Getting online and posting to a forum under a pseudonym that you think a company sucks for some reason, or that you hate so-n-so is the most common form of expression out there.  And it doesn’t stop there does it?  No, it doesn’t.  People take advantage of being anonymous to be really over the top horrendous and say they’re glad certain people are dead, or praise violence against entire groups of people because they somehow justify it.  So being anonymous certainly allows us to see what others are really thinking, but in a very large way it also discredits them.  If you’re so proud of your opinions then why do you have to hide?  Stand up and say it like a man!  So this is something I considered when I first started writing.  Should I make a lot of the things I say anonymous or should I stand behind everything I say? 

Well, I clearly chose to stand behind my words and put myself out there.  And I think it adds validity to what I say because I am regarded by some in this industry and my words do carry weight.  And I know for a fact that I’ve effected real change.  When I slam a vendor for something, I make myself available to them not only for comment, but I’ve also helped many of them work out their problems.  Of course there are vendors who have refused help and want to just call me names and try to discredit me, but nothing I say about a vendor is untrue.  And that’s the key to doing what I do.  I have to be right when I call a vendor to the mat. 

And there’s something you, as the public, don’t get to see when I post something really bad about a vendor.  Most of the time (very few exceptions) I’m posting it only as a last ditch effort to shame them into finally doing the right thing after talking with them many times and getting nowhere.  One of the things I really can’t stand is when a vendor comes into my shop and lies about what their product can do and then I have to live with the consequences.  It’s not fair, and it’s not right.  So what recourse does a person have when they were lied to and the product clearly can’t handle enterprise-level traffic?  You can complain to the vendor, but they’ll prove to you very quickly that they really don’t care.  They’ve got you money.  So what else?  Nothing.  So what I do is I use my position in the media to effect change.  And I’m telling you that I have done so.  The number of times I yelled at Quest publically has really made a difference.  Shortly after a big post about Spotlight, the dev team scheduled a series of meetings with me to discuss what was wrong with it and how to fix it.  We had a number of meetings on the topics I wrote about.  And I know that the new product line started shortly after.  The same goes for Foglight.  And LiteSpeed was another one I helped.  Back when they were Imceda I helped them a lot, and even for a short time once Quest took them over.  So what the public doesn’t see is the work that goes on both before and after a big post that seems really harsh, when in reality it actually isn’t.

The point is though that I put my name on stuff I write and it adds credibility.  I’ve actually got skin in the game.  If I did everything anonymously the vendor would have no way to contact me to get more details so they could do something about it.  So I’m not just out there cursing vendors.  I’m also helping them where they’ll let me.  And it hasn’t backfired as much as all of you think.  While MS doesn’t like everything I say about them, they know I’m right about it and they’ve on a number of occasions called me and put me in touch with the team in charge of that feature so we could talk it out.  Hell, that’s how I originally met Buck and Dan.  They were assigned to mediate my concerns about SSMS.  And I always feel that as long as I’m fair, I can be harsh.  And sometimes I’m harsh just to get their attention.  You may not realize this, but I’ve heard that more than a few people on the product teams at MS and the upper brass read my blog.  And I know for a fact that meetings have been kicked off internally to discuss some of my posts. 

So while some in the industry like to call me one thing or another or say that I don’t represent their organization well or that I don’t set the right tone for the image you’re trying to portray, just remember this… I’m a DBA.  And I’m representing other DBAs out there who are sick to death of taking it from behind from the vendors and who don’t have an international outlet to do this themselves.  My goal is to protect DBAs from making really bad decisions and sometimes nice just doesn’t cut it.  Companies don’t listen to nice.  But when a company sees that they’ve really pissed off a blogger with some skin in the game, then they sit up and listen.

So how many of the rest of you actually put your skin in the game?

3 thoughts on “Non-SQL Friday – One more thing”

  1. It really depends on how much ‘burns’ you can take or in other words some folks can survive and get away with this and the vast majority of us simply cannot afford to say what we think. From the outside it looks like a very close knit community but lot of things you say are taken very personally by people with a lot of clout and that ain’t going to help anyone.If something I say is going to burn bridges i’d rather not say it.

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