There’s no substitute for mentoring

There’s no substitute for mentoring.

We’ve heard it before, and in various ways, but I think we tend to largely ignore it. Americans, at least, aren’t used to a mentor system, and we’re not in the habit of asking for mentors.

But mentors can be great. You can stop them mid-sentence and say, “wait, I don’t know that term at all”. You can ask them to explain the same concept a different way. They can spot where you’re going off the rails, and correct you. I’m a big fan of video tutorials and written materials, but again: there’s no substitute for mentoring.

So, a few quick notes:

  • Having trouble learning a thing? Ask someone in your office, or on Twitter, or at a SQL Saturday, to spend some time explaining it to you. Ask for resources.
  • Want to get started with a new subject? Ask your company to pay for a few hours of an industry expert’s time. Start with a Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), or get a recommendation from your local user group.
  • You won’t always hear “yes”. Some people don’t have the time, some aren’t comfortable teaching, and so on. It’s okay. Get a few “no” responses, and always remember to ask, “Who might be a good resource, then?”
  • A mentor can be long term, sure. But a mentor can just be someone you learn a subject from, for a short time, or even a single setting!

Go and get yourself a mentor!

You will see us at SQL Saturdays in July!

You will see us at SQL Saturday Atlanta on July 15 and SQL Saturday Baton Rouge on July 29.

You will see us speak*.

You will see our booth, where we will raffle off licenses of Minion Enterprise.

Yes, you will.


*Jen’s session in Atlanta, and in Baton Rouge.

You will see us at SQL Saturday #651 Houston

on June 17.

You will see us speak.

You will see our booth.

Yes, you will.


Happy days,

Real news, real tech.